Accidental Project Manager Part 2

Accidental Project Manager Series
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

Part 1 of the Accidental Project Manger series talked about some of the disastrous consequences of not having a formal onboarding process for new project managers.  Next, I want to ask you, why did you accepts these risks and become a project manager?

The Rosemary Hossenlopp Top 3 List is: .Accidental Project Manager Top 3 list





You probably gravitated to project management since you are generally good at a bunch of things. You:

  • are good at balancing both people and process issues
  • like people but like solving problems just as much
  • can generally balance being directive vs. facilitative
  • adapt to the situation rather than demanding it lines up with your expectations
  • quickly can size up your position power and our expertise relative to others
  • adopt the right tone in running meetings.
  • don’t perceive issues as obstacles but just as decisions that need to be made.

In summary you tend to balance the extremes of wild optimism vs. being overwhelmed by all the problems that we need to work on.


You like having a sphere of influence. You look forward to calling your peers in Europe and you look forward to participating on cross-functional initiatives.  I remember when I was in a room with a group of other project managers listening to our company’s merger announcement on a speaker phone.  All the men in the room turned to me and said, you will be on the Merger team: and . . . . I was.

You are students of team and cultural dynamics.  For example, I was just in a situation with Japan where part of the issue was with me just being a woman. You are students looking for the keys to master situations like these. You can encounter global problems and we may say darn but you don’t stop; you start problem decomposition which is probably the basis for a great project management T-shirt slogan.


Project managers are some of the highest paid non-executives in an organization. We are currently experiencing a drop in employment opportunities and salary levels because project management employment is closely tied to the economy. However there will always be a need for project managers because of the increased amount of product and process complexity, time to market needs and the need for cross functional expertise needed to have projects run efficiently.
Post a comment and let us know why you became a project manager.
Now that we know what got ourselves into project management, we need gain a mindset for improving our skills and contributions to our organizations.  See Part 3 for tips to improve your project performance.

Rosemary Hossenlopp, MBA PMP © 2008 All Rights Reserved


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