Are Project Managers Born or Made?

Program and Project Management


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Program and Project Management > Best Practices > Are Project Managers Born or Made?

Are Project Managers Born or Made?
Ellis, Manager, United Kingdom, Member
It is worth considering whether project managers are born or made.
If they are born, there is an assumption that core elements of the desirable traits mentioned in the 4C's of an Ideal Project Manager are inherent in the nature of the individual.
This may be the case for a lucky few but, in my experience, the best chance for success in developing project managers is to mould them by virtue of a combination of training, mentorship and experience.
That is where the competency element comes in to play. If the manager is given the tools to succeed and is exposed to lessons learned from previous projects then that, combined with the inherent personality should give you the greatest opportunity for becoming a successful and competent project manager.

Are Project Managers Born or Made?
David Dicanot, Analyst, France, Member
Hello, I would add a dimension that, I think, can determine if a project manager is competent or not: the mental structure.
Even with training, mentorship or experience, competent project managers are creative, as an opposition to followers, and think global rather than specific.
Without these natural factors, somebody can not become competent as a successful project manager.

Some Project Managers are Born...
David Guild, Consultant, Australia, Member
I think a few of them are born, because their natural talent assists them, but this does not rule others out!
They would have to adopt those strengths to be successful.

Are PMs Born or Made? Made
Mellacheruvu Adi Saasthry , Director, India, Premium Member
My two cents: PMs can certainly be made, one needs to learn the underlying philosophy of project management, obtain the required experience, skills and knowledge. Over and above that you need to have some flair as well.

Project Managers Born or Made
David Guild, Consultant, Australia, Member
Certainly anyone can do any job, or learn any job, but it must fit their natural personality or they won't like, enjoy the job. And therfore not do it to the utmost of their ability. A happy worker is a better worker...

Project Managers can be Made but they need some Inherent Factors to really Bloom in that Role
My two cents:-))
In general, one can acquire skill sets over a period of time, and a decent job can be done, but an individual blooms in his or her career when his/her 3 circles of Natural Strengths, Passion and Personality style intersect with a particular job profile. I believe this also applies for project management.

Project Managers are Born and Made
David Guild, Consultant, Australia, Member
@Sweety: totally agree with point, unfortunately not many people arrive at this intersection in life due to outside influences but those who do, thrive and proper. You can always tell people who are happy at their work, and you can definitely tell those who are not.

Project managers are Born AND Made
Some project managers are born, these people also have the ability to accept change. If you don't change then the world will go on without you. You are actually changing yourself all the time... (you are getting older)(btw enjoy it)...
But most project managers have to be made, and what is wrong with that, never, never stop learning...

A Project Manager is Born
buyinza geoffrey
I agree with those members saying that project managers are born, but we should not neglect the other factors like, mentorship, training, motivation, and other incentives.

Project Manager, Born or Made
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
@buyinza geoffrey: No project managers are born. Certain personality traits are added by society and parents to an individual's personality to grow with certain skills.
Obviously, project management skills are to be tutored through mentoring and training.

Project Managers - Born or Made?
Leodegardo M. Pruna, Professor, Philippines, Member
Project Managers are made more than born. They go through a lot of study and experience before they could be one. They are very particular about efficiency and quality of the projects they undertake and these factors definitely are results of much preparation and honing (Editor: ~polishing).

Behavioral Profiling of Project Managers
Paul D Giammalvo, Professor and Consultant, Indonesia, Member
@Leodegardo M. Pruna: some published research I have been working on for several years now is showing otherwise.
Several of us have been experimenting with behavioral profiling of project managers and what our research indicates is there are people who are more likely to be "successful" as project managers and that trying to develop people who do not have those "favorable" behavioral traits (or have unfavorable behavioral attributes) is unlikely to produce "successful" project managers no matter how hard you try.

Behavioral Profiling of Project Managers
Leodegardo M. Pruna, Professor, Philippines, Member
@Paul D Giammalvo: I do agree that people with no interest on the subject would never come out successful even if they are made to undergo the development process. So that one important factor in development is the individual himself (interest, attitude, behavior). One may not have the interest but this could develop in time with his association and upscale relationship with others who may be in project management practice. This type of situation could be similar to a medical practitioner who ends up a business tycoon.

Project Management Versus Operations
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India, Member
@Leodegardo M. Pruna: Yes, you are right. People with no interest or attitude towards the principles of project operations are a misfit.
An individual should have interest, attitude, and behaviour in order that he or she contributes towards the success of organization and individual himself/herself through the principles of operations of a project. That is an initial internalization of principles of operating projects.

Program and Project Management

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