Project Management

Leading with 3 Aspects of Integrity

Project management means integrity to Cameron McGaughy and a host of other contributors at the Voices on Project Management blog. When you think of someone who has integrity, what person comes to mind? Perhaps you know a friend or relative who strikes you as someone with strong character. Maybe you associate that word with a historical figure or exemplary athlete. No matter who you cite as an example, it’s likely there are three essential aspects that are integral to their integrity.

The Trusted Trio

  • Honesty
  • Ownership
  • Humility

Being truthful is an either/or phenomenon. Either your frankness has an empowering and refreshing effect, or it comes across as blunt, tactless, or even insulting. McGaughy and others suggest that either way, that’s fine. When it comes to getting the job done right, you won’t always be able to please. Instead, set clear expectations in the beginning as a framework for project staff to follow. If someone steps out of bounds, don’t be afraid to blow the whistle.

When the project goes south, the PM with integrity stands up and takes the fall. They never hide behind rank and title, or assign blame to a member of their staff (even if it is deserved). Think of all the movie characters who do this – they’re almost always villains. That’s how you’ll be perceived unless you fully accept the responsibility that comes with being a good leader.

Likewise when things go right, and the project is a success, don’t be charmed into thinking that you alone are responsible for victory. The PM with integrity knows that delivering value is a team game. Recognition is the prize, the medal at the end of the finish line. If you take that glory for yourself, what incentive does a team member have to work hard in the future?

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