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HUMAN NETWORK: Project Teams and Punxsutawney Phil’s Shadow

Feb. 1, 2018
On February 2 every year, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hole. If he sees his shadow, he gets scared and goes back into his hole. Folklore has it […]

On February 2 every year, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hole. If he sees his shadow, he gets scared and goes back into his hole. Folklore has it there is then 6 more weeks of hard winter.

It got me thinking about the fears of our shadow side. When we focus on our shadows, things do in fact get emotionally colder. All of us have a shadow side — those things of which we are not proud and, in fact, can scare not only us but others as well.

When project team members get stuck in the shadows, project progress can go into the deep freeze.

But let’s consider this: what if the groundhog when he sees his shadow on a sunny February 2nd focuses on the warmth of the sun rather than his shadow? The sun, in fact, does shine the same on everyone — it is our choice whether we fixate on the light or the shadow this brightness casts.

It’s also our choice if we focus on people’s kindness, their strengths, and where they shine. When project team members make it their practice to leverage each other’s strengths, project progress is more likely to move along at a good clip.

And this is what Cheetah students learn how to do when they take Cheetah’s online 60 hours Cheetah Certified Project Manager. They identify how their innate strengths help them learn better, do projects better, and relate better to others, rather than being unprepared to best use their talents. They also learn how to bring out the best of their project team members.

You can create a brighter future for yourself simply by focusing more where things are sunny and warm with your life rather than on your shadows. Granted, an awareness of the pitfalls is helpful. What is not helpful is a perpetual rumination about what scares you.

Many people are scared about doing what it takes to become Project Management Professional certified. When you go to a market leader in accelerated exam prep – Cheetah Learning — you become smart, not scared.

Visit to learn more, and to download your Cheetah SmartStart Guide for the PMP Exam. Visit Michelle’s blog at and

About the Author

Michelle LaBrosse

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management (PM) to the masses. Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 50,000 people have become "Cheetahs" using Cheetah Learning’s innovative PM and accelerated learning techniques. Michelle also developed the Cheetah Certified Project Manager (CCPM) program based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality profiling to help students master how to use their unique strengths for learning, doing projects, and negotiating. Michelle is recognized by the Project Management Institute as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world. For more information, visit To read my business-oriented blogs, please visit Cheetah Learning Blog at,, and read my columns here in ISE magazine at