Project Practitioners > The ridiculous project manager

The ridiculous project manager

By Alfonso Bucero

Did you feel ridiculous any time as a project manager?

My answer is yes I did. My commitment is to do something ridiculous at least once a day, whether it is risking looking ridiculous to pursue a dream or simply having ridiculous fun.  In my opinion it is better as a project manager to be ridiculous than to be boring for your team and the rest of project stakeholders. Do not forget to laugh at yourself and kick up your heels now and then so that you enjoy the journey.

I’m feeling as guilty as anyone of falling into an overscheduled, all-work in the projects I manage and not enough play lifestyle. I was determined to be a successful project manager and a good speaker. To hone my speaking skills, I accepted every speaking invitation I could line up. After twenty five years of nonstop managing projects and speaking, I have become more selective.

As human beings we are usually become trapped in the “someday mentality”. For example thinking about:

  • Someday I’ll have all the money I need so I can enjoy life
  • Someday I’ll be able to spend more time with my family
  • Someday I’ll have time to relax and do what I love doing

I encourage you to embrace your freedom to romp on two fronts:

Number one is ridiculous risk: Be willing to blow past the doubters and the naysayers and make a leap to live your dreams. Some may say you are being ridiculous. Your response should be: Yes I am! Doing what you love may seem ridiculous to people who do not share your vision or your passion. You cannot let their ridicule rid you of your dream. Instead, use it to ride it all the way to the top!

I still remember the first time I spoke in public in English language, being conscious about English is not my mother language. But I was determined to do it, so I prepared very well for and did it. I did not do it perfectly, I made some mistakes, my pronunciation was not perfect, but I did it with energy and enthusiasm. It was an insight for me, I felt comfortable and encouraged talking in front of the people.

A lso rememeber when I decided to leave my job as project manager in a multinational firm and I started my own company on Project Management Services. It was my dream, I believed in that, and I did it. It is being a great personal and professional experience. It was not easy, I found and still find many obstacles in a daily basis but I enjoy it every day. Then I still survive as a company.

Number two is ridiculous fun: Take time to enjoy your life and your loved ones, laugh, love, and have ridiculous fun so others can share the joy. If you think a project is serious, imagine death! In this blessed life be as serious as you need to be, but take the opportunity to be just as playful as you can be too. I am not saying not considering projects as important, I am talking about managing projects and getting some fun in it.

Risk is not only in the projects we manage, it is life. The place between your comfort zone and your dream is where life takes place. It is the high-anxiety zone, but it is also where you discover who you are. Every sky diver, parachutist, and bird knows that the first walk to the edge is scary, but they have to go there if they want to fly. Face it – everyday could be your last, so it is a roll of the dice just to get out the bed. You cannot be a winner unless you are willing to face defeat. I made many mistakes and failures in my life as a project manager, and I am proud of it because each of those failures taught me something.

Now we are finishing the year 2013. Please ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you have any dream (potential project) in your head?
  2. Are you determined to do it?
  3. Are you committed to do it?

Please do it, do not lose that opportunity but be prepared first and have a contingency plan. If you fail it will be a fantastic opportunity to learn and you will get strenght enough to try it again, and again, and again because it will not be the end.

You are supposed to be a complete project manager. Merry Christmas!



Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI Fellow

BUCERO PM Consulting

Not all comments are posted. Posted comments are subject to editing for clarity and length.

Thank you for encouraging us to dream big! "Impossible" is just a measure of difficulty.

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