9 Habits of Project Leaders



Book Title: 9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution      
Author:  Arun Singhal PE, PMP and Puja Bhatt, PMP
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:   $12.95
Format:  Paperback (spiral bound), 65 pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-1-62825-179-1
Reviewer: Kimberly S. Varner, PMP
Review Date:   May 2018



Sometimes project managers focus on managing the triple constraints of scope, time, and budget to the extent that they may miss an opportunity to score a real win! While the customer and the project manager may consider the project a success, what about everyone else? Will the project team and the organization/executive management also consider the project a real win? Maybe, maybe not! The 9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution, is a research-based book, which explains how project managers can grow into project leaders who use nine habits to develop much-needed soft skills. Authors Singhal and Bhatt suggest that if a project manager can develop these nine underutilized habits, he or she will be able to engage ALL of their stakeholders, contribute to the project’s success, and score a win for everyone!

Overview of Book’s Structure

The 9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution, is a 65-page, pocket-sized book that is a simple read. Honestly, you can read the book in less than one hour and gain some practical nuggets of information. I recommend reading it at least two times so that you can begin to think about how best to apply the nine habits to your work and make them…a habit!

The first section of the book is the preface, which is a must-read piece. The preface will set the reader up with pertinent information on the following: the intended audience, the definition of a habit and how the nine habits are tailored to project management, the importance of soft skills as they relate to the habits, the goal and importance of a project manager becoming a true project leader, and the premise of the “Triple Win” (Win-Win-Win) concept. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this section, which offers a solid foundation for one’s understanding.

Each habit has its own chapter and includes a title that will give the reader a clear directive or action item. For example, Habit One (Chapter 1) is “Take complete ownership of the project” and Habit Two (Chapter) 2 is “Enable core team to make decisions.” The chapters are approximately three to five pages long and include the recommended habit, real-life examples (based on Singhal and Bhatt’s research) of why a habit should be followed, and the business strategy that promotes the habit. The business strategy sells the habit and seals the deal on why the habit is critical to the stakeholders’ win.

The first appendix includes a list of the authors’ collective project management experience, which represents 20 diverse projects, worth $5 million to $20 billion, in the United States and abroad. The second appendix is the data collection and analysis methodology, which outlines the authors’ 20-year research for this book.


In life, some habits are negative and hard to break; however, the nine habits in this book are positive and will more than likely be beneficial for project managers. Seems simple? If done correctly, it appears simple enough. Rooted in research, the nine habits were developed by interviewing experienced management professionals, directors, and core team members. The authors hope project managers will consciously incorporate these habits into their management skills and ultimately become project leaders who think about and work with their customers, their teams, and their organizations to ensure success.


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About the Reviewer

Kimberly S. Varner

Maryland, USA



Kimberly Varner, PMP has more than 23 years of writing, public relations, marketing, event, and project management experience – as well as deep experience designing and conducting outreach to underserved populations. Over the course of her career, she has developed communications plans and content for clients across the health, education, safety, technology, medical, sports, and entertainment industries.

Kim earned her Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park, and previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass media arts from Hampton University. Kim obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) ® Certification in March 2018.


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Silver Spring Maryland Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Silver Spring Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Silver Spring Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

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