Project Management Institute

Project leadership

understanding and consciously choosing your style

Quality leadership has been shown to be the most important characteristic of an effective project manager. However, effective leadership is not easy to define or pinpoint with a blanket description. The two key questions leaders need to ask themselves are: Whom do I ask? and Who makes the decision? Due to the importance of leadership qualities in a project manager, the Jerrell/Slevin Leadership Instrument can be used to characterize a project manager's leadership style. The four main leadership styles are: autocrat, consultative autocrat, consensus manager, and shareholder manager. These styles take participation, delegation, situational leadership, and leader personality into account to determine a person's style of management. Understanding their leadership style can help project managers match leadership style to the situation, as there is not any one style that fits best with every situation. A case study is presented.
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