Among the challenges project managers face is how to lead. I once heard someone say, “a good project manager is one that knows how to lead the team without getting in the way.” But really, it’s more about enabling the team to do its job by being a partner. I say that because I’ve spent the last part of my career in the agile space, which lends itself to that type of management. It also pushes the conversation away from project management to resource management.
A typical IT project manager is put into a position of ensuring that tasks are completed and projects get put into production, within budget. They don’t always have the true power to get all that done, especially when it comes to resources. In that context, how do you succeed as leader? Without getting in the way of your team?
Partner with your team. You can sit alongside of them, guide them, protect them from red tape and politics, and empower them to do their job. Help the team figure out what they need to do, then enable them to do it. Keep your eyes open for potential external issues, like those politics, and provide solutions in a proactive manner. Better yet, solve issues before they reach the team. Provide proper visibility to ensure the team is getting proper recognition as well.
Partnering with a team builds a level of trust, and that in turns creates true leadership.