Considering my 10+ years’ journey in IT project management, I attempted concluding 10 bullet points that plays significant role in highlighting a manager as an effective and favorite leader and not just a dictator:
1. Walk along with your team, don’t sit above them.
Don’t take the center stage, rather be on the stage together and let your attitude shine on its own. The common saying ‘Be the leader, not the manager.’ is a demonstrated truth. Accept it.
2. Tell the team what you want to achieve and be open to their suggestions.
Rather than dictating them how to solve the problem, put the problem in front of them and they will come up with enthusiastic solution approaches. Put your experience in practice after that and choose the best one.
3. Listen to and understand each one’s individual difficulties and issues.
Everyone is a human like you are and everyone has to deal with similar problems like you have to. Failing to understand and helping them finding the way in their hard time is not an example of a good human being, and yes, it will impact your project too…
4. Be a Self-Example. Take ownership and responsibilities. Be Brave.
Lead the team by setting up your own example. It’s the simplest way to build a team with qualities of ownership, commitment and discipline.
Be courageous in each situation. Make sure the fear does not take a victory over the truth.
5. Go with the Truth.
Whether it’s the team, the management or the client – even if it seems difficult, gather the courage to speak out the truth. Mistakes can happen by anyone. This will make you feel relaxed, clear your worries from finding more irrelevant shortcuts and you will able to focus more on how to resolve the problem.
6. Learn from Failures and make sure not to repeat the same defeat.
Your failures must be your biggest teacher for your next assignment. Keep track of defeat situations and how did they help in getting over other circumstances of similar sort.
7. Communicate in informal environment.
Work, work and work will saturate one’s productivity and efficiency level. Spare sometime to hangout. Many achievements have happened in informal environment.
8. Do Micro Management. Understand the difference between Planning and Detailed Planning.
Though this might seem difficult considering multiple tasks in your hand, spend time for micro planning specially during each project kick-off. This will be helpful in getting hold of your new project and you will able to add remarkable significance.
Try understanding roots of technical complexities as well so you can contribute effectively at techno-management level.
9. Compete with your own self.
Never believe in unethical competition with others. The best way to progress is to surround yourself with positive circumstances, people with higher skills and great values, encouraging books and knowledge sharing internet materials.
Acquire the attitude of giving, forgiving, educating and donating. This will increase maturity.
10. Give credit and Motivate.
Project management > People management > Team management – all of these are closely coupled with one another. Clearly understand that project management less ‘I’ and more ‘WE’. Appreciate your team for good work, share good news with them and broadcast their appreciation with others.