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Leadership – the project challenge

Leadership, as well as being a hot topic generally, has a particular relevance to projects because managing people is critical to the success or failure of major change programmes. Although there are many kinds of leader and many models of leadership, our experience shows that within a project environment the best leaders have an open and flexible style of management. They communicate well and coach their people to perform at their best: a model described as far back as 1978 by James MacGregor Burns.
This leadership style has been used by governments and companies for many years. But our experience of change programmes convinces us that projects particularly lend themselves to this style of leadership. This is because here the results of being managed well are immediately visible. Hand-picked (and often talent-spotted) individuals are responsive, providing instant feedback to leaders, milestones come up regularly and quickly, metrics track the success or otherwise of the project at every step of the way.
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