Alpha Project Manager: Good or Evil?
There are many articles written about managers who lack a strong hand that is necessary to run successful projects. They often agree with poor decisions and don’t take chances to confront them; they tend to interfere with team’s work and force other stakeholders into doing so even when it’s not necessary.
Employees who have to work with weak project managers often wish they could opt them for really strong leaders. But is there anything wrong with having an alpha project manager?
Employer – employee relationships
Let’s assume that in most companies alpha project managers have to work with employees whose abilities are about average. All organizations want to have a manager who will be willing to guide and coach others. But what if your alpha project manager doesn’t want competition? As a result, s/he may simply end up discouraging and demoralizing employees.
Alpha project managers often know as highly confident and persuasive people. On one hand, it’s a huge advantage for creating a productive working environment. On the other hand, when persuasion and pressure get together, this project management model can work in the short-term but in the long-term, alpha project managers will fail to earn the respect and support of their peers.
If a company is relatively immature in terms of project management, an alpha project manager can scary away stakeholders as s/he sets a fast pace of improvement.
In general, it’s better to have a strong project manager than a weak one. But how this strength is expressed needs to agree with the project and company culture.