The Key to Achieving Extraordinary Results


Positive Leadership in Project Management


By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA



Successful project management practitioners are a unique group of people who possess extraordinary skills, have enormous amounts of patience, demonstrate competency in many areas, especially leadership, and will probably agree with the following statement: “the duties of the project manager may be extremely challenging, but the challenge is the factor that drives them achieve success.”

The project manager position requires a balance of managerial and leadership skills plus some business knowledge and a dash of miracle worker. A quick analysis of the state of project management today and for the foreseeable future indicates, with very few exceptions, the following trends:

  • Larger, more complex projects
  • Higher and more challenging strategic business goals
  • Greater responsibility placed on the project manager
  • Less availability of resources
  • Tighter timelines
  • Greater cost constraints
  • Increased customer demand for quick and reliable execution
  • More focus on risk management
  • Enhanced emphasis on organizational brand recognition
  • Project management as a competitive factor
  • Value metrics
  • More emphasis on “leading indicators”
  • Cross-over of traditional waterfall project management and Agile techniques (Hybrid project management)
  • Technology advances in IoT and A.I.
  • More focus on managing and leading people through Emotional Intelligence

After reviewing this list, I think most seasoned project managers would say without hesitation; “been there, done that” or, for many practitioners, “still there, still doing that.”

The career project manager accepts these demands and plans a strategy that will guide him or her through the many trails and challenges that can be expected. Part of that strategy is to continue developing leadership capability. Leadership, like quality, is not a destination, it’s a journey and one can expect to encounter many tests along the way.

A statement expressed many years ago by McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc helps us to understand a little more about leadership and to assist us in developing a strategy for success. He said “Happiness is a by- product of achievement”. If an employee has pride in what he or she has done, and the work is recognized by management, that employee will become a willing and enthusiastic part of a winning team. Project managers need a winning team and effective leadership is the key factor, regardless of project size and complexity…


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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. (2020). Positive Leadership in Project Management – The Key to Achieving Extraordinary Results. PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj89-Jan2020-Saladis-positive-leadership-key-to-achieving-extraordinary-results.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/