There are many steps that you can follow in order to be a prefect project manager, both at work and outside work.
- Do not slack, do not spend time doing nothing (day-dreaming, thinking about your significant other, having useless conversations on the phone with friends who are also doing nothing). Instead, use your time to:
- Learn more about project managment: Read articles, blogs, etc...
- Write about project managemnet: Create your own professional blog about PM, comment on other people's posts, reply to people commenting on your posts.
- In short engage yourself in the project management community.
- Improve your project management practices by trying to optimize the way you do things. For example, 1) that status report you're sending to your stakeholders can always be improved, and 2) there might be a better PM tool than the one you're using to manage your projects.
- Work on your soft management skills. It is very important to have a project team that loves working with you, a team that is not managed by fear, but by mutual respect.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate! Delegate your routine tasks to someone else. Focus on the tasks that are challenging.
- Speak in conferences: I have known several project managers who spoke at conferences, and I can tell you that it will definitely make you a better PM. First you have to be prepared a lot, and second you will be challenged by your educated audience (a few of them may know more about PM than you do).
- Write a book: This should be done when you think you have a lot to give back to the community (and get rewarded for it). Writing a book will improve your skills and may potentially make you a star PM if the book sells well.
- Get certified: While I'm someone who believes that certifications do not make project managers, I think getting certified in this day and age is excellent for your career prospects and your general knoweldge about project management.
- Do some volunteer work: This is one of the PMI's recommendations, doing volunteer work in PM will increase your professional self confidence, and will (probably) make you a better man!
Being a Project Manager is easy, but being a perfect Project Manager needs a lot of hard work and dedication to the profession.