four techniques for a project manager to be a successful leader (part 2 of 2)

In part one of this post, I discussed 1) how project managers need to educate their team as to why they are doing what they do and 2) the importance of words when communicating to stakeholders.  In part two, below, I review how creativity and persistance are critical to the successful leadership.

3. be creative

A project manager that cannot think up new ideas would have a difficult time be a leader, as people are never interested in static thinking. To get best result, a project manager should have the capability to challenge his team with new ways of looking at things. It's important to always comes up with new ideas, ways and solutions.

To do so, use your imagination and free your mind. In solving an issue, some tools could be very helpful like S.C.R.A.M.B.L.E.:

Substitute: Could we substitute the problem with something else? Substituting parts of the problem with other previously known solutions?

Combine: Is the answer to our problem or issue by combining with another set of issues and find a common solution?

Reverse/Rearrange: Simply said by Paul Arden in one of his books: “Whatever you think, think the opposite.” Sometimes the best way to find the solution for a problem is to reverse the situation and rearrange various parts.

Adapt: Can you adapt a solution previously used to the problem you currently have? Most of the things we possess are adaptations of things we already had.

Modify, Magnify or Minimize: Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is by modifying the inputs and then test the outputs. As said by Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Try different inputs to your problem to expect different results.

Blow it out of proportion and Bring it back to perspective: Another way to think differently: think about the opportunities you have by first exaggerating and then bringing them back into perspective. Does this help you finding a way to seize the opportunity or solve the problem?

Liberate your limitation: Encourage your project team to find new ways and constantly accept new challenges.

Eliminate and elaborate: Once you find the best solution for an idea, elaborate it and eliminate unwanted details.

Refer also to “applying creativity to project management” to find different ways to creatively communicate with your team.


4. be persistent

A successful project manager would never give up on an issue or risk; you have the responsibility and role to inspire others by showing persistence and motivation. “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” Elbert Hubbard

In conclusion, it is important to mention that any project manager has the ability to lead his team in many ways, just try to follow these common practices and ways to inspire your team and deliver a project with highest quality, on time with as few difficulties as possible.

What about you? How have you used your skills to successfully lead your team? Tell us your story!

top image © Stauke -
bottom image © Robert Cocquyt -

Ahmed Sabry
Ahmed Sabry

I have more than 6 years of professional experience in the Software Development (, Oracle, Toad, CMS projects..etc.) and Telecommunications industry, 3 of which are in the project management division of the global telecom provider, Orange Business and in the brokerage company NAEEM Holding. I hold an MBA in management.

Alongside my professional experience in the IT industry, I have a passion for creating new processes and developing better practices. I am the owner of Gilimag online magazine for youth in the Middle East with a fan base of more than 2000 fans.