As I set in the USA (Chicago to be specific) attending the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Conference, I am finding a new dimension to one of the more embittered leaders of modern time, Donald Trump. As the current incumbent of the Presidency of the United States of America, I see Mr Trump as a distinguished figure-head, who holds one of the highest offices in the world. It has become a pantomime where each morning, Mr Trump is defending his personal circumstances and in doing so it has become a personal vendetta between he and his less than adoring public. Is Mr Trump an honourable man, I think so but he is also showing why some of the characteristics he has would fit well into the world of project management. What does this all mean, I think Mr Donald Trump would make the perfect Project Manager.
The search for a perfect project manager that there is a need for the individual to raise to new challenges with the skills, talents and methods that will help them tackle the project challenges. Here is a list of what we see some of the characteristics of a Perfect Project Manager and let’s look at how Mr. Trump fits in behind them:
- Good communicator: Perfect Project Managers must be good communicators. Poor communication can lead to distorted or misunderstood messages, particularly when teams are large and distributed across multiple locations. As a Perfect Project Manager, we often need to be cautious and convey messages to those around us in a way that does not distract from achieving the goals or alienate those around us.
If we remember back Mr. Trump’s strategy for securing the Republican nomination cantered on setting himself apart from the rest of the candidates. Mr. Trump found a common ground where he has ruffled feathers by boldly calling this nation’s political leadership “incompetent leaders” and “horrible people”. While this is all fine and maybe loud mouthed, he has talked to people in a language that is understood and most importantly in a manner that did not distract from what he wanted to achieve.
- Enthusiastic: The Perfect Project Manager needs a level of enthusiasm about the project. They need to be able to sell what we do and sell the project around us. Enthusiasm is contagious and dispersing the same through the project can instil a “can do” attitude”. This ensures that there is an invigorating environment where others can share in the optimistic expectations of the project.
Looking at Mr Trump, whether he’s tackling a speech at a rally or a press conference, he brings an energy to his appearances. Irrespective whether you like it or not, Trump does bring energy as the president and it is arguably one of his greatest management strength. Mr. Trump is a very goal-oriented and driven individual, and this sort of energy and motivation creates a lot of momentum
- Set clear vision: The Perfect Project needs to cultivate a clear vision about the project and develop a “mission driven” mentality. It often happens that project managers confront a situation where they must deliver results. In spite of all the difficulties that projects can throw at you, project managers need to have a clear picture of the direction in which they are headed. They should be committed to the vision and try to explore ways of realising this irrespective of what happens in the project. The frame of mind of the Perfect Project Management should be one of wanting to take care of obstacles / conflicts that could deter them from achieving his goals.
Mr. Trump possesses boundless confidence and this is one of his most recognisable characteristics. He frequently described himself as the “only one” who would be able to fix the problems facing the USA. Mr. Trumps strong leadership is about confidence and at times he verges on the strand of overconfidence.
- Thrive under pressure: In the course of developing a project, the Perfect Project Managers often face many experiences that could take a toll on the project’s momentum. Thus, to avoid such circumstances, a project manager must be calm and not indulge in negative thoughts. This is often easier said than done.
Mr. Trump frequently presents being able to make deal with tough opponents as one of his greatest management strengths. It is often highlighted some of his aggressive negotiation strategies in order to get what he wants. As Mr. Trump once mentioned that it is a give-and-take but (for him) it’s got to be mostly take.
So is Mr. Donald Trump the most Prefect Project Manager? He definitely has some of the core characteristics to make it but I am unsure whether he would be open to the pay cut.