Happiness is… being a Project Manager

There is a lot of research on happiness these days. One of the latest books to come out on the subject is by Shawn Achor – Before Happiness. Mr. Achor gives five strategies for being happy. I found these strategies to be similar to those required for being a successful project manager:

  1. Use success accelerants – signals that tell your brain success is possible. I would liken this to collecting metrics in a project; with measurement, we have guidance on what to do to achieve success.
  2. Set meaningful goals. What is a project if not a goal to be reached?
  3. Eliminate as much as possible the negative emotions of fear, pessimism and doubt. This sounds like providing the vision and leadership that any project needs to be successful. When pessimism starts to abound, find ways to cut it short and turn it around.
  4. Share your good feelings of happiness with others. Hopefully that would happen in any team environment. I have certainly been in environments where one person’s happiness inspired and buoyed a whole group (and cases where the opposite was true, as well).
  5. Focus on the positives rather than the negatives. I don’t think I have seen any successful team where there was a focus on the negative!

So, a happy person can be likened to a successful project team. How does your team line up?

Brenda Fay