To achieve success as a Project Manager, you not only have to be a great manager, but you also have to be a great “leader”. So if you want to learn how to become a great leader and drive your projects forward, then read this newsletter on...

How to Lead Your Projects

The main difference between a leader and a manager is that a "leader" is responsible for setting the goals and motivating the team to achieve them. Whereas a manager is responsible for co-ordinating the work to achieve the goals set.

Take these tips to boost your leadership skills today:

* Set goals: Start by setting clear project goals and timeframes for achieving them. Then create a crystal clear roadmap for your team so that every person in your team knows what has to be done and by when. Use a project methodology to help you do this.

* Be passionate: You then need to be passionate about achieving your project goals. It's passion that will drive the project to success. If you are passionate, then your team will be as well.

* Be focused: If you want others to follow you, then you need to be incredibly focused on achieving your goals. You need to be the hardest worker and most highly driven person in the team, if you want to inspire others to follow you.

* Identify values: You need to think about the values you want to portray as a leader, and once you've identified them—you need to stick to them. Good values to have as a leader include openness, honesty, trust and integrity. Remember, your values define who you are as a person. Strong values are critical to strong leadership.

* Your leadership: You need to think about your leadership style, and then make sure you follow it. So how do you want others to perceive you? Do you want them to see you as hard or soft, formal or informal, strict or relaxed etc. Remember that your leadership style needs to fit in with your personal nature, and it also needs to fit with your team.

People will only follow your lead if you set a great example. They need to trust and believe in you as a person, not just because of the role you have. So here's how to earn people's trust and belief in you:

* Secure commitment: Start by meeting each team member individually and telling them how important their role is to the project. Make them feel valued and gain their commitment to achieving success.

* Set achievable goals: Set each person 3 goals to achieve within a reasonable time frame. Involve them in the goal-setting exercise to secure their buy-in. Then review progress along the way.

* Reward great performance: If they achieve their goals, let them know that they've done a great job and that you're proud of them. Then reset more goals, for the next period ahead.

* Get personal: Get to know your team on a personal level. Learning more about what it is that motivates them will be invaluable to leading them towards the goals you've set.

* Be supportive: You need to be there for them when they need you. Whether personal or work-related, support them as much as you can.

* Be positive: Always try and be positive when dealing with them. Only by looking at the positive side of everything will you inspire people to achieve their best.

Of course, every great leader needs great tools to lead with. To help you set goals and the roadmap ahead, use this project methodology. It gives you a complete Project Life Cycle so you know what you have to do and when to lead your team to project success.


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