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Taking Action on Your Crazy Ideas

Ever get a crazy idea and decide to act on it? Too often I just sit on the idea instead of taking action. In late May I had a crazy idea: to produce a Father's Day Rap with some friends.

Though Father's Day is in the rear view mirror, I thought I'd share yours truly making a fool of myself trying to lay down some rap tunes. After all, it's good to be humbled, isn't it?

Regardless of your aspirations to rap or not, here's my question for you.... What's a crazy idea you've had lately but not acted on? Why not make it happen?

Too often we're held back because we're afraid we will fail. I appreciated Peter Bregman's recent HBR post that recommends we don't ask, "Will I succeed?"  Rather, a better question is "Is it worth the risk?" 

I'm not worried about succeeding as a rap artist or cinematographer.  And I certainly realize there's a risk of acting so silly, publishing it on YouTube, and letting you know about it!  But was it worth the risk? It was a great memory, not the least of which for my friend Bob--the oldest guy in the video--who is now in his late 80's. And we all had an enormous amount of fun.

What's your crazy idea? Is it worth the risk? Treat it like a project and start working on delivering it. Whether at work or home, you might be surprised by what happens when we take action on ideas instead of just thinking about them....

Here's to a great second half of the year!

Download the video episode

PPP 055 | Change Anything, with best-selling author Kerry Patterson

Total Duration 27:07

Download episode 55

So let me ask you a question: How strong is your willpower? When you want to make a change, how successful are you at not only making it but also sustaining it?

Whether at work or outside, whether personally or with a group of people, learning how to effectively change is critical. And it needs to start with us individually.

One of my favorite books of the year just came out. It's entitled Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success and it is from the authors of Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Influencer: The Power to Change Anything. I had the real pleasure of talking with author Kerry Patterson earlier this month and look forward to sharing that interview with you in this episode.

You can learn more about Kerry's organization by visiting http://www.vitalsmarts.com.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!

PPP 054 | Become a Better Problem Solver, an interview with author and management thinker Roger L. Martin

Total Duration 40:48

Download episode 54

I recorded this episode on the road this week, while in Las Vegas speaking at the Agile Development Practices and Better Software Conference. I greatly enjoy talking with the people from many different companies about the challenges they face on their projects and teams.

Here's a recurring them I hear from leaders who are responsible for delivering projects.... "Should we ship or delay?" "Keep trying or ask for help?" "Invest in a new product or milk the existing cash cow another year?"

Whether you're leading teams or projects, we're often faced with what seems like unpleasant trade-offs. It's not a matter of which option is the best. Sometimes it feels like we need to figure out which option is the least evil! Success with a project, team, or even organization can come down to how effectively we lead when we're seemingly stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.

To help us navigate these situations I turned to Dr. Roger L. Martin. Roger has been named one of the top 50 management thinkers in the world and is the author of two thought-provoking books, entitled The Opposable Mind and The Design of Business.

Want to be a better problem solver or improve your ability to innovate? This episode is for you!

To learn more about Roger L. Martin and to get links to his articles, books, and blog, visit http://rogerlmartin.com.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!

PPP 053 | Saving Your Good Ideas From Getting Shot Down, with John Kotter

Total Duration 23:55

Download episode 53

In this episode I continue my conversation with Professor John Kotter. If you haven't listened to the first part of this interview, make sure to check that episode out! Our focus in this cast is on John's most recent book entitled Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down.

To learn more about John's organization, check out http://www.kotterinternational.com/. You can follow John's Harvard Business Review blog at http://blogs.hbr.org/kotter/.

You know, if you were a premium subscriber to the People and Projects Podcast, you could now listen to some special coaching advice that I share after each interview with my guests. Each premium episode is designed to help you improve your ability to lead and deliver by taking the next step in applying the learning from our standard podcast episodes.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!

PPP 052 | Leading Change, an interview with John Kotter

Total Duration 26:35

Download episode 52

When was the last time you wanted to make a change at work? Maybe it was an approach on a project or something bigger, like wanting to introduce a new way of doing projects, such as using principles from agile project management. Chances are you faced some resistance to your proposed changes.

Yet one of our key responsibilities is to lead change, even when our ideas are getting shot down. Well, to give us insight on this topic, you could argue one of the best people in the world to talk to is Professor John Kotter. John's most recent book is entitled Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down and is a great follow-on to his classic books on change.

I had the opportunity to spend some extended time talking with John earlier this year and look forward to sharing that discussion with you over the course of two episodes.

For our premium subscribers, your extra coaching podcast episode will come out with the second cast. In this first cast, John and I focus on the topic of change. Enjoy the interview!

