Creating a Positive Team Culture


Positive Leadership in Project Management


By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

“Behind every great team is a strong culture: great leadership and passionate,
committed people”
Jon Gordon – The Power of a Positive Team

The need for a strong and highly cohesive team to achieve organizational objectives is something every leader is aware of, and the best, most effective leaders focus on creating that team.

The culture of the organization impacts every functional group and the interaction between those groups. This includes department performance, employee performance, engagement of employees to achieve organizational goals, productivity, retention, and relationships with customers and other stakeholders.  It’s more than the daily sum of moods of your team; it’s your values, the way employee development and feedback is handled, and the communication choices made by your leadership.

Trinet.com defines culture as a term used to define the customs, achievements, values, norms and general beliefs of a certain group of individuals. Considering this definition, organizational culture will affect every activity and transaction that occurs within the organization. It establishes the behaviors that drive the work and interrelationships that define how you conduct business, and it is the basis for how people perceive your brand.

The most important job for a leader, or a self-managed team, is to create a culture that energizes and encourages each team member to give their best performance each day, and to foster empowerment, a need to grow professionally, and a desire to help each other succeed.

Leaders of organizations can create, change, and even break organizational culture. The leaders are essential in developing and sustaining culture and how it’s perceived by employees. A major factor in establishing culture or changing it, is the need for alignment between the leadership team and the organization’s employees. Open, honest, respectful, and frequent communication create a pathway to a desired culture. This will create an environment where employees believe they are heard and their views and suggestions are valued.

Why is creating a positive organizational culture important?

According to an article at Creating a Positive Organizational Culture With Employee Assessments – TTISI , research showed that “More than half of employees were willing to go to a competing firm in search of a better culture, and 48% said they’d consider working a 60 hour week in exchange for a better culture.”

Based on that research alone, creating a positive culture should be the top priority of any leader. Keep in mind that culture is dynamic and will change as new leaders emerge and make organizational changes based on their own styles and priorities.


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Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2022). Creating a Positive Team Culture: Positive Leadership in Project Management, series article. PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/pmwj120-Aug2022-Saladis-creating-positive-team-culture-leadership-series-article.pdf

 About the Author

Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA


Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/