We all know how it feels to do something well and to succeed in our endeavours. That is what I call bliss. Achieving what you set out to and achieving it in a fulfilling way.
When we are in a state of bliss we are focused on the end result and we inspire people around us. We feel a rush of energy and we have the drive, confidence and attitude to make things happen. There is no anxiety or negative stress. There is no need, because we are in control and we know we are on the right track. In this state we work effectively and spend our time where it is needed the most. It means that we have the right balance between task and people management and that we have enough knowledge and insight to visualize the end goal and to lead the team to achieve it.
Project bliss is more than effective delivery of projects to objectively stated success criteria. It is not only being successful in the eyes of the client and project stakeholders, but being successful by our own measure. It is feeling good about who we are and what we do, and it is delivering the project in a way which resonates with each individual and reflects our core beliefs. When we are comfortable with ourselves and our contributions we create a win/win situation where positive synergies are created between us and the project we manage.
In the many years I have been involved in project delivery, I have seen a lot of stress and little bliss. I have seen overworked and worried project managers struggling to keep everything under control. They work hard and they work long hours. They know the theory and they know a lot about planning and tracking a project. Yet somehow, many of the projects fail to deliver what they set out to.
But project management bliss does exist. I have seen some very complex projects executed in a successful and smooth manner. They were almost always lead by an inspirational and driven project manager who fully embraced the project’s vision and who was able to influence difficult situations; a project manager who was confident and at ease and who understood that managing yourself and people around you is as important as managing tasks.
What does bliss mean to you, and how can you become successful and blissful at the same time? What is the difference that makes the difference?
Some of the answers may be complex and dependent on the individual project and situation, but when we dig a little deeper we find that some of them are straight forward and easy to implement. We just need to keep asking and keep exploring. We can be successful and blissful at the same time, but we need to have the desire to learn and the willingness to adopt new attitudes and habits.