Saturday, May 7, 2011

Project Management Authority is Earned not Given

Leading by example generally earns respect and authority to the person that exercises it. This is by no means any different in project management as seen in the article by Dan Vickers and Kurt Finch for PM Hut.

For project managers, the support of their team is critical for completing projects successfully. Yet, a team’s respect cannot simply be assigned like a task. Acquiring and executing project authority with the support of a full project team demands careful and skilled execution.

Project leadership requires a humble yet assertive persona, capable of taking charge when needed and delegating authority wherever possible. A project manager must develop their own skills and lead with principles. Doing so will certainly encourage team loyalty. If a project manager simply presumes authority, they will never earn the backing of their team. This is an ongoing practice that should drive the way a project manager carries himself and shapes how he interacts with others.

Lead by Example

A project manager can’t just “talk the talk” but has to also “walk the walk”. If not, she will lose all credibility. In order for a project manager to earn their team’s respect, they must wholeheartedly support their own decisions and back them up with actions.

The most effective way to earn authority is to be a project leader that others want to follow. Be on time. Be kind and considerate. Be efficient with your tasks. Be organized. Be fair with others. Set an example for others to follow.
The project manager is a tricky position to navigate, yet just a few simple practices can enhance a project manager’s powers of persuasion and increase their influence enough to achieve tremendous things. A project manager should always remain cognizant of the fact that they aren’t the boss; they are a leader of a team that will be inspired to follow or struggle at every step along the way. The process will be made much easier by being kind, respectful, and benevolent in decision-making.

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