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Is There Anything Wrong with an Alpha Project Manager?

We all know that being the weak project manager will get you nowhere. Organizations need a strong leader to assert their position and keep the project on track, but can a manager be too strong? In a post for PM Hut, Kiron D. Bondale explores this idea of an “alpha manager.”

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Part of a project manager’s job is to continually get investments for the organization’s projects, and a stronger manager can oftentimes be more successful at this. However, what if this tenacious manager is forcing funding for a failing project? Then they are really costing the organization more than they are making.

Perhaps the project manager is working with peers who are subpar in comparison to their excellence. In the ideal world, the alpha manager would be willing and enthusiastic to coach their coworkers into the successful world of leadership. However, it is not uncommon for them to feel threatened by this “new” competition; why would they want to give away all of their trade secrets? In this scenario, project managers can feel dejected and refuse to train their peers, or, worse, cease working to their full potential out of spite.

Strong project managers walk a dangerous line in their leadership, a line between asserting dominance in an effective manner or simply bullying their subordinates into submission. When this line is crossed into the dark side, a manager may experience a quick win, but they will not reap the long-term benefits that come when the team has respect for them. Alpha project managers need to be careful exerting their dominance when they are leading an organization with a low level of maturity. When the organization is not well-developed yet, too much strength may actually deter stakeholders from investing in the company.

The bottom line is that a strong project manager is preferred over a weak one, but this strength needs to have a cap so they do not become a monster. You care read the original post here:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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