How to be a happy project manager – Part 2

Sometimes the pain from doing your work as project manager will be so unbearable that you just want to quit.

Don’t do it.

Unless it is for fear of being implicated in some kind of ethical violation, there is no reason why you should quit a project. Even in this case, you should try to get fired instead. I mean fired for trying to expose the unethical act. But one should never quit.

Here is why…

Never let a crisis go to waste.

The point when you start thinking of quitting is a good sign that what you are trying to avoid is exactly what you need to do.

Anytime you feel like you want to quit, there is always one important, critical, defining move that you are afraid to make on your project. Your job is to find out what you are afraid of and do exactly that.

Is it a bully who is wreaking havoc on your project and you fear confronting him? Is it a senior manager who is making all kinds of terrible decisions that are derailing your project? Is it an ungrateful sponsor who you can never please no matter what you do?

Are you afraid to confront them? Are you afraid to create a crisis?

What will happen if you do? Nothing bad will happen to you. Here is the good news: you will not die.

Find out what you are really afraid of and do it. That will save your project and save your career. The worst thing that can happen to you is you get fired. Do what needs to be done and get fired. Go down as a hero and wear getting fired as a badge of honor. You will be more respected that way than quitting when the heat became too much for you.

The other good news is that it when you feel you want to quit is the place where real growth happens. In my experience, it is in those projects where I could not leave, for one reason or another, when the discomfort was so unbearable that I felt I have grown the most as a PM.

Mastery is only possible when you force yourself to stay in the game, when you feel like quitting. If you quit now, how else are you going to experience the discomfort and hardship that will enable you to learn about who you are and what you are capable of? You will surprise yourself of what you are able to accomplish. Even if you fail, you will still have gained a valuable experience.

What you are experiencing is resistance. You must go right now and buy the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

Here are some what you will learn from him about the resistance you are experiencing that is causing you to want to quit:

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

Sometimes you have to quit. That’s O.K, as long as fear is not the motivation.

The reality is that most challenging situations that make us want to quit are not unique to a specific project or organizations. We will run into them again and again in our career. If you get into the habit of avoiding tough situations now then how will you learn to face them the next time? For me, I much rather get my “punishment” sooner.

That’s why I encourage you to not acquire the habit of quitting too soon or too often. You don’t want to teach your nervous system to have a low pain thresholds. That would not be sustainable for a PM career.

Of course, it does not make sense stay in a miserable situation and suffer in vain. If you stay, it has to be for a good reason. It has to be because you are going to intentionally use the situation as a learning experience to hone your craft. This will require mindfulness and deliberate practice. You have to consciously use the situation as an experiment for trying different interventions and seeing what works and what does not.

One thing that surprised me when I frame unbearable situation as a laboratory for experimenting and honing my craft is that this takes the emotional edge out of the experience.

So the next time you feel like quitting, remember what Mrs. Pressfield said about resistance.

Don’t let resistance win. You don’t want to miss the chance to see for yourself just how much the human spirit can take and still thrive.

Have you ever felt like quitting your project? I would love to hear your experience. Make sure to leave a comment.

Don’t forget to read Part 1 of How to be a happy project manager.

 

6 Responses to How to be a happy project manager – Part 2
  1. […] forget to read How to be a happy project manager – Part 2 Tags: Leadership, Neuroscience of Leadership « Previous PostNext Post » 5 […]

  2. […] the Guerilla Project Management website, where (some four months after part 1) Samad Aidane bring us How to Be a Happy Project Manager- Part 2, an article in which he tells us that those projects that make us want to hand in our notice are […]

  3. Dave Gordon
    September 11, 2013 | 6:20 pm

    Great minds don’t just think alike, we quote alike. I referenced Pressman’s book, “Gates of Fire,” in a blog post yesterday. Actually, I referred to George Tenet quoting from it, but no matter.

    Great post!

    • samad_aidane
      October 21, 2013 | 11:45 pm

      Dave, indeed.

      I love Steven Pressfield’s book the war of art. Have you read it? Highly recommend it.

      • Dave Gordon
        October 23, 2013 | 10:09 am

        I have not, but based on your recommendation, I just Kindled it to my iPad. Thanks!

  4. […] How to be a Happy Project Manager Sometimes the pain from doing your work as project manager will be so unbearable that you just want to quit. Don’t do it. More… […]

Leave a Reply to samad_aidane

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How to be a happy project manager – Part 2

Sometimes the pain from doing your work as project manager will be so unbearable that you just want to quit.

