I LOVE Thanksgiving.
When else can you eat 4000 calories without feeling guilty and put yourself into a tryptophan-induced coma?
Family, food, and last but not least…
Really though, the best thing about this holiday for me is that is forces me to stop complaining and start noticing all of the amazing stuff I’ve got in my life!
Here’s my list of 10 things I am thankful for this year from a professional standpoint.
1.? ‘Problem’ Projects
I thrive on challenges.? I get bored really quickly when something gets too easy.
It’s times like this when I need to stop whining and understand that I wouldn’t have it any other way.? How can I be creative and grow as a project manager unless I’m getting hit with ‘interesting’ scenarios to manage?
2.? ‘Problem’ People
I’m not good with people.? At least not by nature.
It’s very likely I have a form of high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.? Being able to work well with people has been a 20-year journey for me (still ongoing).
Having been a lead and manager over many years, it’s the ‘problem’ people who have given me the challenges I really needed to get better and better at communication, facilitation, and motivation with other people.
They have driven me to put systems in place to manage all manner of situations managing people and conflict.? Mechanisms I’ve developed for giving forthright feedback, improved listening skills, and facilitation strategies have all grown from the soil of dealing with difficult people.
3.? Not Knowing Everything
How boring would life be if you knew everything there was to know?
I am absolutely grateful for my current role, managing 2 project teams as the project manager but also as the senior system engineer.? It’s been awhile since I did much real system engineering work, although there are so many similarities to good project management it’s uncanny.? I think it was Glen Alleman who once left a comment here saying that his prediction was that people would figure out that project management is a system engineering discipline.
At any rate, I’m learning tons about good system engineering practices from NASA and INCOSE right now.? At the same time, I’m using Kanban with both of my project teams which is a learning experience in and of itself.
This is all making me a better project leader.? It’s awesome to not know everything!
4.? The Internet
Social media has rocked my world over the last year or two.
I can’t even quantify the amount of learning I’ve done based on connections with people through tools like Twitter and Facebook.? Links to great articles abound.? Have a question?? Ask your tweeps or facebook friends.
I’ve met tons of new people, shared tons of great resources, and enjoyed about a ton of awesomeness.
I’m pretty sure that’s 3 tons total.
Last, but certainly not least.
I started blogging here in 2006, and I’m still amazed that anyone cares what I have to say about jack squat.
I’m thankful for all of you who read my articles, watch my videos, and leave comments on my posts.? I’m thankful for all of you who cried out for me to create some training for new project managers and beat me over the head long enough to get my rear in gear and get ‘r dun.
If you are reading this, that means you’ve read my whole post.? For that, I thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Quick, before you fall into your own calorie-induced coma!? Leave a comment and share what you are thankful for!