Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams


pmwj34-May2015-Jackson-BOOKBook Title: Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams, 2nd Edition
Authors: Rory Burke, Steve Barron
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
List Price:   $44.00 (paperback); $28.99 (e-book)
Format: Paperback, e-book
Publication Date: 2014     
ISBN: 978-1-118-67401-7
Reviewer: Sheila Jackson, PMP
Review Date: April 2015



In the forward to Project Management Leadership, Dr. Steve Kempster sets the tone for readers by explaining that project management and project leadership are two sides of the same coin, cautioning that many project managers “pay too much attention to managing and spend little time leading. As with everything in life, finding the right balance is key.” Keeping this balance in mind, the authors, Burke and Barron, lay out an organized framework of project management leadership principles and theories, and their application in the project environment.

Why do we need yet another book on this topic? Perhaps it is our awareness of the lack of good leadership or our own experience with admirable project leaders. I think most would agree that the workplace is shifting towards a new, higher baseline requirement in what we’ve called “soft skills”. In the Authors’ Notes, Burke and Barron point out that project managers increasingly work within matrix-type project organization structures where they might not have full line authority over the resources carrying out the work. Additionally, Burke explains, “the workforce is better educated, more experienced, and more competent…[and are] better prepared to question their project management leader’s instructions.” In this contemporary context those mastering key aspects of leadership will be more successful, with direct benefit to the projects and teams they lead.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Project Management Leadership, Burke explains, was written to support courses and modules in project management and project leadership. Filled with diagrams, definitions, figures and exercises, Project Management Leadership is a textbook-style overview covering major topical categories and their sub-divisions. There is plenty here to whet the reader’s appetite for deeper understanding, however, it is not meant to be exhaustive or terminal. References for further reading at the end of each chapter enable deeper, more detailed study.

The writing style is straightforward, factual, and informative. While there are no anecdotal stories or narrative plot lines, the authors succeed in their aim of providing principles and methodologies consistent with the PMBoK and APM BoK.

As part of its educational mission, each chapter includes stated learning outcomes, exercises for introspection and/or application; the book includes a detailed glossary and comprehensive index. Organized in three parts, then topically for easy reference and understanding, the reader can easily refresh specific areas of interest.

The first part covers leadership skills and styles such as project governance and ethics, power to influence, emotional intelligence, and working with stakeholders, among others. The second part focuses on project team formation through overviews of team roles, team-building techniques, team development phases, coaching and mentoring. The third part covers competency areas such as decision making, conflict resolution, delegation, and communication, among others.


To read entire Book Review (click here)


About the Reviewer


pmwj34-May2015-Jackson-PHOTOSheila Jackson

Texas, USA



Sheila Jackson
, PMP, MBA has more than fourteen years of project management experience, working mostly in marketing, live events, and ecommerce. For twelve years she worked for a global marketing/advertising agency; her most recent work has been within omni-channel ecommerce. Sheila has a BA in Psychology from Baylor University and an MBA from University of North Texas, USA.

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the
PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].