Sunday 19 December 2021

The project manager's leadership exploration

The project management as a new discipline from birth to now more than half a century, has been widely used in all walks of life. the competitiveness of enterprises is largely determined by project management. project managers play a key role as project leaders.

in short, the project manager's role is to organize and lead the project team to use limited resources to accomplish a quality-compliant task within a limited time frame, including planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, controlling, and evaluating to achieve the project's objectives.

for complex projects, project managers need not only a wealth of expertise, financial knowledge, but also comprehensive human resources management literacy. at present, there is a considerable systematic study of project management, such as scope management, progress management, cost management and quality management.

there is not much writing on project human resource management, especially the leadership of project managers. this article focuses on the leadership qualities required by the project manager and how his leadership style affects the project team and the operation of the project. companies can assess the leadership qualities of project managers,

it is positive to select qualified project managers and to train potential project managers through training.

1 the project manager's leadership qualities

the importance of the project manager's role and status as a key figure in the project team is certain, as is his influence on the success or failure of the project members and the project as a whole. the project manager is a very difficult role.

first, some relatively complex projects are often cross-disciplinary, cross-functional, and sometimes cross-regional, requiring the project manager to have a wealth of expertise to plan, organize, control, and coordinate the work of the project team. but often the project manager is not or cannot be an expert in each field.

second, project members are mostly drawn from the functional departments to complete a specific project, personnel background, seniority is different, which greatly increases the difficulty of project manager management.

thus, the key to the project manager's success as the project leader lies not only in how much expertise or resources he has, but also in how he organizes an efficient, stable and harmonious project team to guarantee the success of the project.

the project manager's leadership qualities can be broadly divided into four categories, namely: the ability to recognize oneself, the ability to understand the environment, the ability to manage oneself, and the ability to influence others. we can put them together into a simple model.

the ability to know oneself is the foundation, with a higher ability to understand oneself, to develop the ability to self-management and the ability to understand the environment, in order to finally achieve the goal of influencing others, that is, project team members.

the following is a detailed description of the characteristics and presentation of the four types of leadership.

1.1 the ability to recognize oneself

(1) recognize the emotions of the self. project managers are constantly challenged by internal staff, supervisors and external customers throughout the project and can be said to have been under pressure. at this point, the project manager needs to be very aware of his emotional state to better manage their emotions.

the ability to recognize self-emotions can be broadly divided into the following levels:

(1) forget your feelings and sometimes be surprised by your actions with others;

(2) can notice the occurrence of their own emotions, emotional state, especially in strong emotions, such as anger, fear, disappointment, etc.

(3) know why emotions occur, understand the causes of emotions, especially understand the triggers that produce strong emotions; (4) understand the effects and outcomes of these emotions on me and others, and be able to anticipate them.

levels 1 through 4 represent a process of understanding self-emotion from shallow to deep.

(2) self-confidence. refers to the ability to fully believe in an individual's ability to accomplish a task. it can also be divided into several levels:

(1) often hesitating, showing anxiety, unconditional obedience to authority figures; project manager blog

(2) in in general, you can express yourself confidently and work independently;

(3) believe in the ability of individuals, the courage to break the rules to strive for positive results, when necessary to clearly state their views;

(4) be able to express different opinions about others, in the right situation to challenge authority;

(5) be able to confidently invite others to challenge and criticize their working methods and welcome constructive criticism. levels 1 to 5 indicate the extent to which self-confidence is low and high. project management training

(3) analytical thinking. refers to the ability to understand a state or problem by breaking down a problem to a specific, actionable step. project managers often encounter complex situations or problems that require a logical, systematic approach to obtaining information

analyze some of the hints hidden under surface problems, etc. the level of competence can also be divided into several levels: project manager circles

(1) can perceive the problem, but can not break the problem into several parts to find the best way;

(2) can break down the problem into several parts, but can not perceive the importance and priority of the problem;

(3) can break down problems, perceive simple causality, or identify the advantages and disadvantages of each program, can determine their priorities from the degree of importance of the problem;

(4) complex problems can be broken down into small sub-tasks, which can identify complex causality, analyze the internal connections of different sub-tasks, anticipate possible difficulties and think ahead of time about the next step;

(5) use different methods to refine complex problems into sub-tasks, use a variety of analytical methods to obtain multiple scenarios, weigh the value of each program, choose the best solution.

(4) conceptual thinking. the ability to identify patterns or internal connections of multiple events or tasks using innovative, inductive, or conceptual reasoning.

the level of its ability can be divided into several levels:

(1) it is not possible to use past experience to contact the current situation and identify the obvious correlation or similarity between the two;

(2) simple principles, intuitions and past experience can be used to identify problems;

(3) be able to notice that the current situation is similar to the past, identify its similarity;

(4) by editing key data information to express complex situations as clear, simple and easy to solve; (5) invent and create a new method or concept to identify valuable intrinsic connections in complex information in unrelated areas.

through the above four aspects of self-awareness ability, we can see that self-awareness is not a simple work, it reflects the ability of self-awareness, each person's ability is different. the high and low level settings also provide project managers with tools for self-assessment and direction of individual efforts, which are very useful tools.

