Published here July 2002.

Introduction  | Leader  | Project Management | Project Manager's Skills 
Project Manager's Types of Leadership | Servant Leadership
Ten Characteristics of a Servant-Leader | Characteristics Compared 
Project Management by a Servant Leader | Risks & Benefits | References

Project Manager's Types of Leadership

A project manager should exhibit two types of leadership as described earlier in this article. These are transactional and transformational. The leader should guide the team members by identifying their roles and responsibilities for the project. In addition, he should inspire the team members to successfully complete the project tasks for the good of the project. "The best project managers are outstanding leaders. They have vision, they motivate, they bring people together, and, most of all, they accomplish great things" (Verzuh, 1999, p.25).

Project managers must have integrity-honesty and trustworthiness. A key success factor is getting members of a team to trust each other and trust the project manager in order to work well with each other (Martin, 1976, p.45). When indecision or conflict arises, if the project manager is considered to have integrity, the others will accept his actions more easily. " He will be regarded as having made the decision that best serves the interests of the project and harmony will prevail" according to Martin (1976, p.45).

Project managers must have competence with the project technology and business management. Those working on the project and the administration above him will respect him and have more confidence in his abilities to make the correct decisions for the project (Martin, 1976, p.46). Basic management skills with competence in business management are a necessity. The project must be managed using good management techniques that are consistent with the organization's management style.

Other key characteristics for a project manager include alertness, quickness, good listening, imaginative versatility, and flexibility. Martin (1976) explains " the project manager must be ready at any time to modify any existing plan for a better one." Flexibility "implies a tough willingness to change plans in light of current realities, always with the best interests of the project in mind" (p.48). The project manager must have a good work ethic and a high energy level. Project management requires more than a 40-hour workweek and interaction and availability to many people in and outside the organization. To be successful the project manager must be in "top form" most of the time (p.49).

Stanley E. Portney (2001, p.307) provides ten tips for project managers:

  1. Be a why person
  2. Be a can do person
  3. Do not assume
  4. Say what you mean; mean what you say
  5. View people as allies, not adversaries
  6. Respect other people
  7. Think big picture-keep perspective
  8. Think detail
  9. Acknowledge good performance
  10. Be both a manager and a leader

Project Manager's Skills  Project Manager's Skills

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