Project Management

The Nice Project Manager

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A lot has been written about leadership, emotional intelligence, empathy and a long list of traits related to a successful project delivery. Most likely, you have seen the image below several times on your LinkedIn feed. The message is clear: a leader is someone that pulls together a team and walks alongside to reach project’s goals. A boss, however, “bosses” people around  while sitting in his ivory tower.

Project Managers have the challenging task of commanding a Team which members typically report to a Line or Department Manager – this is, within a matrix organization. What are the three traits that will allow finding the sweet balance between being a genuinely nice leader and yet get stuff done?

A. Be assertive

Being the face of the Project to the Team and to all other stakeholders, a PM needs to develop the right set of skills to show that is in control. For example, it is frequent that rumors arise at some point during project’s life cycle – e.g. “I’ve heard that the project will be cancelled!”. A PM must be able to send a clear and assertive message to stakeholders to terminate the rumor. The same principle can be applied to team meetings. The Team expects the PM to guide and drive the project forward. This message can be delivered efficiently only from the assertiveness.






B. Be in control

Domain in Monitoring and Controlling process group is essential for a successful project delivery. A PM must make sure that he remains an effective leader throughout project’s lifecycle. Checking on status of work is an art on its own. Some people sends off e-mails containing a dry “Hi Jan, what’s the status?”, others elaborate further and add a greeting line. Whichever option chosen, show that you are in control. Avoiding micromanagement is a must for any PM and for any sort of leader. Actually, micromanagers are frequently poor and insecure “leaders”.

C. Be Human

This come without a saying and yet important to emphasize. Do you recall the typical saying attributed to Richard Branson “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”? Replace the term “employees” by “team members” and “clients” by “Project”. Proficient leaders are aware that they are leading a group of humans and their circumstances, not soul-less machines.

Posted on: January 21, 2020 03:57 AM | Permalink

Comments (7)

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Point b stood out an insecure leader can be the root cause of dysfunctional team, thank you for sharing fantastic summary Eduard!

Dear Eduard
Interesting your perspective on the topic: "The Nice Project Manager"
Thanks for sharing

I consider the 3 points mentioned by you necessary but not enough

Dear Suzi, glad that you liked it.

Dear Luis, tahnk you for your feedback. I focused on the top 3, please feel free to comment and add more to the thread.

you are right, and agree with A Nice Project Manager should have these points.

Good one Eduard, really loved the point B and the reference to don't call “employees” instead use “team members”. Each time that I listen the word "resources" when we talk about people... I get sick.

Be human - SO important! Human connection is critical to shared respect.

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