Category Archives: Leadership

You Will Excel in Project Management with an Authentic & Effective Leadership Style

“Jake, hi, how are you? Would you have 2 minutes for me? I have good news I would like to share with you!" A business-smartly dressed man talking on his phone just behind my back had suddenly caught my interest. In my experience, airports are wonderful places when it comes to learning about the behaviors of our species. I will not say that I was eavesdropping, but I do have a pair of well-working ears, so I simply could not help it. Soon I was fully immersed in enthusiastically making notes for myself. That quick and to-the-point phone call, that I happened to overhear, had been pure gold! As a leadership coach and mentor, I had to contain myself from stepping up and congratulating the man, clearly a CEO of his business. What a great communicator! He freely expressed his appreciation. “I’m very grateful for the preparation work that you had done with your team. Thank you, the material was top-notch.” He stopped to listen and made sure he understood correctly what Jake was worried about. One sentence especially made me proud of this leader, "Yes, you are absolutely right! Good point! Let's have a chat with HR. I'm sure they can find a suitable Spanish tutor to come and help us improve.“ All in all, that short two-minute call led me to think that this CEO has a natural inclination for honesty and efficiency, he is a great communicator and values everybody's time. He is appreciative and wants to evolve as a person and a leader. I don't know who that CEO was, but I was proud of him! He even clearly understood that for him to have an energetic, healthy, inspired, and dedicated workforce, there needs to be a work-life balance. "Well, not taking more of your time! Share the good news, and we'll talk more on Monday, 2 pm! Now home! Thanks again, and enjoy the weekend! My best to Carol, too!"  And so, thank you! That quick incident at the airport prompted me to write about authentic and efficient leadership style, which is the root and base for successful project management - among other very good things. What Is Project Management Really? To manage a project is to implement processes, methods, skills, knowledge, and experience - all to achieve specific project objectives in accordance with the project acceptance criteria and agreed parameters. People, time, money, and materials are arranged in a "purpose-built flow." It involves identifying and defining the project's scope, setting goals and objectives, allocating resources, and developing a timeline and budget. Monitoring and controlling the project's progress is crucial. The ultimate goal of project management is to deliver, within the given framework, a successful project that meets or even - in the best-case scenario - exceeds stakeholders' expectations. This requires authentic, strong leadership and effective project management. Followed by excellent communication, swift and good problem-solving skills, and the ability to manage risks; all of these are vitally important. When the leadership is agile and adapts to changes in a timely manner, collaboration with diverse stakeholders becomes smooth and well-managed. Let's dig deeper into the following topics: What is authentic leadership, and what characteristics does an authentic leader possess? What is effective leadership, and which are the key traits of effective leaders? The power of authentic and effective leadership in project management How to develop an authentic and effective leadership style The Benefits of an Authentic Leadership Style Authentic leadership differs from other leadership styles in several ways. Authentic leadership is an approach that, first of all, emphasizes honesty and openness in all communication. Under that umbrella, we also find a realistic and up-to-date perspective, healthy self-awareness, and consistently sound and ethical behavior. To understand the contrast, other leadership styles may focus more on maintaining power and control, keeping a sense of distance, and a hierarchy that supports a self-important authority. Such a power-driven leadership style prioritizes achieving success at any cost. Inevitably - and sadly - the same unhealthy pattern will seep into the company's decision-making from the top down. Authentic leaders prioritize self-awareness and are committed to both their own personal and professional development and that of others. They are effective leaders who are genuine, sincere, and true to their values and beliefs, thus building trust, respect, and commitment in their employees. Through a realistic perspective and open communication, authentic leaders create an environment where people feel safe to share their ideas and concerns. The importance of empathy is emphasized since it is clear to them that the employees are the company's most valuable resource. What would a company be without its workforce? Authentic leaders also prioritize and encourage upholding ethical standards and accountability for themselves and others. Sir Richard Branson is an excellent example of an authentic leader. He founded Virgin Group and is widely known for his charismatic and authentic leadership style. His priority is to build strong relationships with his team members and to empower his people to take risks and be innovative. Needless to say, these are essential traits in successful project management and leadership in general. Key Traits for Effective Leadership Effective leadership is the ability to inspire, motivate, and guide a group of individuals toward a shared goal and/or vision. A keen and insightful own-field expertise, sensible interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence, are great power-tools for the task. Effective leaders have a clear and compelling vision for the future. They are strategic thinkers and skillful communicators who can, in a comprehensible way, articulate their visions. Equally, effective leaders clearly communicate goals, expectations, timelines, and gained progress, to all involved. Such able leaders actively listen to their team members and can provide and receive feedback and guidance in a constructive and supportive manner. They can analyze strategic information and swiftly make informed decisions leading to positive outcomes. Effective leaders adjust and adapt strategies to changing circumstances or unexpected challenges. These “super-leaders” look for continuous improvement, which requires excellent problem-solving skills. Their high emotional intelligence makes them skillful team-builders, and