Effective Project Management is entirely dependent on an individual with great leadership skills, because without a good leader, a project is unlikely to be completed successfully.


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The successful completion of projects is the primary responsibility and goal of the Project Manager, who will have a lot of weight on their shoulders when it comes to making the right decisions.

While some people possess natural leadership qualities, other leadership skills must be learned and adapted to ensure that each individual’s approach to leadership is tailored to suit their own individual style and personality.

So, what are the fundamental qualities of a good project manager?

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to share a clear vision and inspire others
  • Positive attitude and enthusiasm
  • Integrity
  • Competence
  • Cool, calm disposition
  • Problem solver
  • Team builder
  • Excellent delegator
  • Excellent decision maker

1. Communication

Excellent communication skills are vital to enable a project manager to communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of people at different levels within an organization and externally.

In order to lead a project, you must be able to clearly communicate your vision, goals, guidelines, and expectations to others.

The ability to deliver and receive constructive feedback and listen to others is another important part of leading a team of individuals. Essentially, being a great communicator is a key element to working well with others in any work environment.

2. Sharing a Vision

The ability to see the ‘bigger picture’ behind a project and effectively convey that vision to others is an incredibly valuable and important quality in a Project Manager.

Successfully articulating the vision of a project ensures the team can experience it in their mind and helps to get them on board without delay.

3. Positive Attitude

A leader with an eternally full cup and a positive mental attitude is a pleasure to engage with and their enthusiasm automatically rubs off on others.

Being committed to a project and displaying confidence in it impacts positively on the team and forms the basis of a happy, productive work environment.

4. Integrity

Part of being a great team leader is the ability to gain the trust of your team.

By demonstrating that you are committed to adhering to both your values and ethical practices in general, team members will soon recognize that you are an honest leader.

5. Competence

When a leader is unable to demonstrate that they are competent and capable, they will be unable to gain the respect and trust of their team and colleagues.

A team must always feel confident that their leader is in control and knows exactly what they are doing.

6. Cool, Calm and Collected

Regardless of how well a project is planned, there will always be obstacles of some sort to overcome along the way. A good Project Manager will never panic or lose their head when things go wrong.

Instead they will remain calm, assess the problem, and find the best way to resolve it, in order to put the project back on the right track.

If things become too stressful at any point, any flapping or excessive sweating should be done in private.

7. Problem Solver

A great project manager should possess excellent problem solving skills and be resourceful and creative in their general approach to problems.

On many occasions when working on a project, this may be as a simple case of identifying the right person(s) within the team to help you resolve the problem quickly and effectively.

Sometimes, the real skill here is in truly grasping the issues behind the problem, as this is always a fundamental element of the problem solving process.

8. Team Builder

A strong, happy team is a productive one. For the project to reach a successful conclusion the team need to be working well together for a common purpose.

Within any team of individuals, you will find a variety of personalities that will need to somehow gel together to form a positive dynamic.

Part of successfully leading a team will involve learning about each individual’s skills and personality in order to get the best out of the team as a whole.

Spotting areas of conflict within the team early on and managing conflict is crucial.

9. Delegator

Having a good understanding of your team members allows you to delegate tasks to the right individuals for the best possible results.

Team members will respond well to a manager who delegates appropriate tasks that are well suited to their skill set and subsequently trusts them to get on with it.

Encourage staff to approach you to discuss any queries or difficulties if they need to rather than undermine them by constantly checking up on them and they will feel more valued.

10. Decision Maker

The personal decisions you make as a Project Manager have a direct impact on the success of a project and ultimately the success of the business itself.

In order to be strong in this area, it is essential that you arm yourself with all of the information you need from the outset so that when the time comes, informed decisions can be made quickly.

At times, however, it is inevitable that mistakes will be made. After all, it is impossible to make the best decisions all of the time!

If and when the wrong decision is made, an excellent leader will be able to put their hands up, be accountable, and take responsibility.

There is nothing worse than a leader who points the finger when things go wrong instead of taking responsibility for their own decisions.

A Project Manager with the Right Ingredients

Project managers who have strong technical skills and also consistently demonstrate competence in the key skills and qualities listed above are a huge asset to any organization and significantly increase the success of the projects they lead.

A strong, dedicated team leader goes hand in hand with consistently successful project management.

How Are You a Great Project Manager?

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Felix Marsh
Felix is a member of the Agil8 team. They offer the highest quality Agile consulting and training drawing on many years experience.