Project Leadership: Top 10 Cardinal Principles


Part 1 – The First Five

By Hareshchandra Thakur, PMP

Associate Vice President
Project Management, Energy Solutions
Wärtsilä India Pvt. Ltd.

Mumbai, India


Although all the Project Managers (PMs) have been adopting the best practices in the project management framework and have been following the guidelines and methodologies, we find that some project teams deliver consistently good results year after year as compared to the others. This paper explores the specific areas that have enabled the project teams in enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness. Based on the feedback from the Stakeholders (SHs), discussions with the project teams, vendors and sub-contractors, we have evaluated the core principles that distinguishes the PLs amongst PMs. The aim of this paper is to elucidate these core principles that enables the PMs to excel in their roles and emerge as Project Leaders (PLs).

End result: Enhanced Efficiency & Effectiveness – prelude to SHs satisfaction.

Key Words: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Stakeholders, Project Success, Project Leaders


EI – Emotional Intelligence                    PM – Project Manager              PL – Project Leader                              SH – Stakeholder


 If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” Peter Drucker

Digitization clubbed with operating on Internet of Things (IoT) has not only ramped up the competition and disrupted the industries, but also forced the businesses to realign their strategies, develop new capabilities, and transform their working culture. Its impact and influence can be witnessed in each and every sphere of our lives and project management is no exception.

In order to attain and sustain a leading edge in the competitive market, it is important that we innovate and work in a creative manner. Today, the leading Project organisations are emphasizing on trainings and building the competences of their PMs, particularly in the areas of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Leadership – this is the need of the hour.

This paper examines the core principles which help transform PMs to PLs (PLs). As remarked by one of our customers, “The mark of successful PMs is that they act as project leaders, set the direction, guide their team members to reach the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way”.

Key Result Areas

Feedback received from various Stakeholders (SHs) has been collated and analysed to arrive at the key factors that have led to enhancing the effectiveness of the PL. For ease of remembering and co-relating the contribution of these principles in enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of the project team, the acronym “EFFECTIVE” and a letter “S” is used to best describe the top ten cardinal principles of Project Leadership.


Figure – 1 : Project Leadership – Top 10 Cardinal Principles

The underlying principles, their value addition and the associated pitfalls if not acted upon are highlighted in the paragraphs below.

Note : While Part 1 focuses on the first five cardinal principles, balance five would be covered in Part 2 i.e. second and concluding part of this paper.


To read entire article, click here



About the Author

Hareshchandra M Thakur

Mumbai, India




Hareshchandra M Thakur
is a professional in the Power Sector with over 30 years’ experience in setting up of multiple Power Plants in Nuclear, Oil & Gas sectors in India and abroad. Presently, he is working as Associate Vice President, Project Management, Energy Solutions with Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd. Hareshchandra has held various positions in Financial Management and Project Management with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., Wartsila Finland Oy and Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd.

He has closely worked with cross functional and cross cultural teams and has vast international Exposure in key areas – Project Management, Strategic Financial Management, Contract Management and Resource Management, Competence building, Formulation of Business Strategies and Establishing way of working for Indian & global projects. He is Certified NLP Practitioner and has been visiting various Engg and Management institutions as a guest lecturer. He has made presentations at IPMA World Congress at Helsinki, Istanbul & Crete and Global Symposiums on Project Management in New Delhi.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from College of Engineering, University of Poona and a Master’s degree in Financial Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, University of Mumbai. He obtained PMP Certification in April 2002. He lives in Mumbai, India and can be contacted at [email protected].