Project Managers, Lighten Up!

By Richard Morreale

There are certain characteristics that I believe a person should have to be a truly great Project Manager. Certainly, a Project Manager must have the ‘hard skills’ associated with planning, organizing, monitoring and controlling. In addition, however, the Project Manager should also have ‘soft skills’ that include enthusiasm, energy, commitment to excellence and success, self-motivation, the ability to motivate the Team, great interpersonal skills, excellent communication skills, honesty, openness and a really good sense of humor. That’s right – a really good sense of humor.

I was leading a seminar once with attendees from all over the world and by the time I listed these characteristics along with a few others on the flip chart one of the attendees, a beautiful lady from Italy said, “If you find a man like that I’ll marry him”. I replied that if I found a man like that, I’d marry him although my wife and children would probably have something to say about it.

At any rate, I believe it is the Project Managers responsibility to establish an environment where project team members can laugh and enjoy themselves. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If someone is going to be the butt of a joke make it you.

What we are delivering to the client is important and very serious, and we should recognize that, but I also know that with a light atmosphere in place on the project we have a much better chance of delivering the project successfully.

So, lighten up, enjoy yourself, make sure the Team members are enjoying themselves and never, that’s right, never take yourself too seriously. Have a great time!

Richard is a project manager, professional speaker, author and consultant specializing in Project Management, Leadership, Achievement and Customer Service.

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