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Top 10 Characteristics of GREAT Project Managers

It’s time to do a project management diagnostic – not to find flaws or deficiencies, but rather to pinpoint qualities that only the best of the best possess. David C. Baker writes for 99U about a study run by Andy Crowe that looks at the top 2% of PMs. Out of a pool of 860, Crowe locates the 10 best qualities that the top dogs display.

1. Natural Authority. Their penchant to lead is deeply ingrained, and their undying optimism helps them to enlist the help of others.

2. Fast Prioritization. In an industry awash in data, the top PMs sift through information rapidly to learn only what needs to be learned in the moment.

3. Focus and Re-evaluate. They know that the secret to multitasking is to axe the unnecessary: unnecessary emails, meetings, and data input.

4. Dig Deep with Peers. The ultimate PMs know how to get the most out of interactions with stakeholders, and they know how their communication style is received.

5. Open Communication. The top PMs don’t pull any punches. Rather, they take a clear and direct communication route to keep their staff and coworkers informed.

6. Regulate Communications. A great PM will have a predictable schedule of communication that stands in for deliverables in the early phases of a project.

7. Retain Applied Experience. They are deeply versed in the fields under their charge, and turn this knowledge into a strategic advantage and a leadership opportunity.

8. Conflict/Consensus Masters. The truly amazing PMs are those who can build consensus and diffuse conflicts without backing down from important initiatives.

9. Social Networker. Information networks are cultivated within and outside the organization to address threats to projects at their source.

10. Loving Work. To the greatest of PMs, project management is a career, one where the rewards and the challenges are one and the same.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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