If you answered, “it’s the project manager”, you might not necessarily be right! While the project manager directs and coordinates processes and resources, he or she might not be a true leader of the project.
“So, who is the project leader?” you might ask. A project leader is a person who works primarily with people rather than the organization and structure of a project. He or she sets visions rather than objectives, motivates rather than directs, and assists in providing focus to the entire project team. And while it is said that a project manager focuses on doing things right, the project leader will focus on doing the right things.
Project management ensures that processes run effectively, while project leadership starts change. It inspires and motivates people to become innovators, creating new products and ideas, and connects the entire team to a collective project vision. So does this mean that a project manager can’t be a project leader? Quite the opposite!
Becoming a good project manager starts from being a good leader. Having the ability to inspire and motivate others is crucial in project management. Project managers these days have access to some of the best and most efficient tools which assist them in organizing and structuring their projects, but without leadership skills delivering a successful project might prove to be quite a challenging task.
Think about this; are you a project manager or a project leader? Why not be both!