Importance of Leadership for a Project Manager

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The project manager plays a crucial role in the success of any project. He/She leads the project team to meet its objectives and the stakeholders' expectations while bridging the gap between different groups and other stakeholders in-house or remotely.

A large part of the project manager's role involves dealing with people. He/She should strive to be a good leader because leadership is crucial to the success of any project in an organization and to bring out the full potential of the team members. A recent PMI study focuses on leadership as one of the vital skill sets needed by a project manager to lead the team, coordinate with different groups, and achieve business objectives Such skills could be gained through, for instance, gaining certification in agile project management

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Leadership skills involve guiding, motivating, supporting, directing, and managing remote teams or in-house. These skills may include demonstrating essential capabilities such as negotiation, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. In my experience, every leader is a project manager, but not every project manager can be a good leader. 

So, what is it that takes to become a good leader? Here are some valuable tips: 

Strong Communication with the team- 

  • A project manager spends most of the time communicating with the team. It includes:

  • Giving clear instructions and describing the objectives and tasks of any project. 

  •  Setting the expectations and timelines for the team and stakeholders to be followed and managed.

  •  Providing information about the roles and responsibilities of everyone in a project/team to avoid any conflict or concerns.

  •  Give the team regular and constructive feedback to improvise and appreciate their work.

Mutual understanding, trust, and acceptance result in positivity. The work-from-home culture has forced project managers to ask their team if they are facing any challenges or have feedback for their manager.

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Being empathetic 

A good leader shows empathy understands the feelings/thoughts of the team and takes an interest in finding out the challenges they face. It enables an excellent leader to help them and find ways to create a win-win situation for everyone. Building a well-equipped team is imperative for startups, and enterprises. For example, once, one of my team members was nervous during the demo, so I tried calming him down. Talking to him, I could understand what made him uncomfortable; therefore, I offered him help. Also, sharing your experiences in a similar situation help boost your team members' confidence. 


It includes:

  • Watching your tone and speech while talking to your subordinates or giving them feedback.

  • Being honest, transparent, and friendly lets the team know that mistakes are common and that learning from them or offering advice/support is essential.

  • It helps your teammates trust you, and your kindness helps them deal with a bad situation and makes you a good leader.

  • Also, giving people time and space to perform your teammates makes you earn their respect.

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It helps in motivating your employees. For example, when a project has limited time, a good leader comes up with various ways to achieve the project's target by quickly motivating the team to work hard and remain positive.


  • A leader works with the team and external and internal stakeholders closely.

  • He/She listens and brainstorms with the team to find strategies and approaches to accomplish the goals and solve the problems. This in turn builds a positive workplace culture leading to higher employee retention

Building trust with the team

It works wonders if faith is mutual between you and your team. Any challenging task is possible as your team supports you even during odd hours.

It includes:

  • Guiding, supporting, and building a relationship with each individual in the team.

  • Solving their concerns.

  • Take suggestions from your team.

  • Letting them know that they can ask for help or approach you whenever needed. 

  • Being helpful and taking care of your team will quickly build trust with your team.

Identifying strengths and weaknesses

Motivation and rewards


It is about not being rigid and focusing on doing the right things. For example, if a team member suggests another approach that will benefit the company in the long run but requires minimal changes. In that case, you must be open to it or approve leaves if the overall project timeline will not suffer or be managed, etc. In that case, you must be open to it or approve leaves if the overall project timeline will not suffer or be managed. Implementing effective time management skills ensures that essential tasks are prioritized, and deadlines are met efficiently, maintaining the team's momentum and productivity.


Although project management is different from leadership, a successful project manager can develop leadership skills to become an effective leader. Organizations today need successful project managers. Understanding the difference between project management and leadership will enable project managers to utilize their innovative and creative skills to complement their project management abilities. Hence, every project manager leader knows there's always room for improvement. After all, they are at the top of the ladder because they are willing to climb in this competitive business world.

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Topics : Remote Teams, Product management

Neha Kapur

Written by Neha Kapur

Neha is working as a Senior Project Manager with Classic Informatics and has over 13 years of experience in Project management and product management. An avid reader who loves traveling and is a fitness enthusiast.

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