Becoming a leader to your project team is the goal of any
project manager. By doing such a thorough, complete job of leading the team,
inspiring the individuals you’ll be working with, and seeing every task through
to completion, the people on the project team will wonder what they ever did
One aspect of becoming a leader as an independent project manager
that may be a challenge for you is communication. You need to stress to the
project team that communication to management in regard to the project needs to
flow through you. Often what happens is the project team finds it very easy to
bypass the project manager and report trouble directly to management.
Ultimately, this usurps the authority of the project manager, and the project
team fails to see the project manager as the leader.
To circumvent this disaster, the project manager must stress from
day one the channel of communication about issues on the project. If at all
possible, you should speak with the project sponsor about the flow of
communication and secure his support. When the project sponsor introduces you to
the team, he should also indicate that you are running the show. Everything
about the project should flow through you.
Successful independent project managers generally make great
leaders because they have a natural ability to get things done. They are not
afraid of working extra hours, helping a team member with any task necessary, or
meeting with immediate management or the CEO. Great leaders lead by doing.