Project Leadership Essay Example

Project Leadership

Assignment: Project Management Leadership Self-Reflective

Student Name/Number:

Introduction

This report presents my personal self-reflection of project management leadership style based on the topics covered in this course. It covers the analysis of the development of my own insights and their implications for my practice as a project leader; the reflection on project management leadership course and my personal learning process; and analysis and discussion of my personal responses to the key concepts/issues that were most relevant to my style of leadership. Also covered are my current leadership strengths, areas that need further development, and an action plan to further develop my project management leadership skills.

Discussion

Project leadership

I would simply define project leadership as the act of leading a team of workers to a successful completion of a project. But, being a project leader is more than just that, it’s about getting things done well through other people, more than just tactical management of project activities. For one to be a successful project leader, he/she should be a master of process and also be an effective manager of teams of people (Harrison & Lock, 2004). A project leader is expected to build a high performing project team and be capable of harnessing the collective intelligence of the team and exercise influence, either with or without leadership authority. Leadership and communication are essential in realizing optimum project team performance (Krahn & Hartment, 2006). Figure 1 below summarizes the factors that contribute to the project success.

Project Leadership

Figure: Leadership arrow

What I have learned in regard to weekly themes

Under the theme of Effective Project Leadership, the most important insight that I learned was that effective project management requires skills and competencies that are relevant in a particular context and with particular elements of the project manager’s work in delivering the project. These skills and competencies include: inspiring a vision and articulating it, good communication, enthusiasm, integrity, team building, empathy, ability to delegate tasks, problem solving skills, conflict resolution and conflict management skills, cool under pressure, building trust, understanding and balance of priorities, critical thinking among other desirable skills.

The possible implication of this new understanding is that a project manager should have a list of skills and competencies as a starting point by which to have the required understanding of what is expected of them, and asses the progress of a project.

Understanding this insight is important as it has made me to realize the skills and abilities embodied by project managers to exercise their authority which allows them to make appropriate decisions and adhere to project commitments.

Having an understanding of this new insight will be important in my future career as it will help me develop into an effective project leader with the ability to oversee a project to successful completion.

In week 2, under the theme of Project Strategy and Leadership, the most significant thing I learnt was that project leadership requires an establishment and an inspiration of a clear vision and sharing the vision with other people so that they can follow you willingly. The project manager provides the knowledge, information, and methods to be followed in realizing the vision. Another important thing that I read about under this theme was that project managers exercise their leadership skills by coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests that may arise from team members and project stakeholders.

This understanding implies that for me to succeed as a project leader, I have to set goals of where to go and the ways to follow in order to fulfill my goals in a project.

This understanding is important in a number of ways. First, it will give me a direction of where to go and stick to that. Second, having a vision and setting goals will enable me draw new boundaries and giving my project team the spirit to change by making them feel that they have a stake in a project. It will also enable me to empower my project team, so that they can experience and own my vision in their own way.

This understanding will be useful in my future career as I intend to use it as a project leader to provide the opportunity for my project team to create and explore their own visions, and what they mean to their jobs and lives as part of the project vision.

Under the theme of Project Success and Leadership, one thing I realized is that a successful project management requires a manager to get the job done efficiently and effectively through the team members. This requires a project manager, in addition to a clear vision, practical in scheduling, and clarity in reason, should employ an effective leadership style.

The practical implication of this insight to me is that the type of leadership employed by the project leader has a huge influence on project success or failure. According to Turner & Müller (2005), the style of leadership and competencies of the project mamanger is related to the project success.

Having realized that there is a strong influence of leadership style on the success of a project, I intend to develop the a holistic leadership style that will deliver the results expected of a project. This insight is connected to the five principles of project leadership which are building vision, naturing collaboration, promoting performance, cultivating learning, and ensuring results (Juli, 2011).

In my future career as a project mamanger, this insight will be useful in helping me to develop and adopt an appropriate leadership style and competencies that will help me work with the rest of the project team to achive project success.

In week 5, under the theme of Authentic Leadership, the most important thing that I learnt is that authentic leadership forms part of a project leader’s pattern of behavoiur that promotes both positive ethical climate and positive psychological capacities — to foster even a greater self-awareness and development, balanced information processing, relational transparency, and internalized moral perspective on the part of project leader working with the rest of the project team.

What this emerging issue in project leadership implies is that under authentic leadership, project leaders demonstarate the extend of their awareness and openness in their pattern of behavour towards other project team members by sharing the information required in maling effective decisions, accepting other people’s inputs, sentiments, motives and personal values in a way that allows the assessment of the leader’s competency (Khan, et al., 2014).

This understanding is important in the way that it will enable me to develop self-enhancement values and continous learning to empower the members of my project team by knowing that they are doing things are they are supposed to be done.

This concept is useful in my future career as a project manager as it will help me to articulate my personal aproach and what I stand for, so that I can explore my best potential.

In week 7, under the theme of Developing a Personal Leadership Brand, the most significant thing I read was that developing a personal leadership brand can give me a focus and impact on the outcome of my leadership position[ CITATION Dav07 l 1033 ].

The implication of this insight is that once I know what I want to be known for, then it is earsier to concentrate on tasks and projects that will help me deliver my brand.

This insight is important as it helps build a unique reputation for developing exceptional project leaders with a set of distinct talents that are well fit to meet the objectives of a project. This will be useful in my future career as it will help me build my own leadership brand that will help me to effectively manage clients’ projects.

