13 Oktober 2010

How to Be Successful in Project Management and Leadership

By: David Shoemaker

It is not always easy to develop effective leadership in project management, but it can be done. It takes a certain drive, a lot of focus, powerful motivation, and a detailed plan. Project management and leadership courses can do two things: help you become ready to lead a team by studying your own management style and learning where your weaknesses and strengths lie in order to make yourself a better leader. They also teach you what to do to create and execute a useful project management plan. Remember that a goal without a plan is simply a dream. After completing training for leadership in project management, you should feel confident in five areas:

  • Identify leadership strengths and weaknesses in the context of your own career, through feedback from colleagues and through self-assessment
  • Explaining the role of colleagues, mentors, and your various networks in achieving your goal
  • Explaining why it may be difficult to alter your preferences, even if making a change is the way to realize your goal
  • Creating and executing a development plan
  • Applying what you have learned to your management of projects and tasks

As a leader, you have a wealth of opportunities at your fingertips to continue to develop your leadership abilities. As you shape your development plan, think about where you need to review your current practices and acquire new skills. Second, evaluate the roles of those around you: how can they be part of your successful development?

What is the best way to plan for your successful development as a leader? Surprisingly, only 15% to 20% of people who study leadership in project management and create development plans in a seminar actually accomplish their end goals. Many discover that following through is difficult, for various reasons. It can be difficult to make changes to your predetermined leadership practices and many people need an effective support network. Trying to make changes to your habits is even harder within a busy work environment. Sometimes you can see good initial progress, but it's all too easy to fall back into old patterns.

Again, it is critical to utilize your colleagues, your network, and your mentor as much as you can to continue to learn and improve throughout your career. Take their support into consideration as you develop your leadership in project management.

Project management and leadership can be a difficult skill to master, especially because it is hard to continue to sustain a changed behavior. Change is much easier at first - you must work at it to keep up your new practices. One way to achieve this is to build up your support network in the workplace. Talk to people you trust about the changes you're trying to make; solicit their feedback. This is an important part of a successful development plan.

At the end of a project management and leadership course, you should have a more thorough understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses and you will understand the performance system that is being used inside your organization. Finally, you will develop a plan using this new information and insight. You will learn to make yourself as effective as possible. You will then understand the importance of getting ongoing feedback as you implement your plan. It is only by talking with other people and getting feedback from them that you can achieve the calibration that you will need in order to be successful in leadership in project management.

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