5 golden rules for a project manager

Well, no magic rule can replace a genuine passion for what we do, an ingrained perseverance to set up things to be succesful, our experience or yet the outcome coming from hard work.

5 GOLDEN RULES. Anyway, should I carve in a stone a bunch of few tips to keep yout head upon the stormy sea I'd arguably engrave the following:

1) Vision. Project managers usually love to dig into details and capture cause&effect modes for all the issues that come up during a project. 
That's not necessarily detrimental, we need to be analytical. Nevertheless, we have technicians on purpose for elaborating details and functions to support our company processes.
Project managers do not have to be a star in performing a stress analysis or developing a software. There is already enough confusion about roles out there, notably in small biz. Project managers are the ones that cannot fail in maintaining the big picture of the project when everything is moving and the team members are engaged with burdensome specific tasks. They have to identify and indicate which activity deserves Cartesian attention and which details can be left on the road.
If you are good at visualizing issues always in perspective and zoom in and out as needed, this is going to make a lot of difference on how your projects will be executed.

2) Respect for people. If you consider to spend time sending trails of flaming emails, pounding the fist on your desk and tracking down the culprit for every possible mistake done on the project, you are arguably setting things for failure.
Unless you really want to be surrounded by a bunch of yes-men and observe your project turning bad at the first  jerk, you'd better consider that people excel when they are motivated by leaders. People feel to be part of a strong team when there is a strong guide. 
Nature human is not changed that much over the centuries.
The "secret" is that people give the best when they receive appreciation and they are motivated, while it's a fact that repeated complaints in a climate of fear do nothing but increasing frustration.

3) Look around the corner. You are sitting at your desk, overwhelmed by tons of reports, schedules, workflows and risk registers. The project is under control, customer is happy about the progress.
Suddenly, you receive a call from finance reporting a commitment for a significant amount, which you did not expect and you can't justify. A further investigation reveals that manufacturing implemented a change required from customer without informing you, The project will incur in extra costs and a you are likely to have a dispute with your customer to recover your budget.
Similar situations happen and you need to be prepared to cope with them. The point here being that, the ability of an experienced project manager makes the difference in identifying the grey areas and capture the risks
Nobody has a crystal ball, however it is expected that a project manager adeptly investigates and intercepts some risks where others would not look either.

4) Build your team. Project managers need to be a kind of glue for the project team. As leaders they have the responsibility to guide team members through the project phases and ensure cooperation between people to overcome the issues.
Easier said than done, there is no science that provides a list od steps to cope with every human behaviour.
The harsh and stark reality to face is that project managers are to live with lazy... aggressive... autocratic... shy... unpleasant... emotional... irrational... and not-collaborative attitudes. They can't just resolving a behavioural issue by opening a ticket to the IT dept.
A PM needs to manage those situations and nip in the bud any conflict that have deleterious impacts on the cohesion of the team, as s/he would do for any other project issue.
It is worth to be vigilant and always promote collaboration. Team building every day.

5) Celebrate a win! There is nothing more rewarding than a recognition of the achievements to invigorate people. 
The team has pushed hard to deliver and the time for celebration has to come. It's the podium to speak up and demonstrate to subordinates that their effort is not given for granted. 
As a leader, you know that a merit not considered is a missed opportunity to increase team members trust and productivity. 
Some social researches indicate that individuals react more to public recognitions than to a spot salary boost (well, I tend to think that we need to promote both).

Be prodigal of sincere compliments and you'll earn a credit from your team to be spent for future challenges. Don't forget that the success of a project is achieved by people and not by tools.