1.2 ability to manage yourself

after the project manager has a certain degree of self-awareness ability, the next step is to improve the self-management ability, compared with self-awareness is only a kind of understanding of cognition, self-management is an act, an action, the consequences of which will directly affect the team members, will have a direct impact on the operational efficiency and quality of the project. self-management roughly includes:

(1) self-control. it means maintaining control over destructive emotions and stimuli. it avoids inappropriate behavior due to spur of the moment, which in turn can damage team members' relationships and hinder the smooth running of the project. learning self-control is an essential quality to become a good project manager.

the level can also be divided into the following levels:

    (1) losing control, when stimulated by external stimulation, reckless impulses of emotional outbursts will only make things worse;

(2) show restraint, be able to control their emotions and feelings, resist inappropriate impulses;

(3) calm response, despite the stimulation, emotional excitement, can still calmly make thoughtful response;

(4) let others calm, although they are also excited, when others are in high spirits can still persuade others to calm down.

(2) initiative. refers to a behavioral preference in which active managers tend to take into account needs in advance measures taken:

(1) waiting to be informed that unnecessary instructions will be waited before action, unable to identify and grasp the opportunity;

(2) take immediate action, recognize the immediate situation, and take immediate measures to overcome difficulties;
(3) act promptly and decisively in a crisis;
(4) anticipate some less obvious situations in advance to create opportunities or avoid problems;
(5) take long-term measures to create opportunities or avoid problems long in advance.

(3) access to information. it refers to discovering or searching for information about people or things in your surroundings. access to information is a prerequisite for project managers to gather feedback, adjust plans, and coordinate relationships among project members

as a project manager, you should not wait for information, but take the initiative to obtain it, such as through regular and irregular communication with team members, to establish a stable system for obtaining reliable and adequate information, and to filter out information that has an impact on the project, and take targeted measures.

the project manager's ability to obtain information also varies, with the following levels listed:

(1) only passively receive limited information; project management training

(2) to inquire directly or indirectly about the difficulties encountered by those directly or indirectly involved in the project;

(3) always dig and try to find out the cause of the problem when asking, and discuss with experienced non-direct participants;

(4) obtaining the most valuable information within a limited time through various available resources, such as the experience of project members, newspapers, magazines, networks or competitors;

(5) establish systems and methods for individuals to obtain information on a stable and continuous basis, such as arranging regular formal meetings with key team members, approaching team members from time to time, participating in their technical discussions, etc. project management forum

(4) innovation. it's about improving the performance of individuals and teams by trying something new. since each project is usually different, we must try some new methods and measures while referring to past experience, and it is not feasible to copy them in the same way.

project managers can use the experience of their team members to try new approaches and measures with innovative ideas.

1.3 ability to understand the environment

the ability to understand the environment is, by its very nature, a kind of understanding and understanding of the working and living environment in which it is located. similar to self-awareness, a better level of self-awareness and improved ability to interpret the surrounding environment are essential skills for project managers. there are several ways to note:

(1) customer-oriented. it refers to understanding the needs of customers, always seeking to meet or exceed customer expectations as the goal of the work. project managers should look at the customer's needs from a broad perspective, look far, and conform to the company's vision of development, in order to anticipate the future needs of customers

to achieve or exceed customer expectations and establish long-term partnerships with customers to win their trust and respect. can be divided into the following levels:

(1) do not assume responsibility to meet customer needs, do not want to make commitments to customers, sometimes put things to others, often said a sentence "i will try my best, but not guarantee ..." as a project manager, it is important to avoid similar situations;

(2) to provide customers with prompt service, responsibility, solve customer problems; project manager blog

(3) be able to actively seek customer feedback to improve the quality of services;

(4) adopt different methods to understand and understand the potential needs of customers through different ways to provide customers beyond expectations of services;

(5) anticipate the future needs of customers in advance, establish mutually respectful partnerships, provide constructive advice to customers and win their trust, sometimes at the expense of their own short-term interests for long-term partnerships.

(2) emotions move in. the ability to be willing and able to understand the feelings of others. this ability can greatly enhance the project manager's ability to influence and lead team members while learning more about the needs and concerns of the customer. it can be understood in seven levels:

1) not being able to perceive or understand the feelings of others;

(2) give time to listen to others;

(3) use body language to show that you are listening carefully, and let the other person feel; project management forum

(4) be able to find the other person's body language when listening, understand the other person's emotions and concerns;

(5) appreciate each other's different points of view when talking, and ask questions to find out why they cause different points of view;

(6) listen carefully to the views of others and be able to understand the implications behind them; project manager circle

(7) understand the underlying emotions, motivations, and concerns of others.