To learn more about John's organization, check out http://www.kotterinternational.com/. You can follow John's Harvard Business Review blog at http://blogs.hbr.org/kotter/.

By the way, my two favorite (and highly recommended) John Kotter books on change include:

Join me in our next cast when John tells us more about how to avoid letting our ideas get shot down. Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!

More Articles ...

  1. PPP 051 | Great on the Job, with author and Harvard blogger Jodi Glickman
  2. PPP 050 | Managing Project Risks (Part 2) with Dr. David Hillson
  3. PPP 049 | Managing Project Risks (Part 1) with Dr. David Hillson
  4. PPP 048 | Get Free PDUs for Listening to the People and Projects Podcast
  5. PPP 047 | Management: It's Not What You Think! An interview with Henry Mintzberg
  6. PPP 046 | Get Your PMP®, an interview with Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
  7. PPP 045 | Being a Student of PM, with Josh Nankivel
  8. PPP 044 | Think Small! An interview with Phil Simon, author of The New Small
  9. PPP 043 | The Way We're Working Isn't Working, Part 2
  10. PPP 042 | The Way We're Working Isn't Working, Part 1
  11. PPP 041 | New Year's Resolutions for Project Managers
  12. PPP 039 | Networking for People Who Hate Networking: An interview with author Devora Zack
  13. PPP 038 | How to Manage Your Boss, an interview with author and speaker Bruce Tulgan
  14. PPP 037 | Premium: Making Better Decisions through 10-10-10
  15. PPP 036 | Engaging Your Employees, with author Brad Federman
  16. PPP 035 | Delivering Projects Through People, with author Dave Po-Chedley, PMP
  17. PPP 033.1 | Premium: Discussion Questions for Leading Teams, with Harvard Professor Dr. J. Richard Hackman
  18. PPP 033 | Leading Teams, with Harvard Professor Dr. J. Richard Hackman
  19. PPP 032 | Become a More Effective Leader Using the Latest Brain Science
  20. PPP 031 | Leading Teams with Meaning, with Dr. Adam Grant
  21. PPP 030 | Wired to Care, with author Dev Patnaik
  22. PPP 029 | The Project Success Method, with author Clint Padgett
  23. PPP 028 | Influence Without Authority Scenarios, Part 2
  24. PPP 027 | How to Influence Without Authority, an interview with author Dr. Allan Cohen
  25. PPP 026 | How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help. Part 2 of an Interview with Dr. Ed Schein
  26. PPP 025 | Corporate Culture Survival, with Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus, Dr. Ed Schein
  27. PPP 024 | PDUs for PMPs, with guest Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
  28. PPP 023 | Steve Martin and Andy Kaufman on Influence
  29. PPP 022 | Who's Got Your Back? An interview with bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi
  30. PPP 021 | The New Year Money Episode, with author and speaker Matt Bell
  31. PPP 020 | Accountability That Works! An interview with author and speaker John G. Miller
  32. PPP 019 | Making New Year's Resolutions StickK! An interview with Jordan Goldberg, CEO of stickK.com
  33. PPP 018 | Project Management Beyond PMI, an interview with Bill Duncan, primary author of the original PMBOK(R) Guide
  34. PPP 017 | Take Back Your Life! An interview with author John Wittry
  35. PPP 016 | World of Thanks, a special Thanksgiving podcast episode
  36. PPP 015 | Is Failure an Option? An interview with Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure
  37. PPP 014 | How to Know What You Don't Know, an interview with author Michael Roberto
  38. PPP 013 | Managing Politics and Conflict in Projects, with author Brian Irwin, PMP
  39. PPP 012 | Why Feedback Doesn't Work, with Charles Jacobs, author of Management Rewired
  40. PPP 011 | Fierce Leadership, an interview with author Susan Scott
  41. PPP 010 | Managing Generation Y, an interview with author and speaker Bruce Tulgan
  42. PPP 009 | Why New Systems Fail, an interview with author Phil Simon
  43. PPP 008 | Managing Extreme Projects, with author and consultant Doug DeCarlo
  44. PPP 007 | Leading and Delivering with Virtual Teams, with guest Dr. Karen Sobel Lojeski
  45. PPP 006 | Getting More Done with Less Stress, with guest Jason Womack
  46. PPP 005 | How Engaged Are Your Teams? Got Conflict? A conversation with Kenneth W. Thomas, author of "Intrinsic Motivation at Work"
  47. PPP 004 | Increasing Your Charisma, with guest Dr. Nick Morgan, author of "Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma"
  48. PPP 003 | The Myth of Multitasking, with guest author Dave Crenshaw
  49. PPP 002 | Project Sponsorship, with guest Alfonso Bucero, PMP
  50. PPP 001 | Why Social Networking Matters
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