Project Leadership Skills - Essay Example

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This discussion will attempt to describe and analyze an experience in which I worked with a director on a community film project. The director, who was the projects leader, was also producing the film and was at the forefront of the leadership team. …
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This discussion will attempt to describe and analyse an experience in which I worked with a director on a community film project. The director, who was the projects leader, was also producing the film and was at the forefront of the leadership team. The methods of leadership he used will be explained in detail later in the discussion.

My role as technical director was to ensure that all technical aspects of the operation were to run smooth and successfully. Included in this role was also the feature of carrying out random tasks in assisting the director such as contacting sponsors, employing writers and other crew, as well as various other small portions of the project.

The aim of the project was to effectively produce a short film that entailed the dangers that drugs and alcohol can bring to a seemingly small community. The project was also to be completed within a certain deadline, as well as financed within a tight budget. The project was to be funded by the local government, who were known to set high standards of work from past projects.

All this, together with the fact that no one involved with the project had ever worked with each other before, initially gave me a very overwhelming feeling.

The first phase of the project was to employ all the relevant cast and crew needed to complete the project. This involved finding a writer to edit the script (which the director had previously written), who was to polish it off into a productive and informative piece of writing. Following this was the task of finding the acting cast members.

Due to the fact that the project was to be executed in a relatively small community, finding the appropriate cast members was difficult at first. The project was delayed for two days and doubt came upon the development structure.

Luckily, the director came up with the idea of looking at a different angle, the wider community. This involved looking outside the town, and into the neighbouring communities for the required cast members. The director also came up with the idea of advertising the positions in the newspaper for people who haven't had much experience before, but who are keen to get a start in the film industry. This method would also prove to be cost effective due to the fact that there was no longer the need to hire paid actors and crew members.

The pressure situation that the project was under was now made at ease with these beneficial ideas from the director. Strong leadership skills under pressure were shown, setting an example for everyone else who was involved. The ability to find a last resort out of absolutely nothing is one of the strongest leadership qualities that must be employed by a leader.

However, this effective display of leadership was soon to be questioned in the following days. After the project was up and running how it should be, crew members started getting an arrogant impression from the director. This may have been because the director was starting to feel the pressure of the deadline increasing. After all, if the project fails, it makes him look incompetent.

This is most likely because the director found that getting things done quickly and effectively is the most important aspect in completing a project successfully, even if this involved having to raise his voice every now and then. To the people he was working with, this may seem somewhat spiteful, however to someone on the outside it could prove to be a very useful way in getting things done promptly. Sometimes the best thing a leader can do is to motivate the others around him by any means.

Although the director's leadership methods were questionable, the project was completed 5 days before the scheduled deadline. Furthermore, this was a clear indication that these leadership methods were in fact successful.

Throughout the project the director displayed a willingness to take responsibility. By taking responsibility of the project he was able to take control. By taking control, he was then able to lead with mental strength and motivate everyone else to complete the project with success.

Upon the completion of the project, all of the cast and crew members grew to respect the director, as well as understand his methods in leadership. These methods were even passed on from him to some of the others involved.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this experience that I learnt was the fact that sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind. It's an old clich, but in this instance it applies to the fullest extent. If the director was unmotivated and laid back, would the project still have been completed on time with such success Probably not, and if there were any unmotivated people before the project started, they were certainly motivated and willing by the end of it.

The leadership qualities and methods that the director possessed also taught me how to make something out of nothing, and to never give up. He also taught me that no one can lead without being criticized or without facing discouragement. A potential leader needs a mental toughness that's everlasting.

He wouldn't be considered a mean leader; but a tough-minded leader who sees things as they are and will pay the price just to get the job done.


Finigan, Kathleen. "Be an Effective Manager; Develop Leadership Qualities." Small Business Insights, Albany: July 5, 1999.

Harvard Business Review on What Makes a Leader. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 2001. Read More
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