- 12th January 2015 at 12:18 #15486
A 2011 paper by Bakhsheshi & Nejad “Impact of Project Managers’ Personalities on Project Success in Four Types of Project” compiled a list of the personal characteristics required in a project manager based on other research. The list amounts to 101 traits!
I can’t imagine any project manager could exist with all of these traits – what do you think?
14th January 2015 at 10:21 #15488
- Verbal Fluency
- Effective Communicator and Integrator
- Broad Scope Of Personal Interests
- Balance Technical Solutions With Time, Cost, and Human Factors
- Well Organized
- A Generalist Rather Than A Specialist
- Able and Willing To Devote Time To Planning And Controlling
- Able To Identify Problems
- Willing To Make Decisions
- Able To Maintain Proper Balance in the Use Of Time
- Multidisciplinary Oriented
- Global Problem Oriented
- Effective Decision Maker
- Problem Solver
- Have Management Knowledge
- Have Analytical Ability
- Impressive Communicator
- Proper Temperament Such As Calm, Realistic, Quick Thinking
- The Desire To Lead and Influence Others
- Technical Knowledge
- Problem-Solving Ability
- Results Orientation
- Communication Ability
- Negotiation Ability
- Having Vision and Clear Picture About Future
- Goal Directed
- Clear Purpose For Going Ahead and Achieving Goals
- Aptitude For Communication
- Positive Attitude
- Aptitude for Dealing With Problems
- Risk Evaluations
- Understanding Project Team Problems
- Having Knowledge About Project Technology
- Business Management Competence
- Understands Management Principals
- Decision Making Ability
- Relationship Management Skills
- Forward Looking
- Open Minded
- Straight forward
- Psychological Openness
- Appetite For Learning
I once read a novel called ‘Shibumi’ which is a Japanese word meaning ‘authority without domination’. I like that. Aggressiveness is usually counterproductive with fallout from resentment following. It is not a characteristic compatible with true leadership, and not the same as ‘assertiveness’ which of course is necessary and appropriate on occasion, though notable by its absence from this list.
‘(38) (AND (90)??) Ambition’ and ‘(39) The Desire to Lead and Influence Others’.
It is paradoxical but in great leaders ((4) Leadership) these characteristics are notable by their absence; they almost find themselves thrust forward by others rather than dominating by aggression. The culture and climate of fear the latter precipitates is, I imagine, something we aspire to move beyond. Also 38 and 39 both lead to corruption; that famed corollary of power because, just as we see with politicians, the desire for, and retention of it compromises individual integrity.
I would add that I see as quite different to 38 and 39 the desire to ‘make a difference’: here the self is secondary: the ‘end’ is not self aggrandisement, or personal power, but realising the objective.
‘(1) Flexibility’ and ‘(35) Flexible'(??) What is the difference I wonder?
Years ago there was a much feted TV play called ‘Abigail’s Party’ in which neighbours got together and the personalities emerged through conversation. Angela; a nurse, seems meek and retiring throughout until Laurence suffers a heart attack. Suddenly, ‘out of nowhere’ it feels, Angela emerges into her own. The transformation in herself and the reactions of all around her in stark contrast to their ‘dismissal’ of her before, is remarkable. My point is that I suspect that most functional humans exhibit most of the above (technical i.e. 67,68 & 69, excepted) characteristics at one time or another as elicited by some combination of disposition and circumstance. For this reason I am not sure that such lists (a bit like some job descriptions) are not a rather simplistic approach to ‘quantifying’ what constitutes a good Project Manager which might be more fruitfully assessed ‘qualitatively’?14th January 2015 at 12:49 #15487
These characteristics come from various other pieces of research compiled by B & N in 2011 but dating back to 1976 – around the time of Abigail’s Party, in fact – so there are some duplicates but I have just reproduced the list here.
I agree “Aggressiveness” is not a characteristics that we would promote in the 21st century and, in fact, this trait comes from a 1976 paper by Archibald so I’m sure the thinking was very different then.
I remember attending a course at the start of my career called “Assertiveness Training for Women” where we were taught the difference between aggressiveness and assertiveness and the disadvantages and advantages of both (respectively, obviously).
I actually find the list quite amusing as it’s an almost unattainable target for anyone to achieve – we are only human after all.
Maybe we should compile a new list but it wouldn’t be based on any concrete research…
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