A great project manager is some funky combination of EMT, ninja, and jazz musician. An EMT who can show up on a scene that's full of chaos, figure out what needs to happen now, triage all of the things on site, and then develop a plan of action while also participating in that action. A ninja, because you have to be stealth about how you go about influencing other people. Overt action or pushing people too hard isn't necessarily received well. A jazz musician, particularly a jazz drummer, who keeps a steady beat as a lot of things are happening around you. On a team, you're going to be surrounded by a bunch of talented people. A trombone player, a bass player, a trumpet player, a pianist, and you, keeping the beat and making sure that everybody is working in time. I spend most of my days with my product and engineering counterparts talking a lot about strategy, updating status to key stakeholders, and trying to figure out what comes next for our product. Some things about my job never change from this day to my very first day. The fact that I communicate with a lot of people in a day, a lot of different types of people, from engineers to product managers to partnerships, to sales and marketing, all of that's the same. The biggest difference is the number of people that I communicate with, and the complexity of the topics I cover. The most important thing for you to keep in mind is staying organized. The more organized you are in your actions, the more organized your team is in their thinking and their actions. What I do to stay organized is lists, all day long. I have post-it notes, I have electronic lists, I have lists in e-mails, and those lists help me stay on top of what actions need to happen now, what actions need to happen next, and which I can put off for a few more days. I do use lists to help manage my time. I think one of the things my lists are most important for is making sure I know what needs to be done today. Then, once my list is made and I'm sure of what needs to be done today, I budget time for those things. A stand-up is a quick meeting, usually at the start of the day, but you can have them at any time. My stand-ups usually happened in the morning around 9:30 or 10:00 o'clock, depending on when the engineering team got in. They lasted for about 15 minutes so that we were clear on what had gotten done the day before and what was on the docket to get done today. Then we usually checked in again quickly around lunch to make sure that people were still on track or ran into any technical issues that might require a longer time to finish the task. I think the thing that makes me a great project manager is a bias to action and resilience. One of my favorite phrases, is pick it and stick it. In part because I think it's important to make a decision to get yourself unstuck, to follow through on that action, learn some things and decide to take a new action once you've learned something. The latter half of that is resilience. I'm resilient and my teams are resilient. If we've taken a bad action, we've learned that we can learn and change our mind with new information. I'm Elita, a Senior Engineering Program Manager at Google.