QA | APM PMQ | Digital
This video outlines the importance of good leadership, and the differences between a manager and a leader.
- Poor leadership is one of the main reasons why projects fail. In this video we'll deal with the key things that leadership should focus on. The qualities of good leadership, motivation, leadership styles and leadership in a virtual context. Leadership should always aim to create a common vision and goal for a project that the whole team can get behind and understand. To do this leaders need to build on and maintain the project vision, which of course impacts the direction of the project and how stakeholders view the project. Leaders also need to know how to support the team members and have proper feedback channels in place to make sure that everyone in the team can communicate with leadership. Management and leadership are related, but they aren't the same thing. Management tends to focus on the mechanics of getting things done, including those important tasks of planning, monitoring and controlling. Leadership on the other hand, involves subtle soft skills to motivate and make management easier. There's no one size fits all kind of leader. However, there are a few common characteristics that most leaders have. Including a can do attitude, being fair and persuasive, having common sense and having a vision. Finally, one of the key things leadership needs to bring to a project is motivation. That is they need to know how to motivate their project team to get the work done in scope, on time and within budget. There are a few standard models of motivation, which you can draw on to help you here. Maslow's is a well known hierarchy of needs, which routes our physiological security, social esteem and self-actualization needs and wants in a pyramid. While self-actualization is the highest motivator, if a motivator like security or physiological need, like food, water, or sleep isn't met, then self-actualization won't be the motivator. So to get the most out of people and to help them be motivated by self-actualization, leadership needs to make sure that everyone in the project team has all their needs and wants met first. Beyond simply motivation, leadership is a nuanced business. For instance, if you have an experienced team member, they will want autonomy and occasional support. Inexperienced team members might want more regular support and guidance. Max Landsberg developed a simple model to help you know how to approach different team members, mapping their skill and will against each other. Low skill, low will team members will need direct leadership. Whereas high skill, low will team members will need excitement to help overcome that plateau they've hit. Low skill, but high will team members just need guidance, while high will, high skill members should be delegated and trusted to complete their work autonomously. Finally, for this video, let's go over leadership of virtual teams. These are teams who work remotely of one another, and they're generally engaged in independent tasks. This context creates a unique challenge for leadership, but one that you can overcome. You can do this by getting the team together physically early on, as often as possible. This will help build relationships and trust. Next, make sure that tasks and processes, not just goals and roles, are well-defined and clear. By giving team members specific tasks to accomplish, they can take on their own work with more confidence. It can also help to commit to a communication charter of some kind. This means you'll need to be clear in your communication and establish norms around the kind of communication you expect the team to have. Fourth, make sure to leverage the very best digital communication technologies you can to help make sure that communication is as easy and seamless as possible. My last two tips are to agree on a shared language. Especially in cross-cultural teams, and to create virtual water cooler space. This is just a space where team members can get together to chat about work or their personal life. This kind of space can really help your team connect and grow closer, which ultimately will help them remain productive. And that's it for this video on leadership, it's a complex topic, so we've explored a few ideas in this video, including the characteristics and qualities of leadership, motivation, and leadership in a virtual context.