Teams and Projects Team Leaders Make Great Project Managers By James Cortes | May 19, 2019 Interested in a career as a project manager? If a career in the creative arts or a tech start-up is appealing, a Bachelor of Administration degree from a creative arts college might be right for you. Historically, the main quality or skill of great project managers is being a good team leader. Becoming an effective leader involves innovative thinking and having excellent management skills, which you can learn by applying your creativity to real-world projects. Working on projects in the creative industry helps you to develop analytical skills, the attitude of an entrepreneur and the ability to enhance effective collaboration within a team. What is a Team Leader? A team leader is a person designated to oversee a group of their co-workers to ensure that they achieve a specific goal. The leader must effectively guide, direct, and support each member of the group so that they can complete the project tasks to which they're assigned. The leader acts as a resource manager, assists in solving problems, communicates with each team member, motivates members to complete tasks, and periodically checks on the performance of each co-worker to ensure that the project is done on schedule. If a team member isn't achieving their potential and disciplinary action is required, it's usually handled by the project manager's supervisor. Teams always function most effectively when they have information regarding: Goals – the benchmarks a worker must achieve to successfully complete a project within a set deadline. Goals should include a clear and detailed plan of action. Mission – the overall goal of the team, what product or service will be provided, the target market and any geographical limitations. Objective – the reason for completing the task or project. Purpose – a summary of the goals and an introduction to the project giving an accurate understanding of what the project will cover and what the co-workers will gain from it. The team leader must communicate the importance of the work standards applied by the company, as well as the responsibilities and expectations the company has of each team member. Whenever the company establishes new procedures or revises current policies, the team must be advised so that they can successfully complete their tasks. Sharing information with everyone on the team is the most effective way to identify and resolve any problems. If any members of the team are not doing their part to ensure the successful completion of the project, it effects productivity. Situations like this are why critical and innovative thinking skills and strong management abilities are essential to a good team leader. If the team leader cannot find a way to resolve an issue on their own to keep the project on track, they must discuss the issues with their manager to find a solution. A successful team leader must have innovative management skills, monitor, and manage all the resources used in the project and communicate with all outside suppliers. The team leader must ensure that all the resources needed are always available or find viable alternatives, so that the project remains on schedule. Everyone needs motivation occasionally, and it's up to the team leader to motivate and encourage the members of the team. When people on the team feel that they're a valuable asset, it encourages them to work more productively. The team leader is responsible for establishing the time frame for each part of the project to be completed. They need excellent communication skills so that everyone on the team is aware of their deadlines. A team leader must be able to provide feedback on the progress of the project, and advise the team when there is a change in course. The team leader must stress the importance of work being up to standard and on time. Skills a Team Leader Must Possess Visionary Insight A reliable and effective team leader will have a distinct vision of the final results of their project. When the leader is passionate about the direction they want their project to take, everyone on the team will share their enthusiasm. Organization Successful team leadership requires excellent organizational skills. Everyone on the team is required to complete specific tasks, and the leader must be responsible for delegating those tasks. Each person is responsible for completing their portion of the project, and it's up to the leader to make sure that they're contributing, and that everything is on schedule. Creativity Creative skills are essential to every successful team leader. Projects don't always progress as anticipated, and it's up to the leader to think outside the box when unusual circumstances arise. The leader must encourage everyone on the team to use their creativity to solve problems. Communication Skills Excellent communication skills allow a team to work together successfully. The team leader must be able to communicate in such a way that each member of the team is aware of their specific duties and deadlines. Listening Skills To be an excellent team leader, one must always listen to the opinions and concerns of everyone on the team before making decisions about how aspects of the project should be handled. The leader should get everyone's opinion and analyze all the information before coming to a conclusion. One never knows where a great idea may originate. Interpersonal Ability A great team leader must understand that people possess various behavior patterns and not everyone communicates in the same way. Interpersonal skills are an asset; especially when getting a shy or reluctant individual to share their thoughts and ideas with rest of the group. The leader must also be ready to mediate disagreements and motivate everyone to stay on track. Effective Time Management It is up to the team leader to make sure that everyone is managing their time effectively and staying on track with their individual tasks so that the project is a success. Excellent time management skills increase everyone's productivity. Negotiation Skills A good team leader will analyze and integrate each team member’s proposals, actions and ideas about the direction in which the project should go. Some actions may be implemented immediately; others may require further negotiation. The team leader must know how to negotiate with everyone involved in the project, including outside resources that may be necessary to the project’s ultimate success. Qualities of a Team Leader Team leaders and project managers can learn leadership skills in a Bachelor of Business Management degree program. To be successful as a team leader, certain desirable qualities are a must. The leader of the team should be able to treat all team members fairly and with kindness. The leader should have integrity so that they do what they say they will do and do not change the game plan at the last minute. They should treat everyone on the team as equals. The most successful project managers must have outstanding leadership skills in order to succeed in the global marketplace. Hiring the most competent team members and ensuring that their teams are motivated and inspired by their team manager can ensure high performance and an excellent record of delivering successful projects. The project manager/team leader has the most significant role within the creative process of a team and must manage every phase of the project by ensuring that every member of the team understands their role and what's expected of them throughout the entire project. Did learning how team leaders make great project managers interest you? If so, learn more about the Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Project Management offered at Cogswell College. With the degree in project management, students learn how to manage the commercial power of creativity and technology, and practice thinking strategically and conceptually to find innovative solutions to today's business challenges. Lead your team to success in managing creative industry projects. You’ll simulate the role of a project manager as you learn how to analyze finances, recruit talent and pitch an idea as you develop top-tier business skills for the creative industry and beyond. Cogswell College is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today.