5 Traits of Great Project Managers

As the lead, the project manager is in charge of strategically planning the goals and steps that are necessary to completing a project on-time and under-budget — without compromising the quality and integrity of the end result. The project manager is the person that people will turn to for direction, to solve unexpected problems that arise and to provide answers to their questions. Recognizing the unique role that the project manager plays, it’s important to understand the common traits among the best project managers.

The top qualities that every project manager should have include:


For the project manager, every day needs to be more than just another day on the job. The project manager is the team leader, and is the one person who needs to help keep everyone focused on both short-term and long-term goals. It’s imperative that project managers remain enthusiastic and excited about the work that they are doing, because this has a trickle-down effect throughout the entire team that is working on the project. A project manager needs to be passionate, and they need to approach every day with a positive attitude. A manager’s ability to be enthusiastic has a significant impact on the end result of the project that is being worked on by the team.


Unexpected issues arise in nearly every project, and it’s the job of the project manager to come up with the final solution and delegate tasks appropriately. An experienced project manager knows that thinking outside of the box almost always improves the situation and helps the team come up with the best possible solution. Rich Butkevic, a PMP Certified Project Manager from Project Zendo asserts that project managers need to be flexible and realize that there isn’t always one solution for every type of problem. They also know that they can and should rely on their team to brainstorm ideas for solutions to problems that have arisen or that may arise in the future. When problem-solving becomes a team-building activity, the end result is almost always better.


The project manager is in charge of setting goals and developing steps that need to be taken in order to achieve those goals, and that information needs to be relayed to every member of the team. The best project managers communicate regularly with their team. Not only do these project managers take the time to delegate tasks and inform employees of the next steps that they should take, but they also make sure that communication is a two-way street. They welcome feedback and they attempt to modify procedures based on the feedback received from other team members. They provide support, offer advice, accept criticism, praise hard work and give constructive feedback as necessary.


Many of the projects that project managers are in charge of are complex and intricate. They are juggling multiple goals and deadlines, and creating plans that build upon one another in order to achieve those goals and complete the project on time. This requires a project manager to be organized, both personally and professionally. Project managers know how to use technology to enhance their work flow and increase their efficiency, and they delegate tasks to their team members so that they can stay on top of their own responsibilities. By staying organized and maintaining a sense of order within their own office, project managers stay more composed throughout the work day and are able to better lead their teams.


The best project managers are honest, respectful, and loyal. They value integrity, and they are willing to be accountable for their own actions. It is critical that project managers set the standard and expectations for behavior within the workplace. As the leader of the project, the project manager needs to be the example for every other person on the team. By showing employees and other team members that integrity is a priority, the team will put more trust in their leader and will be more motivated to work toward the common goal. A leader who respects everyone on the team and leads without self-interest will be far more successful than one who does not.

Project managers who possess these qualities are most likely to be successful in their endeavors. They are the project managers who will lead multiple projects with ease and efficiency, while also effectively building and motivating their teams to stay on task. Of course, every individual project manager has unique personality traits that will impact their ideas and ideals, but many of them share these same top qualities.