10 Project Manager Traits – 2 – Starters

2 - Starters


Starter project managers have great ideas and a sense of urgency to get on with the project. They cannot wait to get started but as the project moves forward (or drags on, as they would describe it) they tend to get bored. Since they are overflowing with ideas, a new more exciting project can result in them tputting the current project on hold and for the next project to become the priority.

The intention

“Let’s get on with it.”

 Progress, movement and excitement. 

Thrill of the new, with a touch of: “I want it all now!”

The Good

Project managers of this type generate great ideas and make sure that they get started in very short time spans. They are very unlikely to spend weeks or months discussing possible projects – they already know which one they want to do next out of long list of pending ideas.

The Bad

Boredom takes hold if the project takes too long. If the project is a big one and one that will take years to create and implement then they will most likely leave after a short while leaving the boss with a problem. However, this usually is the boss and the problem is that they may well have many incomplete projects that cause them heavy financial losses and frustration with their junior staff and/or consultants. There is likely to be a history of sackings and firings of people who failed to deliver completed projects. Projects that have made it through, may well be fragmented with many half implemented concepts.

The Story

I love working with starters, I love the abundance of ideas and the sheer energy of their style but where I have failed to encourage the introduction or inclusion of junior managers I have seen the boss lose interest and get annoyed with the apparent lack of progress. It is often much harder to resist the temptation of following them down the path of the next exciting idea and much more self-discipline is required to keep everything on track.

Failing to get junior manager support or helping to keep this type on track has led to being sacked. After all, working with such a project manger, will lead to a series of incomplete, or rather, “failed” projects. All of them could have worked, they just never got done. When the totality is reviewed the Starter will be able to demonstrate that “nothing works” and they will be right.

If you succeed with getting help to ensure that both the new idea and the original idea get completed there will never be a shortage of work. 

Remedial action

The value of starters cannot be underestimated, These are the entrepreneurs overflowing with ideas. They will start things and get things moving fast. However they need a great team around them to take over when the energy wanes. The ideas are still good so the project is worth completing but they need a new project manger to step in and run it through to completion. When a project is completed there is likely to be quite a lot of fanfare as the Starter loves the success of seeing one of thier ideas come to fruition.

If there is no possibility to have another manager take over, then the project needs to be broken up into smaller steps that allow for quick results of parts of the project. This ensures that the momentum is maintained and that there are visible signs of progress.

The manager also needs to create a great evaluative method to ensure that the focus is on essential aspects of the project first. Define what is essential! Keep a log of the other ideas and when there is more time determine which of these should be worked on next.