Top 10 Leadership Qualities of a Project Manager

February 2010 from ProjectTimes – “What qualities are most important for a project manager to be an effective project leader? It’s a question often asked and one that makes us sit back and think… Over the past few years, the people at ESI International, a leader in project management training, have looked at what makes an effective project leader. They quizzed some highly-talented project leaders and compiled a running tally of their responses. Below are the top 10 qualities in rank order, according to their frequency listed…”

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The article’s list is

  1. Inspires a Shared Vision
  2. A Good Communicator
  3. Integrity
  4. Enthusiasm
  5. Empathy
  6. Competence
  7. Ability to Delegate Tasks
  8. Cool Under Pressure
  9. Team-Building Skills
  10. Problem Solving Skills

and you will find a description of the qualities in the article.

180 View – I also get the same question from our clients as to what makes a good project manager. But our answer is not the same as the article. Perhaps the reason for this is that our clients are usually asking about project managers for an ERP implementation. My advice published in October 2008 for CAmagazine was “a good project manager listens well, sees the big picture, is also detail-oriented and can communicate effectively. The project manager is highly motivated to succeed and enjoys challenges. Finally, the project manager has the backing of senior management and the respect of his or her peers. For an ERP project, the project manager should also know the business, and the scope of an ERP project typically includes at least financials and operations. It’s not easy to find one person who combines the right attitude and aptitude with business knowledge of both financials and operations. And to make matters even worse, the project manager will be very busy with the ERP project and unable to work on other tasks. I recommend picking the person who comes closest to meeting all the attributes, which actually leads to one more characteristic – the ability to delegate. Take your time on this decision, as the project manager can make a big difference in the success of the ERP project.”

It is very tough to find a project manager who not only has the business experience, but also skills, aptitude and experience in project management. My advice is that it is more important for the project manager or project lead to have the right aptitude and knowledge of business. Pure project management skills can be outsourced.