PROJECT MANAGEMENT - Leadership
The title is leadership and not manager-ship. When we deal with Project Management, it is mostly managing and not leading. If so, why leadership is being introduced here. Let us first of all state dictionary meanings of a manager and a leader:
Manager: 'A person controlling or administering a business.'
Leader: 'A person who causes others to go with him, by guiding and showing the way; guides by persuasion and argument.'
Manager as a leader
As a manager had to deal with many workers and he just cannot keep an eye over each of them. He, therefore, tries to become a leader and motivate his juniors towards a common goal. According to John Sculley, leadership revolves around visions, ideas, direction and has more to do with inspiring people as to direction and goals than with day to day implementation.
To sum up: a manager basically directs resources to complete predetermined goals or projects while a leader within a company develops individuals and motivates them to do the same tasks. A manager is more of a leader than a manager.
Stock holders versus Stakeholders
A manager cannot work in isolation. He has to deal with outsiders. One day, he may hear people protesting outside the factory for fear of pollution: noise, smoke and waste water. Another day, he may turn-on the TV and a documentary about his company accusing for over-invoicing or import of an old and obsolete plant. All these outsiders have some interest in the project and are termed as “stake-holders” as opposed to “stockholders” who have actually invested in the factory.
Who are stockholders?
The stockholder is provider of capital, the owner, and the profiteer of a corporation. Their role is that of financial investor, in that they lend their current capital with expectations of the return of greater capital in the future.
Who are stakeholders?
The stakeholder is anyone who has a vested interest in the performance of the company. This includes everyone involved in the successful running of the corporation, such as employees, customers, and the community and suppliers.
When dealing with outsider, a person would be more successful as a leader than as a manager. A manager commands but a leader persuades. By stepping into leaders’ shoes, one can convince outsiders that the company had already taken precautions to reduce the noise to bare minimum level, smoke and waste water would be treated before the release into sewer system. As to TV reporting, one can come up with the valid documents relating to price and state of machinery removing all doubts.
How a particular manager handle a specific situation depends on his or her style of management. Management Books contain five different styles:
- Country Club Style
- Improvished Style
- Team Style
- Produce or Perish Style
- Middle of the Road Style
However, these can be reduced into two extremes. Autocratic and Permissive. An autocratic makes all decisions without consulting others. On the other hand, in the permissive style, subordinates are encouraged to take part in decision making and also are given autonomy in carrying out the jobs.
An autocratic manager does not tolerate any short-coming, believes in rules and logics, stresses for uniformity and seeks directions from seniors in hierarchy. On the other hand, a permissive manager is job oriented, stresses work not rules, gives freedom for performing work and calls for accountability if performance is not up to mark.
DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT STYLE FOR DIFFERENT SITUATIONS
It must be pointed that autocracy and permissiveness are two extremes. A manager should play his or her role in between these two extremes depending upon a particular situation. Here are four situations:
- When employees are not in position to do the job or are deliberately avoiding the job responsibility, the must be told to do the in a particular way, in a given time frame else action be taken against them. This is termed as “TELLING”.
- When employees are willing and have necessary know-how, the work may be delegated to them. This is termed as “DELEGATING”.
- A situation may arise when employees have the necessary skill but need some support. This is known as “PARTICIPATING”.
- Another style, “SELLING” works best when employees do not know how to do it but are willing to perform.
MANAGEMENT BY WANDERING AROUND (MBWA)
- Normally, a manager sits in private office and no one can barge in without a node from his or her personal staff.
- But it is better to have “Face to Face” interaction with employees by going to them while they are working. In this way, a manager would stay in touch and building cooperative relationships with the juniors.
- Also called promoters, developers, original financiers and entrepreneurs.
SOCIAL NETWORK BUILDING
Identification of those on whom the project depends for success.
- Whose cooperation will we need?
- Whose agreement and approval will be need?
- Whose opposition would keep us from accomplishing the project?
- An employee who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.
- When an idea flops, an entrepreneurs loses his capital while an intrapreneur loses his job.
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