Articles - Managing & Leading

By Manjeet Singh (based on excerpts from the free ProjectMind's quick guide to project management)

The role of the project manager has often been described as an ambiguous one – chances are you will not have any clear-cut real authority over the people in your project team. There might even be people on your team who are senior to you or have far more project management experience than you. That being said, managing project teams composed of people from different departments, levels of seniority, and cultures is an achievable goal.
A vast body of literature exists on management and leadership styles. It is out of the scope of this website to go into a detailed discussion of this fascinating topic. However, here are three main types of project leadership styles:

  1. Directive: you make decisions and set the direction for your team. Such a style works in crisis but discourages participation.
  2. Participative: you encourage participation in decision making. Such a style helps in team building but may not be the best when you need to react quickly.
  3. Task-oriented: you focus on achieving the project’s objectives by organizing people and people activities.

TIP: A good project leader has the ability to know when to use one or a mix of the above styles. The style that you use should be adapted to the current project situation, people in your project, your organization, the culture/country, and your project’s outcome.

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