Project Management Institute

Sunny disposition


Good leadership starts with a good attitude.



I used to have a bad attitude.

I was negative about my job and the projects I managed. I presented a poor image to my colleagues, team members and bosses, and spread negativity throughout the organization.

As I matured, I realized how badly I needed an attitude adjustment. It was only then that I could become a true leader.

There's a power within each of us that propels us in the direction of our dominant thoughts. The key word here is dominant. Your attitude shapes your ability to lead. Your team members use you as their reference point. They need to see you have confidence and that you believe in their projects from beginning to end.


Each of us has an internal voice, and many times what we hear is negative, critical and self-limiting. Perhaps you find yourself thinking, “I can't do this” or “I always mess things up.” These thoughts work against you.

imgYour attitude shapes your ability to lead. Your team members use you as their reference point. They need to see you have confidence and that you believe in their projects from beginning to end.

Many times, we don't consider the words we use on a regular basis and continually use negative ideas to express ourselves. Instead, repeat to yourself that you can—and will—meet the requirements of your project.

Sometimes a positive attitude and sincere passion can supercede even the greatest shortcoming. In 1992, when I was a project manager at HP Spain, I decided to present my first paper in English at a project management conference. The trouble was, I didn't speak English fluently. But I was willing to take a risk to fulfill a dream. I was nervous—yet in that moment, my level of English wasn't what was important; it was my passion telling my story to the audience. I believed in the project I was discussing and the experience I gained while leading my team.

A positive belief in yourself is the starting point for success. Since that first conference, I've presented at international congresses and symposiums, sharing my experiences in English with different audiences every year.

Of course, a little positive thinking is no guarantee of positive results. I'd be lying if I said the last five years were a never-ending string of successes. There have been some failures, and, you, too, will experience setbacks along the way. Still, if you continue to believe in yourself, you can overcome those obstacles. PM


Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, is an independent consultant who manages projects throughout Europe and Asia. He is the author of Project Management—A New Vision and Today Is a Good Day: Attitudes for Achieving Project Success.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.




Related Content

  • Why Great Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure They Don't

    By Vargas, Ricardo Viana | Conforto, Edivandro Carlos | Oumarou, Tahirou Assane To reduce failure rates and successfully deliver strategies in 2020 and beyond, organizations must overcome disruptive forces and flip posing challenges to opportunities and advantages. It all…

  • Project Management Journal

    Senior Project Leadership Skills and Career Stallers member content locked

    By Floris, Maurizio | Wiblen, Sharna L. | Anichenko, Ekaterina We know little about which leadership skills matter most and according to whom in the career progression of project leaders. This research suggests that high- performing senior project leader talent…

  • PM Network

    Focus Group

    PM Network queried the community on best practices for managing meetings.

  • PM Network

    Keeping the Flame

    By D'Agosta, Tessa Misery loves company. And there appears to be plenty to go around: One-third of employees feel undervalued, according to a 2019 TINYpulse survey. So it's all but inevitable that project managers…

  • PM Network

    Vital Signs

    Transforming horizon-focused strategic visions into here-and-now reality can't happen in a vacuum. Instead, project leaders must cultivate a deep understanding of the business, technological,…