Don’t do it.

Unless it is for fear of being implicated in some kind of ethical violation, there is no reason why you should quit a project. Even in this case, you should try to get fired instead. I mean fired for trying to expose the unethical act. But one should never quit.

Here is why…

Never let a crisis go to waste.

The point when you start thinking of quitting is a good sign that what you are trying to avoid is exactly what you need to do.

Anytime you feel like you want to quit, there is always one important, critical, defining move that you are afraid to make on your project. Your job is to find out what you are afraid of and do exactly that.

Is it a bully who is wreaking havoc on your project and you fear confronting him? Is it a senior manager who is making all kinds of terrible decisions that are derailing your project? Is it an ungrateful sponsor who you can never please no matter what you do?

Are you afraid to confront them? Are you afraid to create a crisis?

What will happen if you do? Nothing bad will happen to you. Here is the good news: you will not die.

Find out what you are really afraid of and do it. That will save your project and save your career. The worst thing that can happen to you is you get fired. Do what needs to be done and get fired. Go down as a hero and wear getting fired as a badge of honor. You will be more respected that way than quitting when the heat became too much for you.

The other good news is that it when you feel you want to quit is the place where real growth happens. In my experience, it is in those projects where I could not leave, for one reason or another, when the discomfort was so unbearable that I felt I have grown the most as a PM.

Mastery is only possible when you force yourself to stay in the game, when you feel like quitting. If you quit now, how else are you going to experience the discomfort and hardship that will enable you to learn about who you are and what you are capable of? You will surprise yourself of what you are able to accomplish. Even if you fail, you will still have gained a valuable experience.

What you are experiencing is resistance. You must go right now and buy the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

Here are some what you will learn from him about the resistance you are experiencing that is causing you to want to quit:

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

Sometimes you have to quit. That’s O.K, as long as fear is not the motivation.

The reality is that most challenging situations that make us want to quit are not unique to a specific project or organizations. We will run into them again and again in our career. If you get into the habit of avoiding tough situations now then how will you learn to face them the next time? For me, I much rather get my “punishment” sooner.

That’s why I encourage you to not acquire the habit of quitting too soon or too often. You don’t want to teach your nervous system to have a low pain thresholds. That would not be sustainable for a PM career.

Of course, it does not make sense stay in a miserable situation and suffer in vain. If you stay, it has to be for a good reason. It has to be because you are going to intentionally use the situation as a learning experience to hone your craft. This will require mindfulness and deliberate practice. You have to consciously use the situation as an experiment for trying different interventions and seeing what works and what does not.

One thing that surprised me when I frame unbearable situation as a laboratory for experimenting and honing my craft is that this takes the emotional edge out of the experience.

So the next time you feel like quitting, remember what Mrs. Pressfield said about resistance.

Don’t let resistance win. You don’t want to miss the chance to see for yourself just how much the human spirit can take and still thrive.

Have you ever felt like quitting your project? I would love to hear your experience. Make sure to leave a comment.

Don’t forget to read Part 1 of How to be a happy project manager.

 

6 Responses to How to be a happy project manager – Part 2
  1. […] forget to read How to be a happy project manager – Part 2 Tags: Leadership, Neuroscience of Leadership « Previous PostNext Post » 5 […]

  2. […] the Guerilla Project Management website, where (some four months after part 1) Samad Aidane bring us How to Be a Happy Project Manager- Part 2, an article in which he tells us that those projects that make us want to hand in our notice are […]

  3. Dave Gordon
    September 11, 2013 | 6:20 pm

    Great minds don’t just think alike, we quote alike. I referenced Pressman’s book, “Gates of Fire,” in a blog post yesterday. Actually, I referred to George Tenet quoting from it, but no matter.

    Great post!

    • samad_aidane
      October 21, 2013 | 11:45 pm

      Dave, indeed.

      I love Steven Pressfield’s book the war of art. Have you read it? Highly recommend it.

      • Dave Gordon
        October 23, 2013 | 10:09 am

        I have not, but based on your recommendation, I just Kindled it to my iPad. Thanks!

  4. […] How to be a Happy Project Manager Sometimes the pain from doing your work as project manager will be so unbearable that you just want to quit. Don’t do it. More… […]

Leave a Reply to samad_aidane

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://www.guerrillaprojectmanagement.com/how-be-happy-project-manager-part-2/trackback

How to be a happy project manager – Part 2

Sometimes the pain from doing your work as project manager will be so unbearable that you just want to quit.

