6. Establish great relationships. Few inhabitants of Middle-earth know of Gandalf's heroic exploits. Gandalf does not try to impress anyone; rather he befriends Middle-earth beings. Gandalf's friends (Gwahir, Shadowfax, Galadriel and others) come to his need in the current project to destroy the One Ring. Gwahir, the King of the Eagles, rescues Gandalf out of Saruman's imprisonment, allowing Gandalf to join the Fellowship of the Ring. Shadowfax, a great horse of Rohan, carries Gandalf across Middle-earth so that Gandalf can prevent the fall of Minas Tirith. Galadriel, the greatest of Elven women, presents members of the Fellowship with invaluable gifts like the Phial that Sam and Frodo use to fight off the giant spider, Shelob.
A successful PM values people, not just immediate goals. Future projects may involve the same people where past positive relationships will be of great help.
7. Do not use same standards to judge those of different skills. Gandalf does not evaluate everyone he meets based on their combat skills, but rather appreciates the unique value they provide. Gandalf is fond of the innkeeper, Barliman Butterbur, for his care and patience and does not think less of Barliman for his slow thinking when he forgets to send Gandalf's letter to Frodo. At the Council of Elrond Gandalf accepts the hobbits Merry and Pippin into the Fellowship of the Ring over such great elf-lords as Glorfindel. Gandalf trusts in the value of hobbits' friendship over the power of Glorfindel, since he knows they will not reach Mount Doom through force, but rather through stealth.
A successful PM needs to know his or her team members' individual strengths and create opportunities for their best skills to be utilized in the project.
8. Lead when above leadership fails. Gandalf accepts a secondary role when it is appropriate such as at the Council of Elrond, but he is not afraid to take charge when needed. At the most crucial moment in the siege of Minas Tirith, Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, goes mad over the apparent death of his son, Faramir. Gandalf could have used that moment to supplant Denethor's authority, but instead he tries to convince Denethor to come to his senses and take an active role and save his city. Only when Denethor refuses to lead does Gandalf assume control over Minas Tirith defenses.
If a project is falling apart due to lack of executive leadership, a PM should first raise the issue with the project sponsor. However, if the problem persists - you should step up and lead.
9. Do the job that nobody else can. In the quest to destroy the One Ring, Gandalf provides benefits that nobody else can, many times throughout his travels. Gandalf smites wolves, keeps the Fellowship warm with his fire in the snows of Caradhras, and leads the group through the dungeons of Moria. However, he is most pressed to decide where to lend his service at the siege of Minas Tirith. Gandalf must either continue to fight the Witch-king of Angmar, the leader of the Nazgul, or run off to save Faramir. Gandalf knows that the Black Captain will likely kill others, but decides to save Faramir, because "no other help can reach him." In the end, Faramir lives because of Gandalf and Eowyn and Merry slay the Black Captain.
You should let others take over your duties when there is a new crucial benefit that only you can provide. Just because a project manager managed a project up to a certain point, does not mean he or she should continue to lead it in exceptional circumstances.
10. Strive for project success above personal gain. The Lord of the Rings novel and movies present us with an extreme but useful example of a project manager, who thinks the success of his project is more important than his ego and even his life. To secure the escape of the rest of the Fellowship, Gandalf stands alone against a great enemy, a Balrog. He is not afraid to die, because the quest to destroy the One Ring is too important to fail. Gandalf slays the Balrog at the cost of his own life. However, this battle and death leads to evolution: Gandalf is then brought back to life to be even more powerful than before.
As a project manager, nurturing and protecting your team at all costs will bring you great rewards in the long run even if you face criticism or difficulty in the short term. Keeping a project’s ultimate goal beyond egos and striving for a greater cause will always be the right thing to do.