The narrow-minded focus that was so prevalent in past generations regarding leadership has gradually given way, partially in thanks to neuroscience and a better understanding of the human psyche, to a new type of leadership. Passion helps drive and inspire people to create and innovate, and this passion has a prominent place in modern leadership styles.
Taking a closer look at project leadership
While producing the Make Me A Leader Documentary, I had an enlightening conversation with Maurizio Floris, Program Director - John Grill Centre for Project Leadership in Sydney. We discussed the qualities that major project leaders should possess. The ‘old-school’ leadership styles of the past simply can’t compete in the global economies of today, which are faster and more connected than ever.
Floris believes that while working on projects, you will inevitably work with different people during the different stages of the project. You’ll have to adjust to new cultures, new ideas, and continually rebuild the sense of team. In our discussion, Floris touched on three qualities important for project leaders.
- The ability to work with lots of different people. As the project grows and changes and develops, new talent may be needed. As a leader, you must be able to welcome new people and embrace their ideas and thoughts and needs. Being adaptable and agile is critical during times of change, and a strong leader can hold everyone together to meld a new team.
- Resilience, and the ability to change your position. As you hear new thoughts and ideas, your own view of the outcome may change. This isn’t a bad thing! This type of dialogue can lead to new innovations. But you have to recognise when changes should be made, and you have to be ready to ‘go with the flow.’
- Bring your passion. Project management can be extremely intense. Building and forming a new team in the midst of the process can challenge even the best leaders. But, if you are passionate about what you are doing, and you encourage others to feel and share their own passion, you will accomplish things that weren’t
“If you can bring passion to your work, others will sense it, and it will generate higher energy and commitment.”
As A Leader Are you doing everything you can to Help others in your business?
While many leaders are often project leaders some of the time, you are still a manager of people and resources. As a leader, there are three things that you can do to ensure that your leadership style is productive and allows for creativity
- Work towards a purpose. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day business. It’s easy to get bogged down by emails, and spreadsheets, and daily reports. But, every so often take a step back and look at the big picture. Are you still working toward your goals, or has your course shifted a bit? If so, take some time to adjust how you function at work to get back on track.
- Work with other people. You can’t do it all alone! Build up a group of people around you that you can trust to make important decisions. While you may be the ‘head boss,’ you don’t have superpowers (sorry!) and you can’t chug along forever. Eventually, you’ll need a break. Don’t wait until a break-down occurs; line people up ahead of time so that you know things will continue to operate smoothly.
- Think about how you can do things differently. In our modern Imagination Age, ‘change’ is kind of the magic word, isn’t it? Computers, technology, modern medicine, all of these things have brought great changes. Why not look at your leadership style and see if you can make some changes as well. A reassessment every once in a while is a healthy way to ensure that you are meeting the leadership needs of your organisation.
If you are finding yourself just ‘getting by,’ it’s time to find yourself again
If you aren’t enjoying your work, and you have lost that spark of joy and passion that led you to your position, perhaps you need to recharge and think about what your goals are. People want to follow leaders who have that spark, and it’s difficult to inspire your employees when you don’t feel the passion! As a leader, you have to admit when it’s time to work on yourself.