Lead Don’t Boss

It does no one any harm to re-visit past lessons and all Project Managers need to be constantly aware that they are leading their workforce and not simply bossing or coercing them to do things. So, it’s time now to remind you of the importance of the “lead don’t boss” philosophy behind all good PMs. The essence of that philosophy is really quite simple – anyone can ensure that they achieve the required objectives in a project by dominating the workforce, but by leading the workforce you will also enjoy greater productivity from them.

Think about your objectives.

You don't have to boss your workforce into doing things!

Still not convinced? Still want to be an old fashioned unreconstructed PM? Think on this then – as the PM, your aim is to get the project finished on time and in budget. To achieve that aim you have a series of objectives by which you will measure your progress toward that aim. However, do you merely want to reach that aim or do you want to reach it with a maximum of cost efficiency? Well, to truly impress the project owners, delivering the project on time and with a great degree of cost efficiency is one sure way to do this. Remember that for all sorts of reasons the project owners might not be that impressed if you deliver the project ahead of schedule, whereas attaining the project with a maximum of cost efficiency, or cost savings, will do. Achieving this is down, in turn, to getting the maximum of efficiency out of your staff – and to do that they have to want to work for you, not just see their job in terms of a monthly pay check.

Always look to improve as a leader.

Already being aware of what makes a good leader is one thing, always remembering to apply the requisite leadership skills to gain the maximum of efficiency from your staff is quite another. Therefore, you must always be analyzing your style of leadership and seeing where you can refine and improve your leadership skills. One way to do this is to periodically check for online leadership quizzes and articles through which, whilst doing them or reading through them, you can assess just how good your leadership style has been over the recent period. Remember too that a good leader is always a good listener. Listen to your staff and the concerns they have and especially to any suggestions they might have regarding how to improve their own efficiency – it’s not just down to you to come up with the innovative/creative ideas!