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Committing to Be a Professional Project Manager | Video

Committing to Be a Professional Project Manager | Video

At what point do you become a Professional Project Manager? I started wondering this in a meeting with a client. We were talking about different people in their organization.

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What is a Professional Project Manager?

Let’s start with an easier question…

What is Professionalism?

Professionalism is easy to define. It’s a set of behaviors:

  • consistent
  • ethical
  • thorough
  • expert
  • diligent

Anyone can conduct themselves this way. You don’t have to be a project professional. And it’s also true that a committed professional can lack professionalism in how they act.

So, I return to the question…

The conclusion I have come to is that we become a professional when we make a choice. We choose the mindset of a professional.

Professional Project Manager Mindset

There are many things that distinguish the professional mindset from that of an amateur. I want to focus on three of them.

Learning and Mastery

An amateur mindset is to get ‘good enough’ at what you are doing. Good enough to succeed, to impress, to enjoy.

No professional would ever settle for that. For you, mastery is a learning process, not an end-point. Professionals seek out feedback to learn from and see setbacks as steps along the path. They commit to reviewing their actions and constantly honing their craft.

Deeper Thinking

It’s easy to look at the surface of things. We believe today’s events have a clear meaning. But a professional looks below the surface to see the deep underlying webs of complexity. They see simple cause-and-effect chains as an illusion in all but a few cases.

Amateurs are quick to take credit for successes. But, professionals understand the interaction of preparation and fortune. They aren’t just smart; they are wise too.

And, looking forward, they want something more than being right. They focus on long-term end outcomes.

Long View

This long view informs all of a professional’s thinking. They have learned patience and care little for blame. They build infrastructure and capabilities, so everyone and everything around them gets better, every day.

And, if there’s a setback, they address it. And then they get straight back to building, where an amateur would lose heart.

None of these Professional Project Manager Choices is an Easy One

However, if you plan to commit to a long-term career – in Project Management or in anything else – they are pivotal. They will start you on a journey that has no end. And that, in essence, is the mindset of a professional.

Are you ready to start that journey?

Are you ready to commit to becoming a Professional Project Manager?

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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