Top 10 Characteristics of a GREAT Project Manager.


1. Command authority naturally.
In other words, they don’t need borrowed power to enlist the help of others – they just know how to do it. They are optimistic leaders who are viewed in a favorable light and are valued by the organization.

2. Possess quick sifting abilities, knowing what to note and what to ignore.
The latter is more important since there’s almost always too much data, and rarely too little. Ignoring the right things is better than trying to master extraneous data.

3. Set, observe, and re-evaluate project priorities frequently.
They focus and prioritize by handling fewer emails, attending fewer meetings, and generally limiting their data input.

4. Ask good questions and listen to stakeholders.
Great project managers don’t just go through the motions. They care about communication and the opinions of the parties involved. They are also sufficiently self-aware to know how their communication is received by those stakeholders.

5. Do not use information as a weapon or a means of control.
They communicate clearly, completely, and concisely. All the while giving others real information without fear of what they’ll do with it.

6. Adhere to predictable communication schedules
…recognizing that it’s the only deliverable early in a project cycle. All this takes place after very thorough pre-execution planning to eliminate as many variables as possible.

7. Possess domain expertise in project management as applied to a particular field.
It’s not just that they have generic project management skills; they have a deep familiarity with one or multiple fields that gives them a natural authority and solid strategic insight.

8. Exercise independent and fair consensus-building skills when conflict arises.
But they embrace only as much conflict as is absolutely necessary, neither avoiding nor seeking grounds for control of a particular project segment.

9. Cultivate and rely on extensive informal networks inside and outside the firm to solve problems that arise.
They identify any critical issues that threaten projects and handle them resolutely (vs. ignoring them).

10. Look forward to going to work!
They believe that project management is an exciting challenge that’s critical to success. The truly great ones view project management as a career and not a job, and they treat it like so by seeking additional training and education.


Increasing Your Perception as a Leader

Bob McGannon- Increasing Your Perception as a Leader

15 June, 2015

PMI Adelaide’s monthly member meeting had an interesting speaker this time. Bob McGannon handles a senior leadership position at IBM and moved to Australia from USA, 7 years ago. His topic- “Increasing Your Perception as a Leader” examines behaviors and situations that inhibit or enhance your effectiveness as a leader, and addresses tools and techniques to alter your approach. He believed that appointed leaders, whether in a corporate, government or other organisation type, must rely on their leadership skills to assemble and maintain viable teams and produce expected results. His presentation presented practical tools and techniques to examine and increase our leadership perception .

Key Hightlights:

  • A project leader should always highlight problems to the sponsors and be ready with a “multiple-choice” solution to address the problem inorder to make the process efficient, result-oriented and fast.
  • Project leaders always encourage risk taking, ask “why” questions, instill trust within the team members and motivate the team to achieve the desired goal.
  • Project leaders are always measured on managerial qualities but to be able to execute such tasks, they have to conduct and view things based on their leadership qualities.
  • Variables for choosing a leadership style:
  1. Being predicatable
  2. Extroverted / Introverted Style
  3. Nature of the team
  4. Stage of the project
  5. Timescale
  6. Experience of the team
  7. Being consistent
  • Usually, team members forget the clear objectives and conduct their daily activities much like playing “Wack-a-mole” and to be able to lead such members it is important for you to ask a lot of questions to analyse the situation.
  • Types of Work Styles: (Eg: Trip to Melbourne)
  1. Action-Oriented – Leaps before thinking (Awesome, let’s go fuel up and drive)
  2. Social – Wastes time (We can book a campervan, have Dj, etc)
  3. Planner – Doesn’t know when to stop (Ok, so how far is MEL? Do we have enough fuel? Is the car okay?)
  4. Questionner – Makes sure you took care of everything.

Understanding which team member fall in the above categories, is vital for your project success. If these team members are identified and assigned roles as per their tendencies, the project leader stands a better chance to achieve the deliverables.

Recommended Book: Fail Forward by John Maxwell.

Take the Leap

TAKE THE LEAP – Jodie Nevid

26th February

Jodie Nevid from “The 7 Effect” delivered an interesting workshop on Leadership, performance and engagement. She spoke about how organisations, regardless of size, face the same barriers to achieving ultimate performance levels. She gave us an overview of her program that can help align and grow leadership capabilities of our teams, help develop a proactive culture and embed measurable high performance habits. Here’s a quick overview of something I learnt:

7 Deadly sins for any organisation:

  • Communication: Confusing/Not enough
  • Busyness: People operating in survival mode
  • Silos: Working in isolation
  • Under Performance: Small issues evolve into larger problems
  • No Direction: Lack of clarity
  • Unmotivated: Being dependent
  • Chaos: Inconsistent systems

7 Elements of leadership:

  • Confidence
  • Vision
  • Authenticity
  • Communication
  • Growth
  • Delivery
  • Resilience

6 Key Result Areas:

  • Leadership
  • Employee engagement
  • Customer experience
  • Fairness and equity
  • Productivity & profitability
  • Innovation

7 Habits for high performance:

  • Live an inspiring vision
  • Communicate clear goals and strategies
  • Develop your people
  • Provide feedback and recognise people
  • Build trust and genuinely care
  • Listen and adapt to customer needs
  • Continually improve systems

Both, Jodie & Amy are wonderful speakers and it was a good experience listening to their presentation. I encourage you to check out for more information. This presentation helped me identify key focus elements critical for project success and I’ve been following up on the things I learnt by further reading more about relationship building and team management.