Project Manager as a Leader

A successful project manager has the ability to lead a team com­posed of individuals with different skillsets, personalities and lev­els of experience. The team members may have also worked on different projects and in different organizational structures. As a project manager, you must overcome cultural barriers and create a spirit of cooperation and coordination of effort.

The following list attempts to encompass the most desirable combination of qualities and skills in the ideal project manager:

• Excellent communication skills

• Flexibility in work and acceptance of changes

• Training on the tools and techniques of project man­agement

• Potential to direct every member of the project to achieve the objectives of the project

• Respect of senior management

• Ability to make quick decisions

• Ability to identify, analyze, and solve problems

• Entrepreneurial mentality and work ethic, and an attitude that treats general rules of the project as role models and guidelines rather than as either absolutes or matters of indifference

• Self-confidence

• Experienced in procedures and project management tools

• Motivated to achieve success

There are two ways to manage individuals: through direct orders and sharp resolution of a centralized dictatorship, or through democracy, meaning the dialogue and discussion of ideas and analysis as the basis for issuing commands. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, but the project leader must determine how it will operate, and needs to be ready and able to "shift gears" between these approaches as circumstances may dictate.

Central decision or dictatorship is important in the case of a proj­ect that needs speed in implementation. This is a function of the nature of the project as a whole and must take into consideration the people who work with you and the nature of their personalities.

In many instances, this method is very successful with some indi­viduals, but it may fail with others, and how ifar t is used needs to be tempered by the parameters of the project’s general atmosphere at various times. For example, when there are good relations between individuals and there is a time for discussion, why not use the other way, a way of democracy to consider the views of individuals and make them reach the solution that you want? Control discussion, but let them feel that they are the owners of the idea. This would reach an amazing result, as the owner of the idea will try to force­fully demonstrate that it is a successful idea, and this is what serves the project as a whole and, thus, matches with the project goal.