There’s an interesting post on bnet that highlights the ten biggest mistakes that managers make. Most, if not all, of these items, apply to professionals in general and project managers in particular. The true differentiator when it comes to managing others, even in project management, is the ability to interact with others and influence them in a positive manner. This is not about manipulation, but rather it is about identifying that win-win strategy that can help everyone support a course of action or champion an idea. It is sad however how many professionals we encounter that simply do not have the basic people skills that can lead to success.
In addition to having a firm set of guiding principles or core values that are critical for managers (and professionals), the journey to success in my opinion starts with an openness to other people’s ideas and suggestions. Being inclusive when it comes to decision making and action does not mean that the leader is being indecisive. My rule of thumb has been that just because I am empowered and able to make a decision does not mean that I should do so without seeking advice and council. That is not to say though that when the advice is received it is followed. The important thing is to make sure that we take into account different perspectives so as not to be blind sided once the decisions are made