Magazine article PM Network

Lead Time

Magazine article PM Network

Lead Time

Article excerpt

What's the most important leadership trait for a project manager to have?

Swapnil Thicker senior systems designer, media engineering, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto, Canada

The most important trait is the ability to delegate. An effective project manager knows who should participate in a particular job and perform the task for a section or item. It's always a good practice to get signoff from departmental managers of the individual you want to assign to a specific task. This also makes you look very methodical and respectful.

But remember, the project manager is ultimately held accountable for the success of the project regardless of whether he or she delegates work to others. So strong delegation skills include effective followups; without those, delegation is little more than doling out tasks and hoping they turn out well.

Marco Antonio Solano, PhD senior principal systems engineer, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, Dallas, Texas, USA

The most important trait is the ability to empower your team by providing an environment where members grow personally and professionally, and feel themselves vested in the project. Influence goes so far; having realistic buy-in is essential in allowing team members to take ownership. When this happens, they will go the extra mile, ingenuity flourishes and the team feels comfortable sharing bad news, which in turn enables the project manager to mitigate issues before they become unsolvable. I've benefited from this management style by seeing the team contribute extra effort when needed without being asked and develop superior solutions grown through open discussions.

Samer Kabbara, PMP customer project manager, project office, Davidson Consulting for Ericsson, Paris, France

The most important trait is negotiation during all project phases, from initiation to closing. A good negotiator gains the trust of his or her team, sponsor, customer and other stakeholders by guiding them, explaining why they need to take a particular direction and, of course, how to get there. …

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