For me, one of the most important skills of a project manager is leadership. This is more than overseeing and coordinating tasks and processes, though neglecting such activities is just as much a road to failure.
A project manager has to grasp the vision and roadmap for the initiative, for it falls down to this person at the core to motivate and encourage the rest of the team. Many other factors may well be in place… a solid concept, adequate financing, necessary specialist resources to name but a few. Yet, if the project manager cannot communicate effectively and coordinate skillfully, the project is more likely to overrun its timeline or budget, and fall short functionally or technically. In short, it is more likely to fail. The more complex an undertaking is, the more important the skills of the project manager come into the foreground.
It is for this reason I am glad to have not only a strong technical and analytical background as an engineer, but also strong leadership and communication skills, which I developed in the military. It is no coincidence that I have dedicated much of my consulting career to Change Management, as aligning a team to a vision, communicating this and developing people’s skills across an organization to reach a common goal motivate me as much today as they did when I began my professional career. And these skills also drive my understanding of project management.