How Decisive Are You?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I am sometimes asked what I look for in a project manager. It’s a fair question, but a very difficult one to answer because there are so many variables. It depends on the client I’m working with; the size, industry, work area and complexity of the project; the makeup of the team, etc.

Project management is one of those disciplines where there are many different characteristics that can be successful—there’s no single profile for a successful PM. However, to align with this month’s theme, I am always looking for someone who can be a leader.

To me, the term “project manager” is becoming outdated. Much of the management activity associated with the role is becoming automated, and the focus is increasingly on leadership of people. That has many different elements to it, and many different styles of leader can successfully run projects. However, there is one leadership trait that I believe is critical to success: I am looking for evidence that a leader is decisive.

The importance of decisiveness
The ability to be decisive is critical for a number of different reasons. From a practical sense, projects are run to tight time schedules, so delays have real impact. That means there is no room for someone who takes more time to make a decision than is absolutely necessary.

Until the decision is made, the project is potentially headed …

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