6 Project Manager Leadership Style By PMBOK, Here’s The Factors!

By Meidiana Apriliani | Published On: 16 July 2021
6 Project Manager Leadership Style By PMBOK, Here’s The Factors!

Did you know that project managers have different leadership styles?

Project managers can lead projects and the teams they work with in many ways. These chosen methods then refer to the leadership style they bring. This leadership style can be personal, objective, or even a combination of various styles.

This leadership style also plays an important role as a potential aspect that determines project success. By understanding your leadership style and its impact, the prowess of a project manager can increase. Unfortunately, the leadership style included in these soft skills cannot be easily measured in one or two situations.

To discuss it further, here Tomps.id summarizes the types of 5 project manager leadership styles and the factors that influence them below.

4 Factors Affecting Project Manager Leadership Style

According to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), there are several factors that determine the leadership style of a project manager, some of which are:

  1. Leader characteristics, for example: ethics, moods, needs, desires, values, behavior, and others.
  2. Team member characteristics, for example: ethics, moods, needs, desires, values, behavior, and others.
  3. Organizational characteristics, for example: goals, structure, type of work, and others.
  4. Environmental characteristics, for example: social environment, economic status, political elements, and others.

6 Types of Project Manager Leadership Styles

1. Laissez-Faire

In a French phrase, laissez-faire can be interpreted as “hands-off”. This project manager’s leadership style tends to just let their team lead themselves. Teams are left to make decisions, set goals, and implement their own ideas in completing the assigned tasks.

Laissez-Faire leadership style is usually based on the value of trust. On the one hand, this style will be very good and suitable to be applied to organizations that require innovation and creativity, for example, agencies and start-ups. However, this leadership style can also have a negative impact and reduce the chances of project success if the team is not fully mature. In this situation, the team may feel the project manager’s lack of interaction and responsibility.

 2. Transactional

“You throw a stone at my back, then I will do the same”, at least this is a phrase that describes this one leadership style. This style focuses on goals, feedback, and ways to determine the rewards a person gets.

A project manager with a transactional style will usually be rigid in implementing rules, processes, and procedures. They will even implement something called reward and punishment so that the team is always disciplined in implementing the values ​​it has created.

On the positive side, the style that was first termed by Max Weber in 1947 can be effective in motivating teams to work on short-term projects. However, this style is not very suitable when faced with sustainable or long-term projects. Therefore, this style is generally used at the middle management level.


3. Servant

Do you prioritize team interests over personal interests? Then you may belong to a group with a servant leadership style. A project manager with this style usually has traits such as: focus on others, growth, learning, shared prosperity, relationship orientation, and team collaboration.

Popularized by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970, the servant leadership style usually prioritizes meeting the needs of the team at work. Because it is strong in personal relationships, this style can create a strong relationship between the project manager or leader and his team or subordinates. One of the servant leadership styles will be applied in government institutions.

4. Transformational 

The next project manager leadership style is transformational. This leadership style has characteristics such as: empowering the team through ideal attributes and behaviors, inspirational motivation, encouraging innovation and creativity, and individual consideration. Of the many characteristics above, the main characteristic of the transformational leadership style is an inspiration.

Project managers with this style tend to inspire teams with a shared vision and mission about future goals. Similar to but different from the charismatic style, the transformational style provides inspiration through the main vision and mission of the organization, not on aspects of its personality. In a leadership environment like this, the team will usually be very proactive, enthusiastic, innovative, and highly committed, so close supervision is not required.

 5. Charismatic

The main magnetic force in the charismatic leadership style is in the personality or charm of the leader, or in this case the project manager. The main characteristics of a leader with a charismatic style include: high energy, enthusiasm, strong belief, and self-confidence. These personality traits then carry persuasive power to the team or its followers.

Charismatic leadership style can be seen in religious figures, activists, figures, to political figures, but also does not rule out the possibility to be seen in the business sphere. While it may sound like personal power, a project with a leadership style can be very risky. If the team focuses too much on the charismatic leader, the project may be disrupted if there is a change of leader. However, the charismatic leadership style can be very effective when combined with style choices such as democratic, consensus, and coaching or empowerment.


6. Interactional

The leadership style of this project manager can be said to be a combination of transactional, transformational, and charismatic. Project managers with an interactional style consider variables such as the work environment, corporate culture, market challenges, conflict and complexity, and the influence of leaders on the business.

They then use considering that their influence will have maximum impact if used when individuals interact with certain situations. There are two models of interaction carried out by project managers with this style, namely relationship-oriented (based on relationships) and task-oriented (based on tasks).

That’s a complete review of the project manager leadership style that is important for you to know. Do you know what type of leadership style you belong to?

Always update the latest information about project management here with Tomps.id, your project management solution!


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