Strategies to enhance leadership and increase project success rates12 Feb 2023
The link between leadership and project success is often overlooked. When you take a second to think about it, though, that connection becomes obvious: A project will only be as successful as the leadership driving it. If you’re a project leader, manager or supervisor, chances are you’re already a pretty good leader, but there’s always room for improvement. And, if you’re hoping to move up into one of these roles, you certainly need to learn a thing or two.
Here, we’ll take a look at some factors that can lead to effective project leadership and success. We’ll also cover some tips, tricks and strategies to develop and strengthen leadership skills and improve overall project outcomes.
What affects leadership and project success?
Leadership effectiveness is influenced by a wide range of elements including:
- Communication: A leader who regularly communicates information in no uncertain terms is more likely to see positive results than one who keeps their juniors in the dark or only vaguely hints at critical details.
- Vision: A successful leader has a clear and defined conceptualisation of the organisation or team’s goals and how to achieve them. Very rarely do they give ad hoc instructions or fly by the seat of their pants.
- Empathy: As the London Premiere Centre explains, it’s been shown time and time again that compassionate leaders are more successful than authoritarian ones. Good leaders show open-mindedness and consideration.
Project management success is largely dependent on factors such as:
- Organisation: Naturally, a project that’s poorly organised is doomed to fail. Projects must have comprehensive roadmaps that show how they will be completed. This is where a leader’s vision comes in: Their specified objectives inform their plan of action.
- Resource allocation: Projects will succeed only insofar as every team member has all the tools and time they need to carry out their part. A leader’s ability to communicate with team members will determine how successfully resources are allocated.
- Flexibility: Even the most carefully laid out plans are subject to change due to issues outside of anyone’s control. Leaders must make provision for any alterations that need to be made to the project’s workflow and be sympathetic towards employees struggling with obstacles.
Strategies to improve leadership quality and ensure positive results
- Set clear goals and expectations: Leaders need to communicate objectives to their team well ahead of time so that everyone’s on the same page when they get started.
- Provide direction and guidance: If a team member is battling with their assigned task, leaders must give them advice on how to tackle that particular obstacle.
- Establish trust between team members: Communication is key, but unlikely if employees don’t feel like they can approach managers or each other. Leaders should foster a friendly, assuring environment.
- Distribute resources appropriately: It’s imperative for leaders to determine what tools every team member needs to complete their work successfully and on time. Leaders have to understand that these needs can evolve during the course of the project.
- Develop a concrete plan of action: Successful projects are driven by actionable workflow roadmaps that outline what, how and when tasks comprising the project need to be completed.
- Monitor and evaluate progress: Leaders should hold regular meetings or check-ins, both at individual and team levels, to receive feedback and status updates from their team. This also gives people a chance to raise any concerns.
Effective leadership ensures project success, but leadership and supervision can be more than the sum of its parts. Check out our project management techniques course, or contact us to discuss how we can best assist your team.