Personality and Leadership Styles of Project Managers in Crisis and Uncertainty

Rashid Maqbool (Guest editor), Alina Mia Udall (Guest editor), Waleed Umer (Guest editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Every project, big or small, is prone to suffer crisis, complexity, diversity, or uncertainty at any moment. These events can either be harmful or beneficial to the project, depending on its management and the efficacy of the project manager. The project manager is the person who is responsible to face a crisis when it occurs, the position requires someone who can recognize and act accordingly to minimize losses or take advantage of the situation. A project manager should have the skills and knowledge as well as the ability to respond to more complex scenarios and use them in a particular context. Successful project management has been defined as the proven ability to select, combine, and apply the values and knowledge one has acquired over the years. A project manager must have strategic thinking skills, coaching abilities, and knowledge of conflict resolution. In the case of a complex situation, sense making is the most critical competency a project manager must have. Sense-making is the process of being context aware and understanding complex situations, considering these to make decisions.

The role of the project manager is key to move from crisis prone to crisis prepared. Digital skills are crucial for developing strategies that are relevant and reach both internal and external stakeholders. So, to cope with any such situations, a project manager should have knowledge of a digital strategy as well as a traditional approach. Certain personality traits can help a person to succeed in this important role such as resilience, charisma, and curiosity. Creative thinking is necessary to find new approaches and achieve an advantage in a crisis. Although these characteristics are needed, they are not enough to be a successful project manager. Certain managerial competencies, personality and technical skills are also required. Furthermore, creativity is becoming even more important in a world where change is constant and new approaches are an exigency for stakeholders. It has also been demonstrated that the emotional intelligence and leadership skills of a project manager have positive impacts on project success. In a moment of crisis, the project needs a leader to focus on the future of the company. To become a leader, managers must learn to manage risk, have the appropriate competencies and skills, and guide project employees to a new horizon.

This Research Topic aims to provide a forum for academics and practitioners to explore and present on, but not limited to, the knowledge, skills, personality characteristics, leaderships styles, and psychological control factors of project management, to successfully handle the complex scenarios in a project.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychology - Organisational Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2022

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