Professionalism and the Project Manager


Positive Leadership in Project Management


By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA



Project managers and those with similar titles and roles are placed in leadership positions. They are selected for the assignment, in most cases, because they have demonstrated an ability to “get things done.” It is a reputation that has been earned through perseverance, dedication, and a willingness to go the proverbial extra mile. This requires a very well-balanced approach that combines effective management and strong leadership to meet the objectives of the project and to ensure the team remains engaged and motivated. Part of that balance requires the project manager to present a consistent and professional image to all stakeholders.

Professionalism in project management can be defined as a set of values, behaviors, and characteristics demonstrated by the project manager and carried forward by the team. The key point here is the leader sets the tone for the team and influences the behavior of the team. The values, behaviors, and characteristics of the leader are the essential factors that will drive the team to provide extraordinary service and high-quality products to stakeholders. A consistent display of professionalism can create a positive project environment, enhance team member commitment and gain greater support and acknowledgment from executive management, clients, and other key stakeholders. Consistent demonstration of professionalism is not only observed by customer and clients, it drives the organization to greater levels of business success.

With a great degree of confidence, I believe that most project managers spend a fair amount of time gathering information about best practices in the project management community, discussing lessons learned with team members and peers, or observing other leaders in action, to further enhance their leadership abilities and professional image. The following tips, gathered from many sources and personal experience, will help to further advance the professional image and brand of those in leadership positions and within an organization’s project management environment.

1. Professionalism begins at the leadership level. If you are leading a team, department, division or an entire organization, set expectations early and intentionally. This is extremely important at the start of a project or as a new role begins. Expectations should also be revisited often due to the frequent changes that most organization experience in the business environment. Review the organization’s code of conduct or guiding principles and emphasize the importance of achieving excellence through teamwork, collaboration, and professional conduct. As a leader, display the characteristics you desire to see in your team members. Establish yourself as a resource and focus on the development of your team while you emphasize your vision and mission. Create a desire among your team members or within the organization to create value every day.



To read entire article, click here


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. (2020). Positive Leadership in Project Management: Professionalism and the Project Manager. PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue III, March. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/pmwj91-Mar2020-Saladis-professionalism-and-the-project-manager.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/