Project managers play a critical role in their organization by setting budgets and deadlines, keeping teams focused and motivated, and ensuring projects are executed successfully. However, there are certain things that give the best managers an edge. These four traits can set great project managers apart from mediocre ones.
The best project managers are transparent and trustworthy. They take responsibility for each project they manage, clearly communicating to their team members what their role will be and establishing clear goals and expectations. Realizing they are predominantly responsible for whether or not results are successful, they lay the foundations for the project to succeed and don’t make excuses when things go wrong. Instead, they acknowledge the mistake, come up with a quick solution, and steer the project back on track.
Strong leadership involves looking beyond today. Project managers need to have a clear vision of what a successful project will look like once complete. They also need to understand the overall vision of the company and be able to communicate that vision to their team members, so everybody is on the same page. Having vision is especially important for complex projects because it minimizes misunderstandings and ensures everyone is working together to meet a common endgame.
Leaders must be able to inspire and motivate others. For this reason, optimism is an essential skill for effective project management. Optimism makes it easier for leaders to identify the strengths of their team members and encourage them to continuously work on improving their skills. Optimists inspire positive energy in others and can communicate in a way that inspires people to stay focused, work hard, and overcome obstacles.
Great project managers can change leadership styles depending on who they are leading and who their competition is, and they can quickly adapt to different situations. Good leaders anticipate problems and readily adjust their strategy when challenges arise. They’re not afraid to admit when an approach isn’t working and are willing to try new things.
Project managers are responsible for planning a project and overseeing the completion of the project by establishing a budget, setting goals, coming up with strategies to maximize profits, and more. However, the best project managers also have strong leadership traits. They can communicate an organization’s vision to its team members, adapt their management style to fit any situation, motivate and inspire others, and take responsibility for the success of a project.
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