Don’t do it.

Unless it is for fear of being implicated in some kind of ethical violation, there is no reason why you should quit a project. Even in this case, you should try to get fired instead. I mean fired for trying to expose the unethical act. But one should never quit.

Here is why…

Never let a crisis go to waste.

The point when you start thinking of quitting is a good sign that what you are trying to avoid is exactly what you need to do.

Anytime you feel like you want to quit, there is always one important, critical, defining move that you are afraid to make on your project. Your job is to find out what you are afraid of and do exactly that.

Is it a bully who is wreaking havoc on your project and you fear confronting him? Is it a senior manager who is making all kinds of terrible decisions that are derailing your project? Is it an ungrateful sponsor who you can never please no matter what you do?

Are you afraid to confront them? Are you afraid to create a crisis?

What will happen if you do? Nothing bad will happen to you. Here is the good news: you will not die.

Find out what you are really afraid of and do it. That will save your project and save your career. The worst thing that can happen to you is you get fired. Do what needs to be done and get fired. Go down as a hero and wear getting fired as a badge of honor. You will be more respected that way than quitting when the heat became too much for you.

The other good news is that it when you feel you want to quit is the place where real growth happens. In my experience, it is in those projects where I could not leave, for one reason or another, when the discomfort was so unbearable that I felt I have grown the most as a PM.

Mastery is only possible when you force yourself to stay in the game, when you feel like quitting. If you quit now, how else are you going to experience the discomfort and hardship that will enable you to learn about who you are and what you are capable of? You will surprise yourself of what you are able to accomplish. Even if you fail, you will still have gained a valuable experience.

What you are experiencing is resistance. You must go right now and buy the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

Here are some what you will learn from him about the resistance you are experiencing that is causing you to want to quit:

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”

Sometimes you have to quit. That’s O.K, as long as fear is not the motivation.

The reality is that most challenging situations that make us want to quit are not unique to a specific project or organizations. We will run into them again and again in our career. If you get into the habit of avoiding tough situations now then how will you learn to face them the next time? For me, I much rather get my “punishment” sooner.

That’s why I encourage you to not acquire the habit of quitting too soon or too often. You don’t want to teach your nervous system to have a low pain thresholds. That would not be sustainable for a PM career.

Of course, it does not make sense stay in a miserable situation and suffer in vain. If you stay, it has to be for a good reason. It has to be because you are going to intentionally use the situation as a learning experience to hone your craft. This will require mindfulness and deliberate practice. You have to consciously use the situation as an experiment for trying different interventions and seeing what works and what does not.

One thing that surprised me when I frame unbearable situation as a laboratory for experimenting and honing my craft is that this takes the emotional edge out of the experience.

So the next time you feel like quitting, remember what Mrs. Pressfield said about resistance.

Don’t let resistance win. You don’t want to miss the chance to see for yourself just how much the human spirit can take and still thrive.

Have you ever felt like quitting your project? I would love to hear your experience. Make sure to leave a comment.

Don’t forget to read Part 1 of How to be a happy project manager.

 

6 Responses to How to be a happy project manager – Part 2
  1. […] forget to read How to be a happy project manager – Part 2 Tags: Leadership, Neuroscience of Leadership « Previous PostNext Post » 5 […]

  2. […] the Guerilla Project Management website, where (some four months after part 1) Samad Aidane bring us How to Be a Happy Project Manager- Part 2, an article in which he tells us that those projects that make us want to hand in our notice are […]

  3. Dave Gordon
    September 11, 2013 | 6:20 pm

    Great minds don’t just think alike, we quote alike. I referenced Pressman’s book, “Gates of Fire,” in a blog post yesterday. Actually, I referred to George Tenet quoting from it, but no matter.

    Great post!

    • samad_aidane
      October 21, 2013 | 11:45 pm

      Dave, indeed.

      I love Steven Pressfield’s book the war of art. Have you read it? Highly recommend it.

      • Dave Gordon
        October 23, 2013 | 10:09 am

        I have not, but based on your recommendation, I just Kindled it to my iPad. Thanks!

  4. […] How to be a Happy Project Manager Sometimes the pain from doing your work as project manager will be so unbearable that you just want to quit. Don’t do it. More… […]

Leave a Reply to samad_aidane

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