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Wonder About the Habits of Successful Project Managers?

“When you’re responsible for a project, large or small, things will go wrong. You can minimize the likelihood with a clear understanding of how you can be a successful project manager,” writes Tom Kendrick, author of 101 Project Management Problems and How to Solve Them (AMACOM, 2011), Kendrick, a project management consultant and former project management executive for Hewlett-Packard and for Visa Inc., points out how important it is for project managers to define their working style.

In his book, he writes, “Effective project leaders have a lot in common with all good managers. In particular, good project managers are people-oriented and quickly establish effective working relationships with their team members.

“I find one of the biggest differences between a project manager and an individual contributor is time fragmentation. People who lead projects must be willing to deal with frequent interruptions. Project problems, requests, and other imperatives never wait for you to become unbusy, so you need to learn how to drop whatever you are doing, good naturedly, and refocus your attention. Project leaders who hide behind ‘do not disturb’ signs and lock their doors run the risk of seeing trivial, easy addressed situations escalate into unrecoverable crises. Between urgent emails, phone calls, frequent meetings, and people dropping in, project managers don’t generally have a lot of uninterrupted time. You may need to schedule work that demands your focus and concentration before the workday begins, or do it after everyone has left for the day.”

Excerpted, with permission of the publisher, from 101 Project Management Problems and How to Solve Them: Practical Advice for Handling Real-World Project Challenges by Tom Kendrick. Copyright 2011, Tom Kendrick. Published by AMACOM. For more information, visit www.amacombooks.org