Leadership - an introduction

Gabor Vis van Heemst - On April 26th I wrote an article about leadership in project management. In response, I was asked whether I could explain a little more about leadership in general. What is leadership really about and what should you know about it as project manager? The following article is based on my book, "Projectmanagement op basis van NCB versie 3”.


Leadership is the ability to get people to move into effective roles and tasks, to achieve (project) goals. Project managers often have limited formal powers. They work with team members and user representatives, but are not hierarchically driven. This means that in task- and relationship-oriented management to their team, they have to rely on other sources of power than their formal position. Like power by knowledge or power by relationships. The coaching management style can be used to give direction to the task and relationship orientation. The definition of leadership and the main other terms are:

  • Managing people:
    The performance of managerial tasks such as setting goals, determine the necessary tasks and enforce.
  • Leadership role:
    A behavioral ability according the specific needs of a project.
  • Situational leadership:
    Leadership style of management which is based on the degree of ability and willingness of people in practical situations.
  • Coaching leadership:
    leadership attitude focusing on learning ability of staff and making their potential qualities available to achieve the highest possible performance.
  • Power:
    The ability to exert effective influence on reality.

Read the full article at the Vis Van Heemst Blog: