HAPPY NEW YEAR!! This month we are addressing project manager and team personalities.
I found this article by R. Max Wideman, FPMI, AEW Services, Vancouver, BC, Canada. In his article he breaks down project managers into four types:
The Explorer, Driver, Coordinator and finally the Administrator.
“The Explorer – Explorer or entrepreneur type project leaders have a vision of the future and projects are the stepping stones. They are bold, courageous and imaginative. There is a constant search for opportunities and improvements. They are comfortable in the lead, and exude confidence and charisma. They are good at networking and selling. They may, however, have little time for day-to-day problems which are delegated to others. Their project power derives from past experience, enthusiasm, and superior ability to communicate.
The Driver – Drivers are distinctly action-oriented and are both hard-working and hard driving. They are pragmatic, realistic, resourceful and resolute, and their focus is on project mission and precise project goals. They are generally well planned and self-disciplined, so for those who have similar traits, they are easy to work with. Conflict is likely with those who are not so inclined. Their power is derived from authority and they are quite prepared to use it.
The Coordinator – Coordinators are just as important when the project phase or situation calls for “facilitation”. They generally take a more independent and detached view of their surroundings. Coordinators are responsive to the views of project team members who must take responsibility for their own decisions. Therefore, their role is to ensure that team issues are surfaced, discussed and resolved to the team’s mutual satisfaction. These individuals tend to be humble, sensitive and willing to compromise. The Coordinator’s power is derived from his or her ability to persuade others t0 compromise.
The Administrator – Administrators recognize the need for stability, typically in order to optimize productivity through maximizing repetition to the extent possible on a project and to get the work finished. Often, requisite information must be assembled and carefully analyzed, with thought given to the trade-offs and how conflicts and problems can be resolved and disposed of in advance. Work must be carefully scheduled and procedure-ized if potential gains are to be realized and “all the pieces are to be carefully put in place”. The Administrator’s power derives from intellectual logic and organizational achievement.”
Characteristics required by all four leader types include being “credible, confident, committed, energetic, hard-working, and a self-starter.
This article tends to categorize project managers when in fact they need to be all four. Depending on the project and situation each one of these types needs to be addressed by all PM’s. Where PM’s get into trouble is being just one of these types. Further the whole project team needs to fully understand these personality types and find a place for all four of these type of personalities. With all these traits in a project team it can make the team more well rounded and issues that come up can be resolved by one of these types or a combination of types.
Can you imagine if you have a team made up of just one or two of these personalities? You would have a team that is not diverse, there would be conflict without resolution, and you would get a project leaning in one direction without the benefit of discovering another direction that could prove to be beneficial. How do you determine team member personality type?? Ask them!! Give them these types and ASK them to categorize themselves. What better way to know who is on your team. Also ask them why they picked the type they selected in 100 words or less.
Make sure you have a diverse team, try to have at least three of these type personalities on the team. You as a project manager need to make sure you can assume any one of the “role types” when it is needed by the project and the team. Know your dominant trait and work on understanding the others. Seek out team members who are in these traits and remember work through the personalities to promote the best in your team members.
Filed under: Al's Angle, Communications Management | Tagged: personality type, Project manager, Project team | Leave a Comment »