You, a project manager, are a change agent in many ways. For one thing, you have to utilise your own knowledge and skills to achieve goals and objectives that change the outcomes for your clients, even for your team members and your stakeholders in the project. For another thing, you have to change the mindsets of your team members, if and when necessary, toward the achievement of the goals and objectives.

Indeed, to become a successful project management professional, you have to initiate, embrace and innovate on change! Of course, you should also have the following personal traits to become a successful project manager. Just remember that you are many things to many persons although all of these things complement each other. You are the leader of a team tasked to achieve a shared purpose, thus, your leadership skills should be in place. You are expected to be a strategist that sees the big picture and the detail-oriented person that sees the small yet crucial details in the project.

You are the person who must take command responsibility for the team (i.e., the buck stops with you) for its failures yet also be the person who will give credit where it is due, even take less of the credit for the team’s success. You are the professional with the comprehensive toolkit of tools, techniques and technologies necessary for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of the project.

As a project manager, your leadership of a certain project may be temporary – a project is, after all, a temporary endeavour for the creation of a unique product or service – but the changes made by the project may well be long lasting in nature. Keep in mind, too, that you are not operating in a 9-to-5 operation.

Here are the personal attributes that you must possess in order to be a successful project manager. You will even find that these traits of a successful project management professional are applicable in your non-project relationships, thus, proving that life is a big project.

Trustworthy Person

Trust is the foundation upon which a successful project manager builds his team and then leads, encourages and inspires his team members, even his colleagues in the industry. With trust, you are more likely to persuade and influence your team members toward the achievement of a common goal and a shared purpose, even when it is temporary in nature.

Professional Competence

When your teammates see you as a competent person with the right knowledge and skills in project management specifically for the project at hand, then you are also more likely to be trusted as their leader. Professional competence as a project manager should be a reality and a perception for it to be recognised by the team members, a fact in all projects especially high-risk, high-cost ones.

Furthermore, professional competence includes both the personal qualities and the technical abilities of the project manager. One without the other will adversely affect your ability to become an effective leader for your team.

Effective Delegator

Becoming the effective head of a project management team requires the ability to delegate with effectiveness and efficiency in mind. This is where trust also comes in – you must be able to trust your teammates to perform their jobs in the same manner that they trust you to perform yours, too. You can also demonstrate your trust in them in the way you check and control their work, the way you delegate tasks and allow them to participate in the tasks, and the way you let them take risks and take responsibility for their actions.

As an effective delegator-cum- project manager, you should also be able to identify the knowledge and skills, thus, the suitability of each team member for specific tasks within the project. This does not just involve checking their resumes but knowing them on another level, such as directly asking them about these matters.

Team Builder

No project management endeavour will be successful without a team – an effective, efficient and harmonious team, to be exact. As a project manager, you must be a good team builder who can provide the team with the right tools, techniques and technology as well as inspiration toward the achievement of shared goals.

When you have a good team, your chances for success will increase. Your teammates’ strong sense of teamwork can even save the day.

Problem Solver

Project management is filled with all sorts of problems so much so that every day seems like a challenge. But the best project manager can take these problems in stride by identifying and addressing the relevant issues as soon as possible or as needed. Just keep in mind that being a problem solver does not mean doing all the work. You have to involve your teammates in solving the issues that come along, which is also a way to strengthen trust, teamwork, and passion for the job at hand.

Passionate About the Job

Speaking of passion, a successful project manager possesses a passionate attitude toward the job in particular and the team in general. Your teammates will likely follow your lead when you have a can-do attitude, one that shows passion.

With passion comes enthusiasm even in the face of adversity. As an enthusiastic leader, your teammates will be inspired to adopt a can-do attitude as well even when the odds appear to be against the team and its project.

Effective Communicator

From the formulation of the project goals to the evaluation of the project results as well as the statement of the project mission and vision, a successful project manager effectively communicates his thoughts, opinions and directives. Clear communication is a must in all stages lest issues get muddied and conflicts get violent.

Being an effective communicator does not only apply to your teammates. You must also be effective in your communications with other parties, such as clients, suppliers and stakeholders. This is true in cases when negotiations are a must.

Do all of these attributes as a successful project manager seem too burdensome, perhaps even too unreachable, for an ordinary individual? Then again, you are not just any ordinary individual either – you are a project management professional!