The seven habits of mentally strong project managers

Over the last two decades, I worked with numerous project managers from different industries and the ones who are rock strong share a number of things in common. Now more than ever these habits will be tested and new ones will be developed. I’ll leave these ones below for now:

1. Mentally strong project managers practice self-awareness. They know that mental strength is their choice which requires commitment and a big sense of humour. They prefer self-irony to ego.

2. As they are building on self-awareness, they remain pro-active. They will pick up the phone first. They own the mistakes and failure. They act responsibly towards the team, the client and the sponsor.

3. They practice humility. They are humble enough to acknowledge that there are things they cannot control. They will however take seriously damage control. They refocus their attention on the things they can control and take the team through this. They care about what the team and the client thinks. The rest is a facebook thread to them.

4. They say “Hello, gorgeous!” to the unexpected, and projects by definition are plentiful of those. They know that even with the best of planning skills, there is a great deal of unchartered waters. Mentally strong project managers are as flexible as a willow and turn adversity into opportunity to bring return on investment.

5. They are best pals with risk management. They will ponder, calculate, analyse, involve others. They will put people first and thus sleep well at night.

6. They put relationships first. They know that reports, deliveries and milestones will become past. Relationships last.

7. They keep things in perspective and share it with others. They will respond to a colleague’s call for help and give the best of advice they can.

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