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What it Takes to Lead

More than a Word

Leadership is a term that’s thrown around so much that it’s almost lost its meaning; but what is leadership, really? What does it mean to lead—both in the respect of a team and of a project? When you get down to it, the definition isn’t one that comes easily or readily. In this blog post, Brad Engeland provides a deeper look at an overused word, giving us both an understanding and insight as to what makes a leader.

His first point on what it takes to lead is the need to embrace change. After all, project leadership is all about a constant drive to “do better”. Flexibility (in order to make doing better a possibility) is essential, as is effective communication: 

Communication is not just giving effective presentations; it is also listening to the “want to hears” and the “need to hears.” It requires communicating laterally and vertically in a manner that is open and engenders trust. It means being open and honest at all times-that is, creating an atmosphere of trust, where hidden agendas and dishonesty have no place. All decisions and behaviours are of the highest ethical standards, in order to ensure credibility and trustworthiness up, down, and across the chain of command.

A Constant Focus on Goals

Another important point that leadership requires is a constant focus on project goals and the “ability to motivate those around you”. If you’re not able to keep the goal of the project in mind—and be able to communicate that goal in such a way that it becomes the goal of your whole team—you’re not a project leader.

A project leader knows how to communicate, why, and when it has the most impact—they choose who to communicate to and inspire, what efforts are constructive and which are detrimental, and most of all they have a rock-solid belief that each action has an impact on overall success.

Read the full article here: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/what-it-takes-to-lead-part-1.php

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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