What Makes a Great Project Manager?


I’ve mentioned often in the past (to anyone who will listen) that one of the key factors in the success or failure of any type of project is the personality of the project manager.  


You can train an individual to do a very good job at managing a project but the exceptional project managers always have certain personal attributes that ensure they excel where others merely succeed. I believe that, to a large extent, this sort of excellence can be taught with the right sort of project management training although part of it may be inherent in certain people and not in others.


The personal attributes a great project manager requires are the ability to thrive under pressure, someone who perseveres to get the job done right, a persuasive personality and someone prepared to be humble and take the blame when necessary. Someone who is not too proud to take advice from others but with sufficient pride and confidence to stand up for what they know is right. 


And, finally, someone with a human touch in dealing with problems – often project problems are as much about clashing personalities as actual problems with the tasks.


But I can already hear shouts of objection – surely a project manager needs to be strong, have a firm hand to control a project – authoritarian even.


But such objections bring to mind Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If” so, with my sincere apologies to Kipling, I have paraphrased it here to remind all project managers aspiring to great success that the human aspects should never be under-estimated.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can meet with success and failure
And treat those two results just the same;
If you can talk with workers and keep their respect,
Or talk with leaders – nor lose the common touch,
Yours is success and everything that entails,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Project Manager!

So the very best Project Management Training Courses will address the human aspects of training as well as providing the right skills and tools so that a project manager can complete all projects successfully.