The project manager as a leader

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

Leadership is a highly valued skill. As Quincy already states in his quote, it takes a lot to be a good leader. But what makes a good leader? People seek for more information on how to become an effective and good leaders. However, this question is not easily answered. In order to satisfy their curiosity people often took a look into human history to learn more about charismatic people. Napoleon Bonaparte, the first emperor of France, Martin Luther King, Leader of the Civil Rights Movement Martin Luther King or tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs are famous examples. These persons still have a lot of influence on our world today.

Many people believe that learning leadership skills is the key to improve their personal, social and professional lives. Companies especially seek for employees with leadership skills because they want to profit from their competence and thus improve the whole company.

Leadership is a topic with wide appeal because of its complexity. So far, much has been written about leadership. It has been turned out a major challenge to researchers to find the true nature of leadership. This phenomenon is very complex. A review of the scholar studies on leadership shows that there is a wide variety of different theoretical approaches to explain the complexities of the leadership process. Some researchers describe leadership as a trait or behaviour, whereas others view leadership from an information processing perspective or relational standpoint.

Using both qualitative and quantitative methods and conducting research on both smaller groups and larger organizations. The research findings lead to some interesting results comprehend the leadership phenomenon. They provide a picture of a process that is far more sophisticated and complex than the simple view presented in some popular books on leadership.

Throughout the years, leadership has been defined and conceptualized in many ways. The main point in most classifications is that leadership is an influence process that assists groups of individuals in attaining their goals. Both followers and leaders are part of the process. Therefore they should be understood in relation to each other. It is also very important to address issues that confront both followers and leaders.

Nowadays, as countries and companies become interconnected through globalization, there is a new need for a different approach of intercultural leadership. Employees more and more have a different multicultural background. Through technological development the borders melt constantly. The Internet gave mankind the ability to be connected and to communicate with software like Skype or the WhatsApp Messenger. And these international teams cause new problems because of their different mentalities and their different views on management and attitude to work.

Cultural intelligence means the ability to interact properly with people from different cultural backgrounds. Leaders need to understand and become competent in cross-cultural awareness and practice. To sum up, today’s leaders need to develop a whole range of competencies and skills if they want to be successful in the globalized world of project management.

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