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5 Examples of Project Leadership

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Project leadership is the process of influencing stakeholders, clearing issues and defeating resistance to change. Leadership is typically viewed as being independent of formal authority. As such, projects are an opportunity for all stakeholders to lead change. The following are examples of project leadership.

Project Manager

A project manager who steps beyond the process of planning and controlling a project to influence stakeholders to make reasonable decisions that will not derail the project. For example, a stakeholder may insist that a highly complex and questionable function is absolutely required for the project to launch. A project manager who can influence the stakeholder to drop this demand may greatly reduce the risks associated with the project and increase its likelihood of success.

Project Sponsor

A project sponsor who pays attention to the project to ensure that requirements are solid and who uses their position to clear issues.

Change Manager

The formal practice of leading projects is known as change management. This role is best assigned to an executive with significant formal authority such as a project sponsor. The change manager sells change to the organization and identifies and sidelines those who stand in the way of the project. Likewise, change managers give power and support to agents of change. In other words, change management defeats resistance to change by making a project a career opportunity and threat.

Team Leaders

Members of project teams who step up to make sure work is completed. In some cases, those assigned to lead teams try to derail a project and need to be sidelined. Leaders may emerge within the team who deliver the work and clear issues such that leadership may change over the course of the project. This reflects the social and competitive nature of leadership that is independent of position and title.

Program Management

Program management requires true leaders who have some sense of vision such that they can sanity check the direction of projects and steer them clear of failure. Change management, or the leadership of projects that expect political issues, is a core competency for program managers.
Overview: Project Leadership
The process of influencing stakeholders, clearing issues and defeating resistance to change to deliver a project.
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Project Leadership

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Sanity Check
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