Ronald Kister’s career in information technology spans more than fifteen years, half of which were spent managing IT departments and budgets. He’s had successful spearheading, implementing and supporting application systems in complex environments. On multiple occasions, he’s been handed the leadership on tech projects. This experience has helped him understand some of the qualities necessary for good project leadership.
“I have a led a variety of successful IT acquisitions and subsequent technology integration projects,” he says.
What qualities are essential for a project leader?
Ability to inspire a vision
An effective leader has a vision for himself and his team and articulates it well. Visionaries are open to change and often thrive in dynamic environments. A project manager also has to be inspirational – giving his team reason for working hard and making them feel part of the project. Such leaders motivate individuals to experience the vision and own it.
Excellent communication skills
Being able to communicate with people at any level is an important skill for project managers. You have to able to clearly communicate goals, performance, expectations and responsibilities to team members.
Lots of focus is placed on directness and transparency. As the project leader, you are the team’s link to the operating environment. You should have the necessary persuasion and negotiation skills to ensure project success.
Commitment to ethical practices
Project leaders must remember that their actions, not words, set the tone for the rest of the team. Effective leadership demands not just a commitment but also a demonstration of integrity and honesty. You are responsible for creating the standards, living by them, and also rewarding people who exemplify these standards. You earn people’s trust when you walk the talk.
Ronald Kister has been an independent computer consultant and applications instructor since 2013.