Belief Is Key To Project Management: Management Consulting

Andrew ScharfBelief Is Key To Project Management:
Management Consulting/ Career Management

Viewpoint by Andrew Scharf, Head of the WCW Group

Sooner or later you are going to be confronted with the issue of belief. The power of belief is rooted in both character and spirit. Why is this the case?

Simply put, belief forms the foundation of our actions, and what ideas we can translate into concrete and viable projects. Project Management can be professionally based or they can be plans of something we would like to do. For example, if you “dream” of visiting Japan and walking in the footsteps of the poet and Zen master, Basho, what is stopping you?

Is it time? Is it money?

Or is it the power to take the decision now rather than wait for a break in your calendar?

When we procrastinate, we provide ourselves with a litany of excuses. However, this is a feeble approach. What is there to really wait for? Tomorrow never comes because you only live in the present tense.


Belief and faith are the cornerstones to any project engagement. Do you remember that line from Indiana Jones when Indy is asked, “Now Doctor Jones, the time has come to ask yourself, what do you really believe in?”

Without basic belief structures to hold on to most of us would be lost. We would have no moral compass, and we would feel abandoned to “fate”. Your true destiny lies in your own hands, nobody else. This can be a hard fact to square for some of us, but it is so. The road to accomplishment might be fraught with challenges of all kinds. However, if you are determined and hold a map, you can reach your objective.


Because you hold the inner conviction that the “impossible is feasible” even if you must invest more sweat equity. Belief can even let you move the proverbial mountain. It has the power of determination and ripples out from your being with force. Call it manifest destiny.

I have had clients, who have felt quite insecure about channelling their talent into action. They hold strong desires and their thoughts remain “wishful thinking”. A wish however, is just a whisper of wind. Contrast this with someone who believes that if they work hard, and have a strategic plan they can translate their actions into a concrete objective. The results can be measured milestones.

I have participated in workshops, where participants were taught how to influence, shape, and change mental states of mind. What I witnessed was quite convincing. For example, during such exercises there is always someone who says:

“Well, the technique clearly worked for you, but it doesn’t work for me.”

What went wrong?

The answer is nothing went wrong. One such participant focused her mind and believed that the desired solution could be produced. The second participant had doubts and didn’t really believe. Hence, he was unconvinced by the technique. Is it any wonder that the desired solution did not take place for the second participant?

Of course not; it is as clear as sunshine.

When something doesn’t work, why do we become so defensive?

Why do we look for excuses rather than examine more deeply our true intentions?

It is because it is easier to find an escape hatch rather than to put in the hard work and commitment. The tenants of belief must be forged in the fire of conviction rooted in genuine experience. Academic answers remain theoretical, and therefore sterile in the results department.

True conviction comes when you heart is rooted in its higher self. Real belief is not part of the intellect. The intellect is only shaped by the mind. However, the mind can wavier because it is a sequence of energy waves influenced by environment and external factors. The heart is the source of being steadfast and is based on direct experience. Call it an inner truth, which is beyond the culture where we live or the organisation where we work.

There is the commonly held belief that “we are what we believe ourselves to be”.

The implications of this supposition can be quite profound. For example, if you believe that everyone in city X is unfriendly, it is a guarantee that most of the people you will meet will be unfriendly. You will “draw” them to you like a magnet. The contrary thought pattern would reverse the situation.

Don’t take my word for this. Put the concept into practice. Go on the bus or metro and smile at people. Walk around your town and workplace and exude the emotion of contentment and well being. Measure your result. You will find that more people smile back and you will experience the emotion of happiness. Thoughts are energy fields and flow in waves and spirals.

By training your mind, you can in essence alter energy fields. Choose to focus the mind on positive thoughts. Repeat them to yourself and the energy comes from its own accord. Positive thinking has been getting more and more attention by experts working in this domain.

What happens when negative thoughts arise?

Well, you have a choice of action. You can embrace the negative energy or you can just “let go”. Letting go takes practice. Watch the thoughts arise and dissipate in your inner sky, and you will see that they appear and disappear like clouds. When the mind becomes still, it is a perfect template to seed positive thinking if you choose this path consciously.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor told him that with chemotherapy he might stand a good chance of survival. However, the doctor also told him the odds were 50-50. What would you do under these circumstances?

You can see that there is not an easy answer. Most people’s first reaction is shock and then depression. It is followed by the thought, “what did I do to deserve this?”

My friend went through a brief period of diverse emotional states. After a month, he made a strong mental choice. “I not only want to survive, but I want to live and there is still so much to live for!”

He had made a distinctive shift in his mental state with power and force. At the core of his being, he “believed” he would be cured and life was worth living. From the moment he made this decision, the cancer went into remission and disappeared. The doctors were astounded and my friend is now engaged with the projects he loves. This is the power of the mind and the power of belief. Nobody can thwart death if your “number” is really up. On the other hand, we can control our mental states and physical health by our inner capacity to heal and take positive and concrete decisions.

Now imagine, this is the first day for the rest of your life? What are you going to do?

About The Author

Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor to WCW INSIGHT on Business Strategy, Leadership, and The Entrepreneurial Mind.. He heads the Career Management divisions of Whitefield Consulting Worldwide, helping people harmonise their professional objectives with their personal aspirations.

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