6 Traits of Project Managers That Make Them Great Leaders

Project management may seem simple at first glance, but in reality project managers do a lot of work to keep things running smoothly. A project manager bears a lot of responsibility and must be a good leader. If anyone thinks that this job only consists of distributing tasks and calculating deadlines, then that person is seriously wrong. Here we will explore the necessary traits of a good manager, and why these traits also make them a good leader.

They can inspire

A project manager is in charge of maintaining a productive atmosphere within the workplace. In other words, task distribution is the easy part; keeping people motivated is far harder. Project manager needs to be enthusiastic, and he or she has to be the life of the party, sort of speaking. Furthermore, it is a job that requires one to be constantly busy, because no one will be eager to work if the person who distributes the tasks just floats around to monitor them. 

It is also important to think about your workforce and to make sure they are rewarded for their efforts. You need to celebrate every new milestone and victory, so that they would know all of their hard work amounts to something positive. Lastly, he or she needs to know every worker and their capabilities to know who is most capable to complete certain tasks, and to single them out as heroes in those situations. It will help everyone feel special and appreciated.

They are good mediators

Project managers have to organize different teams, and make sure they work in harmony. It’s not uncommon that these teams have incompatible points of view, and as a manager you need to serve as a bridge between those teams. This very often means that they have to make tough decisions, and decide who will have to take additional work in order for something to be realized.

As an employer, you have the authority over your workforce, and you can simply give an order. A project manager doesn’t have that kind of authority; he needs to elaborate and give good reasons for making a certain decision, otherwise his or her co-workers might get offended.

The point is, a project manager is not someone who orders people around, it is a person with a vision of how a project can be realized or how a problem can be solved. However, having a vision is not enough, you need to present it to others in a way that will make them agree with you, and you need to be open to suggestions as well.
If someone has a better solution, the project manager should agree with that person, because his or her qualities are not undermined if someone comes up with something better on a particular occasion.

They are well organized

Another highly important trait for project managers are organization skills. As a project manager, one has to track all of the active projects, determine deadlines for new ones, have a clear overview of the progress, and the ability to collaborate and give additional instructions at any given time. Nowadays that part is a bit easier, and good project managers use tools or apps to help them out.

With all the existing tools you can have an easy project management experience, and people are constantly connected so collaboration between the teams is also easier. The important thing to remember is to select simple project management software that is compatible with the line of work you are in.

Moreover you can sign up for a job tracking software free trial period, and try it out before you decide to purchase it. Once you find a good project management software solution everything becomes far easier to track, and you can always have archived projects online that you can easily access should you need them.

They are problem solvers

This is closely related to risk assessment skills. A good project manager needs to plan for potential shortcomings, or potential hindrances, and come up with methods he can apply in order to deal with a new situation. Project managers also need to be creative and think quick on their feet, but in the majority of cases they are well-prepared for possible unpleasant scenarios, which also makes them good problem solvers. They learn from their past experience and know what to expect, and how to handle problematic situations.

They plan ahead

In order to plan ahead you need a lot of experience, and this is the main reason why the project manager position is reserved for seasoned veterans in the office. People need to have insight into how long project completion will last, so that they can come up with realistic deadlines. Operating in the area of an approximate deadline is never a good trait for a project managers, since it can either cause problems or suffocate overall efficiency.

This is another reason why having project management software is crucial, since you can access previous projects and find out how long it took for your team to complete them. This way, when something similar comes up you have a good point of reference.

They can retain their composure under pressure

Lastly, you need to always be able to take control over the situation, if things go south. Even if you plan out everything perfectly, there are some problems and you don’t have control over them. For example, someone can withdraw funds, or a client can cancel, or maybe something else changes so your end result is no longer viable. The worst thing anyone can do is start to panic; as a project manager, you need to calm everyone down and incentivize brainstorming to work on solutions.

As you can see, these are some of the major positive traits that a good project manager should possess. These are also traits that define a good leader, someone who leads by example, and who is prepared for different outcomes. Someone who inspires trust and respects his or her peers and their work. Someone you can rely on if things go south and someone who gets the job done.

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