Which characteristic do you think is the most important for being a successful and effective project manager?
An effective project manager should be able to inspire the project team a shared vision towards a common goal. Effective communication at all levels both within the team and outside the team is very very important. Project manager is not just a manager but also a leader and good leadership demands commitment and demonstration of ethical practices.
Project manager must not put personal goals infront of the project goals. Project manager must demonstrate enthusiasm and less of negativity. Project manager must be able to challange, inspire, and encourage team members during different phases of project. Another important quality of an effective PM is the ability to delegate, project manager must be able to plan and delegate tasks at hand. In all effective project manager must be able to keep the team together, keep all the stakeholders well informed and always keep the team focussed towards the common goal of completing that unique project. the project manager should be able to inspire the team with the shared goal.
But I also believe that the effective project manager should be intuitive to the people he/she selects for the team or who have been selected to his/her team. It would be to the advantage of the manager to place the correct people into the correct job OR into the correct working unit. It is unreasonable to think anyone can gauge how people will eventually act and work with each other, but a good manager should be able to be able to place varying strengths within working groups and know who the eventual A and B players will be. It is like designing a gameplan - putting forth the best poker hand you can with the cards available and seeing how they hold up in the game. I am not saying that the project manager should be a good poker player, but it would not hurt. Setting the project team up to get the best out of each member can move the project into the right direction from the start, satisfying the customer need and driving toward the common goal.