My Strengths and Weaknesses In Light Of the Project Management Leadership Concepts

Table 1: My leadership strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

Weakness

Decision Maker:

I’m good in this because I have good experience in the past and I can make a good decision with the information available.

From a personal experience, I know that there is no single formula that one can use to make a decision in a particular situation. I have the ability to go about challenges that are presented in decision making in different ways of approach. I have a systematic approach to making decisions so that no matter what decision I have to make, I take it with a lot of confidence.

Emotional intelligence (communication)

My communication skills are not very sufficient because I lack the ability to understand, relate and connect with other people’s feelings and emotions.

Problem identification and solving:

I have strong problem identification and solving skills from the experience on a daily basis – from simple to complex problems. I have the ability to detect, and recognize the presence and nature of a problem, structuring the problem, looking for possible solutions, and making an appropriate decision.

Team-Building

The main reason why I have problem in team building is because I lack confidence and trust in what others do. I also lack active listening skills to help me understand other people’s beliefs, hopes, needs and worries.

Persuasiveness:

I have a strong ability to persuade people and convince them to take an appropriate action. This is because I can develop a line of reasoned argument, backed up with logic using a positive language. I always emphasize on the positive aspects of other people’s arguments, and try to get my points across in a calm, but assertive manner.

Resilience

Personally, I lack resilience because I get discouraged with past failings, and sometimes I don’t recognize my shortcomings.

In addressing areas where I have weak leadership skills, I will pick on two skills which are Emotional intelligence (communication) and Resilience, in an attempt to develop them using Action plan.

Leadership Development Action Plan

Table 2: Personal Goal 1-
Emotional intelligence (communication)

Knowledge/skills/attitudes to develop

What specific actions must I take to improve?

How will I know I have done it?

Development activities

What activities can I do to build my target knowledge/skills/activities?

Potential Help

Who might help me with my development?

When will I complete this?

Recognize and work upon emotional cues when communicating with other people to ensure that their message is appropriate.

Listen actively and understand what is said, and be open to sharing information.

Get to hear about other people’s problems, and deal with complex issues straight away.

Asking open questions to understand the views and feelings of other people.

I will consider it done when:

I get a positive response from the people I am communicating with.

Other people feel that their issues have been well-solved.

People feel that their views are valued and taken into consideration during the decision-making process.

I get the required feedback and share of information.

Eliciting communication with other members of the project team.

Responding to other people’s complains and worries, in the best way possible.

Providing more information that may be required by other people.

Making every opportunity a communication learning activity.

Co-workers, and team members.

Reading and learning from e-books.

Effective communication games, e.g. Phrase ball, Bull Ring, Get It Together, etc.

Attending courses, seminars and workshops that are intended to improve communication skills.

  • Over next month:

Be able to recognize emotional cues and body language.

Be a good listener, understand what other people are communicating.

  • Over the next 6 months – 1 year:

Be able to communicate more assertively.

Be able to communicate with empathy.

Table 2: Personal Goal 2 — Resilience

Knowledge/skills/attitudes to develop

What specific actions must I take to improve?

How will I know I have done it?

Development activities

What activities can I do to build my target knowledge/skills/activities?

Potential Help

Who might help me with my development?

When will I complete this?

Make connections with other project members.

Learning to accept challenges and focus on the main goal.

Taking decisive actions.

Explore opportunities for self-discovery.

Keep in a broader perspective.

When I start getting their support, I will know that I am making good connections.

When I start achieving my goals and accomplish even the smaller tasks.

When the decisive actions I take yield positive results.

When I keep calm during hard times or when I am struggling with an issue.

Nurturing my positive view of things to build confidence and trust my instincts.

Pay attention to building connections.

Start thinking positive about the future.

Paying attention to my personal needs and feelings.

A psychologist

Co-workers and other team members.

Reading and learning from books.

Attending courses, seminars and workshops that aim to improve resilience.

  • Over next month:

Be able to take care of my needs and feelings.

Develop a positive image of the future.

  • Over the next 6 months – 1 year:

Developing empathy and compassion.

Commitment to meeting my goals.

Conclusion

In conclusion, leadership requires the ability to overcome personnel issues, making tough decisions, and exercising authority where necessary – while dealing with technical challenges as well as overcoming the restraints of project cost and time. It requires an effective strategy, power of influence, authenticity, resilience, emotional intelligence and regulation, and development of an appropriate leadership brand to succeed in a project. I have learned many concepts from the weekly themes and the entire course, from basic principles of project leadership to more complex project management issues in realizing a successful project completion. In addition to being a good decision maker, problem solver and persuasiveness, I can develop emotional intelligence, team building, and resilience. These desirable leadership qualities can greatly help in effective project management through learning and practicing in day-to-day activities.

References

Harrison, F. L. & Lock, D., 2004. Advanced Project Management: A Structured Approach. s.l.:Gower Publishing.

Juli, T., 2011. The five team leadership principles for project success. North America, Dallas, Project Management Institute.

Khan, S. U. R., Long, C. S. & Iqbal, S. M. J., 2014. Authentic Leadership: An Emerging Issue in Project Management. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology , 8(11), pp. 1377-1383.

Krahn, J. & Hartment, F., 2006. Effective project leadership: a combination of project manager skills and competencies in context. Québec, Canada, Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Turner, J. R. & Müller, R., 2005. The project manager’s leadership style as a success factor on projects. Project Management Journal, 36(2), p. 49–61.

Ulrich, D. & Smallwood, N., 2007. Building a Leadership Brand. Harvard Business Review, pp. 1-12.