8 Team Leadership Principles For Project Success by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Seeing any project through to completion requires a potent combination of team talent and wise management. If you wonder whether your own management style is conducive to success, consider the following eight leadership principles and then ask yourself how well you embody them.

1. Intellectual Curiosity

Leadership means, among other things, being relentlessly curious. It means asking questions, striking up conversations with people you don’t know, reading books about your industry and working every day to broaden your horizons.

It’s not hard to see how this fits into project success. As a leader, it’s important to recognize that there are almost always multiple paths to the same goal — and that keeping an open and collaborative mind is the key to finding them.

2. A Talent for Goal-Setting

Speaking of goals — team leaders need to know how to take big goals and distill them down into specific, actionable and time-bound tasks.

Whether your goal is to deploy a website for a client or launch a new product line into a worldwide marketplace, it won’t succeed if your people can’t visualize their piece of it in a way that’s immediately graspable and relatable. This is part of what made you fit for a leadership position in the first place — the ability to see the larger picture among the many separate parts.

3. Wise Delegation

The step after breaking down the project or vision into separate goals and tasks involves delegating each one to suitable team members. Knowing to delegate is a talent in its own right — but leaders also need to be wise about it.

This is where knowing your team comes in handy. And if you’re relatively new to this position, that’s okay too — it just means you need to communicate with your employees to see where their strengths and passions lie. The point is to delegate each piece of the puzzle to individuals whose interests and talents align with the task. Anything less will fail to inspire a sense of process ownership, which is essential if the project is to succeed.

3. Accountability

Project success requires each party to remain accountable for their own successes and failures. Mistakes and setbacks will happen, but we choose how we respond to them.

For instance, you’ll come across examples where leaders adopted a policy of rewarding success and failure alike. Why failure? Because when employees take a risk on a new idea in good faith, it means they pushed the envelope and exhibited fearless creativity. In fact, this has led to the development of several products that we take for granted today.

4. Respect

This should be the simplest leadership principle on this list to cultivate. But here’s a brief recap.

There are many faces to respect. One is a willingness to listen and engage with others cheerfully, even when you don’t agree with one another. There are other aspects, too, like learning how to accommodate employees who need a little more flexibility in their schedule, a different seating arrangement or any one of a hundred other things that might make their job or life more pleasant. As much as possible, respect and accommodate the diversity — and the diverse needs — of your team.

5. Mutual Trust

Leaders can have a tendency to micromanage their teams, especially when there are deadlines and company success on the line. But this can seriously undermine the trust in your workplace. Employees who feel their every move is scrutinized, or that there’s only one way to solve any given problem, won’t feel trusted. Soon after, they’ll disengage from the work and lose their drive to innovate, hustle and see their goals over the finish line. If your people feel trusted, they’ll trust you in turn.

6. Efficiency

What efficiency means, fundamentally, is doing more with less. This isn’t about multitasking — the jury’s out on multitasking, and the news isn’t good. In project management, efficiency could include respecting people’s time by tackling future action items when everybody’s in the room already, versus sending a round of emails or having another meeting later on. It means thinking ahead to the next process, task or goal and seeing if there’s groundwork you can begin laying while the “iron” is already “hot.” Efficiency isn’t about stacking tasks on top of each other. It’s about respecting time and resources and always thinking ahead to the next step.

7. Commitment To Diversity

Having a more diverse network or organization has a direct correlation with improved creativity. Diversity is something you can pursue in multiple ways as a leader — and you’ll be better for it, thanks to the resulting melting pot of perspectives and ideas. Pursuing diversity could mean offering onsite daycare for working mothers, seeking remote workers on distant shores, relaxing some of your experience and educational requirements in job listings, mixing internal promotions with outside hires and much more.

8. Passion

There are big swaths of our lives that we don’t get to choose for ourselves, beginning with where we’re born. But if you made it all the way into a leadership position, it means you made a number of decisions along the way. Hopefully, it also means you worked your way into an industry, a company, and a role that you enjoy and genuinely care about.

Your team members need to see that passion from you if you want to enjoy mutual success. To be sure, you’re all going to be asked to tackle projects and tasks that you won’t be 100% jazzed about. When that happens for you, and there’s a project hanging in the balance, remember what led you here in the first place — and channel your optimism, positivity and affinity with your work, and your people, into the task at hand. And then get it done.

May 7, 2019 at 11:31AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamcraig/2019/05/07/8-team-leadership-principles-for-project-success/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
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