(3) recognize the organization. to understand and leverage the rights relationships within an organization to work better. the extent to which the project manager understands the organization is related to his years of service and experience, as well as to the project manager's own observation and understanding, and more related to his learning and analysis.

the following is a shallow and deep analysis of the different levels:

(1) only use the official organizational structure channels to work;

(2) you can do things with unofficial channels when needed, and know how to find someone within the organization who can help; project manager blog

(3) understand the corporate culture, understand the organization's representative way of doing things;

(4) understand the different interest groups in the organization and their ways of doing things, and do things in the most appropriate way;

(5) understand the underlying rules and master the influence of many aspects of the organization, such as current, historical, social, economic and political influence.

1.4 ability to influence others

    the first three chapters discuss self-awareness, self-management and understanding environment, in which self-awareness and understanding environment belong to the category of understanding, self-management is based on self-awareness and environment after the action. the impact on others discussed in this section is also an action that is closely related to the first three.

the ability to influence others is a quality that project managers must possess as project leaders, which is to mobilize the enthusiasm of team members, cultivate potential successors, and create an efficient and harmonious team. in terms of performance, there are the following categories:

(1) employee development-oriented. it mainly refers to caring about the personal development of team members, personal motivation and learning. if the project manager adheres to the employee-oriented mode of work, will greatly stimulate the enthusiasm of members, improve staff skills, team efficiency, to ensure the smooth completion of the project. turn from

in the long run, more potential successors can be developed for the enterprise, and the project manager himself has the opportunity to get better promotion opportunities. it can be divided into the following levels:

(1) ignore others, criticize others when they do wrong, and be more willing to do things themselves than give others a chance to try;

(2) encourage employees to participate in the development of personal development plans, explain the value of personal development to the company and publicly emphasize its importance, praise employees who have made progress, actively participate in and support development plans; essay

(3) give feedback, use successful cases to guide others on how to work better, provide opportunities to learn practice, and then give constructive feedback;

(4) provide development opportunities, create and use personal development opportunities to develop talents and help develop their potential;

(5) trust them to succeed, empower employees, and trust them to take responsibility, including learning from failures, and be willing to take controlled risks to encourage their creativity.

(2) influence. the ability to positively persuade, motivate, convince, and work organizational goals. project managers face many unforeseen challenges in running the project, which to some extent undermine the confidence of project members to achieve ultimate success.

this wavering of confidence can lead to fluctuations in member sentiment, reduced productivity, and sometimes voluntary exit from the project team. project managers must be very persuasive and guiding, to motivate employees to face difficulties, establish the determination to meet the challenges, while establishing a bright future for the company. project manager circle

the project manager's personal charm can enhance his or her influence. can be divided into here are a few levels to understand:

(1) rely only on the rights of the position, such as punishment, bonuses, job promotion opportunities to persuade members to continue to work;

(2) use positive thinking methods to analyze various types of information, such as case-specific data, charts and logical debates to convince others;

(3) to talk and gain their support in a way that others understand is in their interest;
(4) can anticipate the results of positive impact on others and the team, sometimes with lively language or behavior to deepen the impression of others;
(5) multi-level to persuade others to get support, such as using a third party or expert to persuade others to do things.

(3) the ability to change. refers to the project manager's ability to motivate and alert the team to adapt to changing needs and do a better job. project managers need to break down the status quo decisively to meet demand when they encounter unforeseen challenges that the original regulations and processes cannot address. it can be understood in five levels:

(1) the project manager cannot perceive the changing needs of the organization;

(2) be able to publicly describe the changing needs, but can not give specific details;

(3) although it is not possible to describe what the change should be, it is possible to state publicly the need for a change in one aspect;

(4) by simplifying, modifying or redefining the original rules, the changed landscape can be clearly defined and information transmitted to those affected by the change to ensure that action is taken;

(5) to openly challenge the status quo by comparing the ideal state of change, to increase the sense of crisis to promote and strengthen the occurrence of change, such as by putting pressure on the outdated personnel in the organization to ensure the implementation of the change.


the four aspects of leadership: the ability to recognize oneself, the ability to manage oneself, the ability to understand the environment and the ability to influence the environment, each of which unfolds into a variety of concrete manifestations.

the project manager's expertise is directly related to his academic background and work experience and is undoubtedly an essential element of project management, but more flexible management skills are key to the success of the project manager.

the four broad categories of leadership described in this article are cultivated by project managers through observation, learning, thinking and practice in their daily work, which brings positive meaning to businesses and individuals:

(1) establish a scientific project manager leadership assessment system. each type of competency is basically divided into four to five levels, through a triple assessment,

that is, the project manager's personal assessment, the project member's assessment of the project manager and the manager's assessment of the project manager, a comprehensive assessment, if the results have major differences, the project member's assessment as the main basis;

(2) the project manager through the assessment, understand my skill level and gaps, for the future development provides a clear direction;

(3) the enterprise selects the most competent project manager or cultivates the better project manager and other managers through the evaluation of the project manager or potential employees;

(4) in addition, enterprises can thus create a good talent training environment, to establish an efficient, harmonious and stable team, in line with the long-term interests of enterprises.

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