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Anyone can be a leader but that doesn’t mean that all leadership is effective. Project management demands a certain type of leader, someone who is communicative, organized, and detail-oriented with a collaborative approach and an empathetic mindset. So, how might someone most effectively lead a project? We’ve broken down both the responsibilities of a project manager and the most effective kinds of leadership here. 

March 29, 2023

What are the essential leadership skills for an effective project lead? 


Set Clear Expectations

As a leader, it’s important to set clear expectations for your team from the very beginning of a project. By making the expectations as clear as possible, you’re making sure that the members of your team understand their roles, responsibilities, and the expected outcome of the project. 


Communicate Effectively 

Communication is the key to being a successful project manager. As a team leader, you should be communicating regularly and proactively with your team so that everyone is able to stay on the same page about the details of the project. This means encouraging your team to have open communication so that questions and progress updates about the project can be brought up. Regularly scheduled status meetings are a great time to update each other as a group. 


Delegate Tasks

When you think of the role of ‘Project Manager,’ it’s most likely you think that of that job in relation to the assigning or delegation of tasks to a team- and it’s true! Effective project management requires organized delegation. As a leader, you have to know your team well enough to understand their strengths and areas of expertise. This will help you delegate tasks based on what they do best. This practice not only ensures that tasks are completed efficiently but also means that your team’s skills and capabilities will develop. 


Be Flexible 

Today’s business environment is fast-paced and always changing and that means that project requirements can also change! As the project manager, you need to be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. This means being aware of budget spend to date, so you can adjust timelines or resources as required, being resourceful and creative, and being open to new ideas. 


Encourage Collaboration

Project management is a team effort, and successful projects require collaboration between team members. By encouraging your team to be collaborative, you are fostering an environment where team members can work together towards common goals. It’s through the creation of these collaborative work environments, that team members are more likely to demonstrate creativity and generate new ideas to benefit the project at hand!  


Monitor Progress

It is well known that effective and successful project management requires ongoing monitoring of progress. No matter the size of your team, having tabs on all moving parts of a project can get very confusing and overwhelming very quickly, which is why using a project management tool will be to your benefit in the long run!


“Most professional projects will require more than a simple checklist. In my experience, project management tools are essential for effectively keeping track of all the deliverables and the related tasks. Project management tools allow you to do so much more, for example, plan around dependencies – tasks where work can’t start and/or be completed before work on another task starts and/or completes and plan buffer time around tasks to account for unexpected delays such as illness on the team.” – Moriah Bacus (Project Manager + Accountability Coach, Vibe High) 


Utilizing a project management tool will allow you to track progress, identify potential roadblocks or challenges, update team members, and take corrective action as needed to keep the project on track, all in one place. Read about our project management tool of choice here and read about Moriah’s top three project management strategies here.


Celebrate Successes

Finally, as a leader, it’s crucial to celebrate successes along the way. Recognize and reward your team members for their hard work and contributions to the project. When you acknowledge the work of your team and their dedication, you’re boosting their morale and ultimately, encouraging their commitment to the team and to the project which leads to the longevity of team members and creates a more positive and welcoming work environment. 

While it’s one thing to understand the responsibilities of a project manager, it’s equally important to know what type of leadership is most effective when it comes to your project and team. Different leadership styles may be more or less effective depending on your project, team, organization, culture, and so on. While you may personally tend to exhibit one of these styles in particular, different styles can be practiced and implemented where they may be more effective.


Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their team members to work towards a shared goal or vision. They work to create a positive and supportive work environment by providing their team with guidance and empowering members of the team to take ownership of their work.


Servant Leadership 

Servant leaders are closely focused on their team members. These leaders are always prioritizing the needs of their team and supporting them in reaching their goals. Oftentimes, these leaders come off as quieter or less intense. This differentiation means they tend to lead by example, listen actively, and promote collaboration among team members. 


Agile Leadership

Agile leaders are adaptable and flexible. They highly prioritize continuous improvement and experimentation within the workplace. They will often create an environment in which, team members feel empowered to make decisions and take risks. This method of leadership promotes and allows for continuous learning and progressive iteration, allowing people to use feedback as a way to continually improve upon processes and outcomes. 


“As a team member, I have found that agile leadership works very effectively when it comes to leading a project! Some of the best leaders that I have encountered have been clear about their expectations but also make sure to be flexible and encourage creativity. By being able to be creative and take risks, I have been able to grow and improve upon my skills much more effectively as I was receiving feedback rather than always being expected to give perfection on the first try.” – Emily Campbell (Content Writer, Vibe High) 


Collaborative Leadership 

Through prioritizing teamwork and collaboration, collaborative leaders are able to encourage their teams to share ideas and work together to achieve shared goals. These leaders work to build strong relationships with their team members while simultaneously promoting open communication, and fostering a work culture that is built on trust and respect. 

Ultimately, the most effective leadership style will always depend on the unique needs and circumstances of the project at hand and your team. Remember, the key to effective and successful leadership is to be flexible and adaptable. By continuously evaluating situations, you can adjust your leadership approach to best support your team and achieve project success!

Ultimately, the most effective leadership style will always depend on the unique needs and circumstances of the project at hand and your team. Remember, the key to effective and successful leadership is to be flexible and adaptable. By continuously evaluating situations, you can adjust your leadership approach to best support your team and achieve project success!

If you’re interested in getting some support when it comes to getting projects done, reach out to us to discuss our guided accountability and project management package or project management services. Book a complimentary consultation today.