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Topics: Leadership
Project Leadership vs Project Management
Network:485



We as project management professionals are all aware of the management aspects of our profession. However, one skill that has always been overshadowed by our emphasis on management is Leadership. Oh sure, we all say we practice both and some of us even say that we are good at both. But are we really as good as we may think?

What do you think is the difference between the two?

How do you determine the need to "manage" as opposed to "lead" in a given situation?

Please share with us some methods that you have used successfully.
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Network:3380



This is the approach I use: The Leadership Attitude
Network:485



Ms. Harrin:

Great points in your article.

I agree with your statements: "Leadership isn't something we just switch on when we are being 'leaders'" and "Project managers need to accept the overlap between management and leadership, and to develop a leadership attitude that runs through both activities.". They promote an overall philosophy of mutual importance and practice for successful project management.

I would like to add that although the simultaneous practice of leadership and management should be adopted as our PM "style", circumstances and situations during the life-cycle of any given project will require adjustments to our levels of focus on the principles required for successful application of each. Knowing when to "switch gears" and how much pressure to apply in one direction while maintaining the proper amount of emphasis on the other can determine our level of project success.
Network:30



Leadership and management are two sides of the same coin - you have either both or neither. My definition of Leadership: Setting a goal for your team (at whatever scale). My definition of Management: Ensuring that your team has the skills, tools, and number of people to be able to reach the goal. There is no way to do one without the other.
Network:485



Mr. Mack:

Thank you for your response. I agree, both leadership and management can be viewed as two sides of the same coin but I also believe that the skill sets necessary to successfully practice each are different.

Your statement: "My definition of Leadership: Setting a goal for your team (at whatever scale). "

Then what? What leadership tools and techniques have you found helpful when dealing with the unexpected from the human resource, environmental and organizational aspects of project management?
Network:30



When unexpected hurdles arise, there are at least three approaches, one management-level and two leadership-level, one can apply. The one to select depends on the details of the issue.

A Management approach is to work to resolve the issue for the project team. One Leadership approach is to explain the issue to the team, reiterate the goal, and ask the project team for ways to address the issue. If the issue seems insurmountable, then the Leadership approach is to defer the project until the blockage is resolved or cancel it out right.

Leadership is providing focus on a feasible objective. Management is ensuring that the objective is practical to achieve.
Network:0

This is a very interesting subject and I would like to add on the thread even when the last post was almost a year ago.
I also go with the idea that leadership is an attitude. But beyond attitude it is has to do with behavior. It is something inherent to who you are. Good leadership must be based on the four pillars shown by Ms Harrin, but they are not enough to motivate and achieve discipline and commitment to make people move in the right direction. It takes genuine interest in the team and lead by example (“Walk the Talk”).

By experience I can tell that a person can be trained to be project manager but it takes huge efforts to make a good leader if the right soft skills are not present in an individual or when the four pillar values are not deeply embedded in his culture.

For true success project managers requires both faces of the coin: the competency given by his knowledge in project management and the charisma that must be visible through his leadership.
If both sides of the coin are not clearly stamped, projects still will be done. But the word success will not have the same meaning.

For true success project managers requires both faces of the coin: the competency given by his knowledge in project management and the charisma that must be visible through his leadership.

If both sides of the coin are not clearly stamped, projects still will be done. But the word success will not have the same meaning.

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