The 25 Best Things About Being a Project Leader
Every day, project leaders are out there turning strategy into reality. As part of the celebrations for International Project Management Day on 4 November, we asked: What’s the very best part of being a project leader?
Being able to contribute to organizational transformation and witnessing tangible results—like a reduction in cost or an increase in customer satisfaction.
—Gustavo Pastrana, PMP, Diebold Nixdorf, Mexico City
Every day, hundreds of project leaders lead projects in medicine, energy, materials and communications, which makes an everlasting impact on the lives of fellow human beings and helps the world evolve into a better place for all.
—Syed Ahsan Mustaqeem, PMP, PMI Future 50, Pakistan Petroleum, Karachi
Having the opportunity and capacity to create new things. Every project is a new creation and gives us the opportunity to create a future.
—Susana Molina, PMP, Veolia, Guayaquil, Ecuador
It’s exciting to turn ideas into reality. You can have a difficult or challenging project, but the satisfaction of being part of a change or improvement is the best feeling. The project leader can encourage and inspire—we help our team achieve personal and professional growth. We are the agents of change.
—Alejandra Velazquez Aranda, PMP, Ticher Institute, Mexico City
The two best things are working on tangible projects that improve the work that people do every day to solve real customer problems and working with teams to create those aha moments using a foundation of common language, sensible planning, consistent tools and quality processes.
—Kathryn Rutkowski, PMP, Ausgrid, Sydney
Being able to inspire project teams through problem solving and communication. You also get to enjoy the end-to-end journey—every project helps to solve unique problem statements and delivers quality products.
—Rathidevi Vijayaraghavan, PMP, Emeritus, Mumbai
The satisfaction of the positive impact that my projects can make in the lives of others and for the cause undertaken.
—Geetha Gopal, PMP, PMI Future 50 leader, Panasonic Asia Pacific, Singapore
Making a Difference
The best part is the dynamics of the project leader’s work, constant changes and the ability to learn from and interact with a diverse group of stakeholders. It’s very engaging when you are the glue of the project team while delivering business value and outcomes—being the influencer of the action.
—Michal Raczka, PMI-ACP, PMP, mBank, Warsaw
A project leader doesn’t lead a project—he or she leads a project team. Like the conductor of an orchestra, a project leader directs and inspires the team members to play at their best. And when the music we have made sounds beautiful, it feels damn good!
—Kahn Yoon, M Moser Associates, Singapore
Being able to refine an idea and watch it metamorphose into something beautiful, something tangible that actually turns out to be a positive disruptive force. I’m able to work with different teams and find solutions to complex challenges. It’s absolutely fulfilling—it’s almost like a superpower.
—Abigail Sandala, PMP, PMI Future 50 leader, Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority, Lusaka, Zambia
Joining Forces to Make Reality
Working together with people who have different backgrounds, cultures, mindsets and domain expertise. It also gives me the opportunity to understand their problems, pain areas and decide the best-fitting solution together with a team. All in all, the “project leader” role is full of challenges, learning and excitement every day.
—Pravin Shinde, PMP, IDES Global, Maharashtra, India
Being a project leader gives me the invaluable opportunity to meet so many diverse and amazing people from different countries, cultures, backgrounds and ages. It’s nurtured my desire to meet new people, to grow and learn continuously. It makes me proud of belonging to a worldwide community and humble toward what I need to learn. It makes me truly happy to help others and bring my small contribution to a better future.
—Yasmina Khelifi, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, PMP, Orange, Paris
Translating the vision into reality and the sense of realization that everything goes as initially planned. In between, there’s nothing better than being a servant for your team’s success.
—Khaleel Baba, PMP, PMI Future 50, Emaar Properties PJSC, Dubai
Interacting with diverse teams to deliver toward a common vision—and seeing it come to life. Project leaders collaborate to create value—and often improve lives in the process. It’s satisfying to look back on what the team has accomplished once the project is done.
—Innocentia Mahlangu, PMP, PMI Future 50, Hatch, Johannesburg
Connecting different people to the same goal—and see how the diversity of thinking and experiences can bring about incredible solutions.
—Raquel Selem Moreira, Pierre Fabre Group, Rio de Janeiro
It’s when the different components of a project start coming together. The fulfilling experience is in watching how the people behind project components take part in making it possible for everything to form shape.
—Zameka Ntlokonkulu, PMP, Global Trade Solutions, East London, South Africa
It’s always amazing to watch a team of people with completely different ideas, backgrounds, thoughts and agendas come together with a common goal and create something real from an idea.
—Brad Corder, PMP, Ameren, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Not only dealing with different kinds of projects, but also seeing one thing from different perspectives with different angles of approach. It’s a chance to interact with all organizational levels—people from the C-suite to the front-liners—then learning how to handle things strategically and tactically without compromising any of them.
—Nahlah Alyamani, PMI-RMP, PMP, PgMP, SPL, Riyadh
First, it’s about the tangible and measurable project outcomes, delivering value to the client and project owners by aligning the final results to the vision and objectives of the project. The satisfaction they get from knowing they made a good investment makes the entire journey worthwhile—hurdles and all. Second, the individual contributions, synergy and overall dynamics within the team that impact us all in one way or another is rewarding. Innovation, learning, growth, new relationships, new perspectives and opportunities resulting from current discussions. It’s a fresh experience with every project.
—Kemi Damola Samuel, PMP, JCSI Nigeria, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria
The best thing for me is seeing the smiles on the faces of value beneficiaries or project stakeholders—and the joy expressed by stakeholders upon each successful value delivery. It’s more than a reward for me. Each successful project is a point of great fulfilment for me.
—Gbolahan Pearl Oyelakin, PMP, Infiniti Pointe Nigeria, Lagos
Project leadership is about dreaming and visualizing the real outcomes. Cross all the obstacles as a team and celebrate the success.
—Anil Bhide, PMP, Varian Medical Systems, Pune, India
I love the challenge. It always gets so bad before it gets better. And when a project crosses the finish line, the feeling of “we did it” among the team is addictive. I love it.
—Diane Newton, PMP, Simmons Bank, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Seeing the impact your work has on everyone around you. From stakeholders to team members, you are helping bring value to everyone.
—Radu Dragan, PMP, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver
Project management is a never-ending process of improvement. Your mindset and skills are a muscle, and project management is your gym. You exercise while interacting with team members from different cultures and while navigating between different patterns and resolutions.
—Georges Mardiny, Simac, Beirut
Helping turn ideas into tangible results that improve the business—or life— has always been the most exciting thing for me. The reward of having a project pass the finish line is why I keep pushing forward. That satisfaction is always worth the challenges.
—Angelique Kuhn, PMP, Kern Community College District, Bakersfield, California, USA