Part of what made Jobs so successful was his constant push to keep projects moving while communicating with his team to ensure they were working toward a shared vision. He didn’t want to just make a phone — he wanted to change the way people thought of phones.
Using these cornerstones, managers can focus and motivate their team to get projects completed on schedule.
Regular meetings avoid wasting time with long email chains. They avoid the redundancy of having to address the same concerns multiple times. Ambitious deadlines push everyone beyond their comfort zones and compensate for unexpected delays.
There’s a big difference between listening and understanding, and mistaking the two can be the difference between an effective project manager and an inadequate one. Make sure you understand everyone on your team — and make sure they understand you.
Inspiring your team is vital for effective project management. This is particularly true when employees need to make unexpected changes on something they spent months developing.
The easiest way to inspire your team is perhaps the most obvious: get to know each of them, discover their goals and where they want to be in three years. Help them move toward that place, and get in their way.
Structure, understanding and inspiration depend on the one irreplaceable management skill: communication. No matter what type of project you’re working on or what industry you work in, communication is the only way to succeed. There are different methods for being an effective communicator, but if you aren’t reaching your team, you’re not going to succeed.
The best way to get through to your team is to be genuine. If you stress accountability and a shared vision, don’t let anyone slide on those principles. Be someone your team can depend on and look to for guidance.
Ultimately, people will judge you on the project’s outcome. If you don’t reach your goals, it doesn’t matter how inspirational you were or how many meetings you had. The only thing that matters in the end is the result. As a leader, you need a team behind you that’s focused and reliable. Once you have that, it’s up to you to motivate them and drive the project through to completion.