Posted by: kerrywills | February 6, 2010

I have ADD, Anxiety and OCD: I am the ultimate Project Manager

Project Management is about diligence, being organized, and staying on top of activities. I believe that these are skills that are usually inherent traits of an individual vs ones that can be learned easily. It is hard to teach someone who thinks abstractly to be able to organize work into manageable buckets. I think that is why diligent and organized people tend to gravitate towards Project Management roles.

I am aware enough of my personalty traits to comfortably admit that I have issues…

  • I have anxiety over anything outstanding (Obsession) and need to close them immediately (Compulsion) = OCD
  • I make lists for everything and then rewrite them many times (another classic trait of OCD)
  • I can’t sit still in meetings because (1) my mind is on other topics and (2) I get anxiety over things piling up = ADD
  • I never want to be the impediment to work going on so I respond to most messages with a 10 minute time period
  • I need rapid closure of issues and action items

So clearly I have problems.  What I have found, though, is that these traits have made me very successful as a project manager. There are many people out there who understand the mechanics of project management and can recite the PMBOK chapter by chapter. But not all of them are successful PMs. I believe this is because they don’t have those same personality traits that enable them to organize their work and stay on top of it.

If I take these will I become less effective as a PM?

So maybe it is a justification for my paranoia, but I would like to believe that my OCD behaviors are what make me successful at work. Ok, now time to get back to e-mails and action items.


  1. Kerry – LOL, your observations definitely hit home with me! Good luck in Italy. If you are willing, I would love to get a copy of your Estimation presentation!

    Todd Kowalczyk

  2. Kerry- I’m trying very hard to keep this PM focused here….very hard :- ) Good read although how about some photoshop: Kerry Wills- Ultimate Warrior PM? Arm bands and all?

  3. […] has issues (I don’t need to remind people of mine – just read my blog postings on OCD,  anxiety, impatience, […]

  4. […] and my issues […]

  5. […] these has really helped me to explore my own style which ranges from a recognition of my issues to using a consultative approach to work. I have enjoyed the comments that people post and the […]

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