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The Significance of Leadership for Project Managers

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Leadership is vital for Project Managers, and to recognize and analyze the styles and personality traits that lead to an effective leadership is an important skill we must learn. To have good leadership skills, we need time and experience, and to implement a successful project, managers can use tools, methodologies, and techniques. However, organizations nowadays face bigger challenges in achieving their strategic goals, one of these challenges is the lack of leadership skills in the organization. Besides, a successful project manager could not be an effective leader, both concepts are different, but both are extremely important to any company or professional (Kumar, 2009).

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The Leader of my Life

After graduation in Computer Science, I was hired in a small company that developed websites and web-based system to their clients. The total staff was of eight employees, including the owner and the co-owner. As the company was small, the team of Software Developers (four people) reported directly to the owner, who worked as Web Designer, with us in the same room. His style of leadership was related to his personal traits, such as enthusiastic, high-energy, charisma and self-assurance. The enthusiasm he transmitted was noticeable that spread to the whole team. He clearly used the employee-centred style that engaged and motivated the team to work together and collaborate with each other, to help each other. People could feel the collaborative environment, especially between designers and developers, that usually built totally different products, but it must be integrated to deliver the final product the client requested.

An approach that can be considered a behavioural approach was the way he held himself accountable for the team and provided constructive feedbacks to create trust and respect, according to Walter (2015), this is one of the 12 leadership behaviours that truly build team trust (Walter, 2015). When something went wrong, he managed to take the blame and filter the problems or complaints the clients directed towards the work delivered and transform them into feedbacks the team could assimilate in a positive way, maintaining the engagement and wiliness to improve the final product. Besides the traits described above, he also had good technical skills essential to the development of the products, therefore when he needed to deal with the clients personally, and get the requirements for a project, he knew the difficulties the team of developers and designers could have, and he managed a fair schedule and reasonable deadline that enabled the team to work in a very productive pace.

Another Perspective

One of the most successful entrepreneurs of all times, Steve Jobs, is well-known for his singular and controversial leadership style. His approach can be considered a transformational leadership style, where it encourages leaders to show an authentic and strong leadership with the objective to inspire followers. It emphasizes the importance of the company goals and enforces that every employee must work together to achieve this common goal, and it let people free to bring new ideas and innovation, which is very important in the IT sector (White, 2018).

One of the characteristics that highlight the controversial style is the thin line between he is being an inspirational leader or an aggressive and demanding manager. (Gonzalez, 2016) states that the fact he was fired from his own company in 1985, was because the company was facing a crisis, because his focus and perfectionism traits were the same as when he came back to Apple in 1997, the only difference was that during that time, the company had great success after he made Apple focus in producing just four products, using the same leadership style of the past.

Another trait that could be attributed to his leadership style is his demand for excellence from his employees. He was known for being impatient, petulant and tough with people, but that kind of behaviour was derived from his perfectionism and his passion to make the best and inspire the best from people as well, to make people turn the impossible into possible (Isaacson, 2014).

Conclusion

It is important to conclude that there is no right way to be a successful leader, there is an plethora of ways to motivate and engage employees, to gain their trust and respect, and to achieve the strategic goals of the organization. We must analyze and learn the values and mission of each company to see what will work best in that environment. I feel that the personality traits, such as accountability, high-energy, honesty are some of the most important traits a leader can have, together with a relaxed work environment, can lead the followers to be motivated, to trust and engage to achieve the goal. On the other hand, the passion a leader exhibit to make the best, the impossible, is a great way to create the same feelings in people. Good leadership traits and styles will make the employees try their best to accomplish the goals and even to overcome their own limits.

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