Resilience – A key enabler for Project Success


By Hareshchandra Thakur, PMP

Associate Vice President, Project Management, Energy Solutions,
Wärtsilä India Pvt. Ltd.           

Mumbai, India


Success and Failures are very much integral part of our lives and Project Management is no different. Some PMs are known to over carry the baggage of their past happenings and ruin their professional career fearing about reoccurrence of their past event. In pursuit of excellence, it is important that we follow a simple principle advocated by Anthony Robbins – Focus on where we want to go, not on what we fear. Our ability to bounce back determines our success in long run.

Overwhelmed by our past experiences, we tend to over carry the setbacks and failures thereby cloud our minds and hamper our rational decision making. Developing resilience paves the way for bouncing back and doing away with the fear of failure.

The paper is based on the observations and discussions with the Project Managers (PMs) and other Stakeholders to identify the key enablers for the Project Success and the traits that distinguishes the performers and non-performers. An attempt has been made at bringing out the key areas of development leading to higher resilience – an important trait for successful project managers.

Key Words: Resilience, Resilient, Project Success, EQ, Failure, Setback


We all have tasted success in our projects and at times we have also seen things not going our way resulting in setbacks and failures. The setbacks are known to set our clock back and deflate our confidence level. Moreover, we all have tendency to latch on to our past experiences which clouds our minds and blocks our rational decision making ability. As truly stated, life is simple, yet we make it complicated.

Often, we ruin our present pre-occupied with our past burdens and endlessly ponder over what the future holds for us. More so, overwhelmed by our past experiences, we tend to get stuck when faced with similar challenges and murmur “Oh! No, Not again”. Our fear about reoccurrence of the sad experiences and/or unpleasant situations encountered earlier stays on top of our mind. Worst of all, similar such thoughts continually keep chattering in our minds. As such, we miss on the opportunities which come our way disguised in the form of adversities.

“Occupied with negative self-talk, we get caught in the prison of our own making, we lose the ability to see ourselves, others or our environments as they really are. We see the world through filters that may not have basis in reality, and we begin to make decisions based on what we think rather than what is. We forget to engage in other kind of self-talk: hopeful, affirming thoughts about ourselves and compassion for others”. – Richard Boyatzis & Anne McKee 1

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.”
– Walt Disney

Importance of Resilience in Project Management

“We focus on the negatives, losing ourselves in the ‘problem.’ We point to our unhappy circumstances to rationalize our negative feelings. This is the easy way out. It takes, after all, very little effort to feel victimized.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Research scientists have proved that overwhelmed by the unpleasant situations, we create barriers on our path to progress and the earlier we bounce back, the better it is for there is no one in this world who has not suffered failures/setbacks in their life time. Also, historical records prove that almost 90% of the business tycoons and other professionals in the corporate history belong to a set of individuals who have high resilience to bounce back clubbed with their tenacity to ride the wave and eventually emerge as winners.


To read entire paper (click here)



About the Author


Hareshchandra M Thakur

Mumbai, India


Hareshchandra M Thakur
is a Power Sector Professional, with over 30 years’ experience in executing multiple Power projects in Nuclear, Oil & Gas sectors in India and abroad. Currently, he is the Associate Vice President, Project Management, Energy Solutions with Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd. Hareshchandra has held various positions in Financial Management and Project Management with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., Wartsila Finland Oy and Wartsila India Pvt. Ltd.

Along with technical expertise, Hareshchandra has international exposure in Project Management, Strategic; Financial; Contract; Resource and People Management. In his vast expanse of working reality, Hareshchandra has gained useful insights on working with cross functional and cross cultural teams.   He is a Certified NLP Practitioner and has been visiting various Engineering and Management institutions as a guest lecturer. He has made presentations at IPMA World Congress at Helsinki, Istanbul & Crete and Global Symposiums on Project Management in New Delhi.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from College of Engineering, University of Poona and a Master’s degree in Financial Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, University of Mumbai. He obtained PMP Certification in April 2002. He lives in Mumbai, India and can be contacted at [email protected].