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What makes a great project manager

Kelly Avatar By: Kelly | Last updated February 14, 2019

work coworkers team working happy smiling project management

Not everyone feels confident enough to take responsibility for others and to manage a complex team or project. You can’t find a good project manager on every corner and a great project manager is even harder to find.

But what are the main qualities of a great leader?

Here are the most important ones:

  • A great project manager knows how to listen to all the parties involved and be empathic with others’ needs and opinions
  • Excellent communication skills, also at all levels. A great project manager knows how to communicate his expectations, how to negotiate and how to persuade others. All these have to be expressed in an effective and natural manner
  • High integrity. A project manager with poor or lacking ethics won’t make it too far. They have to possess a clear set of values and principles and maintain their integrity above their self-interests
  • A great project manager knows how to lead and express authority in a natural, non-offensive manner
  • A project manager will always influence his team so a positive attitude is a must, in order to properly inspire his subordinates
  • A born project leader is involved and enthusiastic about his work. He looks forward to going to work and sees his job as an exciting challenge and an opportunity to grow and succeed
  • Knows how to divide tasks and among who. A great project manager knows how much to ask and expect, how much freedom and control he has to exercise, how to divide tasks and what kind of expectations to have
  • Keeps his calm and doesn’t break under pressure. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in an organization: unmet deadlines, budget issues, etc. A great manager has to be a good role model and always keep his cool under any circumstances
  • A great project manager is a visionary. He can see the big picture, he can visualize the desired outcome and inspires his team to do that as well
  • The ability to organize and stay organized. Chaos has no place in a thriving organization and it’s the project manager’s responsibility to keep everything running smoothly and according to plan
  • They make good decisions. Project managers have to take decisions on a daily basis. A great project manager is insightful and knows to make the right decisions
  • Life is unpredictable and oftentimes we have to change our initial course and be able to adapt to the circumstances. Same goes for projects and business organizations
  • Combined creativity and logic. A great manager knows how important both creativity and logic are and knows how to juggle with them and keep them balanced.
  • Has impressive team-building skills. A great project manager is a team player and knows the importance of team building.
  • Collaboration. This one is also related to team work. A well-handled project requires a lot of team work and a collaborative effort. There will be occasional contradictions and clashes of opinions, but it takes a great project manager to know how to maintain a relaxed, collaborative work environment and make everyone feel listened and appreciated within the work group.