The personality traits of effective project managers

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 By Jack Nevison

One of a project manager's main functions is to attract, motivate and engage top performing workers. To accomplish these goals, a manager must first earn the team's respect. Entrepreneur.com recently analyzed Lessons from the Top: The Search for America's Best Business Leaders, by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Based on their reading, the blog shared the traits that most inspire employees to trust and engage with a manager.

Schultz says that the most important attribute of a successful manager is vision. PMs must fully embrace the company's policies and procedures, not just because it is required of them, but because they understand and share their company's strategies and goals. In addition, a project manager must be able to clearly communicate both a personal and corporate vision to the team. The company's vision should always be foremost in the minds of PMs and their teams, and should be actively discussed and reevaluated to achieve team buy-in.

Project managers must also be decisive. Many companies have established a set process for major decisions, while others leave managers to trust their instincts and fly by the seat of their pants. Schultz encourages PMs to consult with the team before making a decision. Asking for team input, even for minor decisions, can foster engagement from the dissatisfied and lets all employees feel that their opinion matters. Decisions should be made quickly but responsibly, and any changes to process should be announced and discussed before being implemented.

New Leaf's 2-day program "Leading Project Teams: The Human Side of Performance" can help you get the most from each individual contributor and your team as a whole. In addition, our QPM ™ series of project management games lets you learn while you earn affordable and convenient PDUs for PMP ® recertification.

"PMI," PMP," and "PMBOK" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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