Learn more about principle-centered leadership and mindfulness, how they contribute to project success and how you can develop leadership principles and happiness and apply them in daily life.

Project Management & Zen

PM and ZenToday’s projects become increasingly complex and a test of our leadership. It is becoming ever more important to being able to master this increasing complexity and to show your leadership skills at the same time.

Individuals in the team and the whole team need orientation and guidance. Personally, I have found that the philosophy of Zen offers many insights which can help us achieves this. In simple, easy to understand language it outlines avenues to find our lost individual and project identity, overcome burdens and master challenges, reduce complexity and guide us to personal success.

In the fall of 2011 I created a presentation on this topic for the NASA Project Management Challenge 2012 to which I was invited as a speaker following my first stint in 2011.  The presentation “Project Management and Zen” is now available on Slideshare and is free for downloading and sharing.

This presentation introduces 10 Zen insights and translates them into the language of project management. Zen can help inspire us personally and how to interact effectively with our team, customers and stakeholders. Applying Zen in projects makes it easier to build teams, perform on a high level and deliver results which delight our customers and teams alike. It thus helps us and the team to evolve into a performing unit and excel.


Open BookJuli, T. (2012). Project Management and Zen: Achieving a Work-Life-Balance. Synergy Project Management Event. London.

Juli, T., & French, F. (2012). Project Management and Zen. NASA Project Management Challenge 2012. Orlando, FL: NASA.

In addition, have a look at the Blog Posts below or choose the category “Centeredness” in our Blog.

  • Synergy Project Management Event 2012
    London, UK, November 1, 2013

Title of presentation:  “Project Management and Zen: Achieving a Work-Life-Balance“.

On November 1, 2012 I had the privilege to speak at the 2012 Synergy Projec Management Event in London, UK.  It was a fabulous conference with more than 500 people attending.  My own presentation “Project Management and Zen: Achieving a Work-Life Balance” was very well received.  As promised I am making the presentation available to the general public under the Creative Commons agreement.  Feel free to download the ppt-file, use it, spread the message, and please share your stories.

Upcoming Presentations

I am happy to announce that Frank French, President of the PMI Frankfurt Chapter, gave presentations based on “Project Management and Zen” at 2 major project management conferences:

  • Project Zone
    March 18-19, 2013; Sheraton Airport Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany

Thank you, Frank, for sharing the valuable insights of Project Management and Zen set forth in my presentation and making it available to a larger audience.

Other Resources

Inspiring Websites

  • Otto Scharmer
    Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at MIT and author of the book Theory U: Leading from the Future as It EmergesThe Social Technology of Presencing.
  • Presence Institute
    The Presencing Institute (PI) is an awareness-based action research community for profound societal innovation and change. The presencing process is a journey that connects us more deeply both to what wants to emerge in the world and to our emerging, higher self.


Book & Article Recommendations

Herrigel, E. (2011). Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschießens (Neuausgabe.). München: O.W. Barth Verlag.

Hohensee, T. (2007). Gelassenheit beginnt im Kopf: So entwickeln Sie einen entspannten Lebensstil (p. 192). Knaur Taschenbuch.

Kothes, P. J. (2005). Dein Job ist es, frei zu sein: Zen und die Kunst des Managements (2nd ed., p. 195). Bielefeld: J. Kamphausen.

Lesser, M. (2005). Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration: How Zen Practice Can Transform Your Work and Your Life. Novato, California: New World Library.

Lesser, M. (2009). Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less (p. 173). Novato, California: New World Library.

Thomas Hohensee. (2012). Glücklich wie ein Buddha: Sechs Strategien, alle Lebenslagen zu meistern. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.

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