As a project manager, you should also be a good leader. Keep in mind that everything about the project from its formulation to its evaluation are made possible by people specifically your team members, thus, emphasizing the importance of your effective leadership.

But like all aspects of project management, becoming a good leader requires knowledge and skill gained from attending courses on leadership, passion for and practice in leadership, and even talent for leadership. Keep these traits in mind as you gain all of these things that contribute to your ability to lead your team well and, in the process, establishing your reputation.

Honesty in All Dealings

Project managers will do well in adopting the motto of an international civic organization: Be honest even when others are not, cannot, and will not. Honesty may be an overlooked, even ridiculed, trait in any dog-eat-dog industry but project managers should cultivate a reputation for being honest men and women despite the situations that encourage dishonesty.

Why? This is because one of the most important elements in effective leaders, namely, trust is based on honesty. When people know that you are honest with your dealings with them, they are more likely to put their full trust in your leadership. With their trust, you are more likely to encourage them to do their best for the team and project.

Effective Communication Skills

Again, the success of a project depends on the success of people in the full performance of their roles and responsibilities. In turn, people depend on their leader’s ability to communicate the wide range of subjects regarding the project including but not limited to its goals, schedule and budget as well as the roles and responsibilities of each member and the parameters for performance evaluation. People will also depend on their leader to encourage them when the going gets tough, to provide them with solutions to issues, and to resolve conflicts, among others.

All of these require your ability to effectively communicate with your team members. The clearer your communication with them, the better for your leadership of the group.

Strong Commitment

The best project managers show commitment to the team, the project and its goals, and the profession. This is because commitment shows that you are passionate about what you do, thus, making your team members see that, indeed, you are leading them by example – and there’s no other better way to lead than by example.

By showing your commitment, you will earn your team member’s respect and trust, two aspects of good leadership that underlines your success regardless of the project’s goals. Your commitment will also encourage them to work harder and smarter so that your common goal will be achieved within schedule and budget. Just keep your word and your team members will also be encouraged to keep theirs.

Personal and Professional Confidence

People are more likely to follow a confident leader who acts and speaks like he knows what he is doing without being arrogant about it. Keep in mind that confidence should come from actually knowing what to do, why and how to do it, and when and where to do it, usually from your education, training and experience. Always remember, too, that confidence should not be an excuse to stop listening to the opinions, ideas and thoughts of your team members for, indeed, you don’t possess all the knowledge and skills in the world.

Your personal and professional confidence is also essential for maintaining your team’s morale. Your team members will look at your apparent confidence in finding the right solutions to the issues, conflicts and concerns that can derail the project. Your ability to stay calm despite the pressures will also encourage confidence among your team members to keep them working for the project’s progress.

Positive Attitude

With your positive attitude in the office, your team members will want to be in the office, too. Keep the office environment surrounded with positive energy and allow your team members to work in it, thus, keeping them motivated towards working for the team’s success. Keeping a good balance between productivity and playfulness in the office will make everybody happy to work for you, even when it requires overtime work.

Ability to Delegate

As a project manager, your main job is managing all the aspects of the project instead of performing all the tasks in it – with emphasis on management. You simply cannot do it all because then you will be stretching yourself too thinly and, in the process, jeopardize the project. You cannot micromanage because it is counterproductive to both yourself and your team members.

The ability to delegate is then an important part of being an effective leader. With your team members delivering on their deliverables (i.e., performing their roles and responsibilities), you can focus on high-level tasks that requires your personal attention for success, as is the case with negotiations with stakeholders. You should capitalize on your team member’s strengths by delegating tasks that they are most likely to excel in, which will contribute to the team’s overall success.

Ability to Inspire

A good leader is a visionary. You should be able to inspire your team members to share in your vision of success for the project and, thus, for their personal and professional accomplishments. You must allow them to own a piece of the project or to feel a sense of ownership over the project so that they are invested in its success.

Sense of Humour

And then you should also have a sense of humour even as you maintain an aura of gravitas in your personality as a leader. Your sense of humour can ease the tension in a conflict, ease the awkwardness in new situations, and ease the transition between phases in the project, as well as inject a sense of playfulness among your team members. Just remember that your sense of humour should not be applied in all instances because gravitas is the more important trait in most situations related to the project.

Ultimately, being a good leader-cum-project manager requires a balance between being the leader on one hand and being the mentor and friend on the other hand for your team members.