PPP 065 | Leading Under Pressure, with Justin Menkes author of Better Under Pressure

In this episode, I talk with Justin Menkes
, author of Better Under Pressure: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Themselves and Others. Let's learn together from Justin as we talk about leading under pressure. You can learn more about Justin and his book at http://www.BetterUnderPressure.com.

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

Total Duration 33:08

Download episode 65

P.S. Here's an entertaining and informative video on how stress impacts how the brain works, from Dr. John Medina. Enjoy!

PPP 064 | Find Your Focus and Master Distraction with Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes

Total Duration 27:37

Download episode 64

One of my favorite writers and voices on the topic of productivity is Peter Bregman. Peter recently released his newest book entitled 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Peter recently and look forward to sharing that discussion with you in this episode.

You can learn more about Peter at his website http://www.PeterBregman.com.

Quick note: I'm always encouraged to hear from listeners and received this recently from Cheryl, who said,

"I've been listening to your informative and inspiring podcasts and have found value in each one. I like your passion and sincerity. I benefit from the coaching delivered through your discussions with your engaging guests regarding leadership attitudes, skills and practices. I love that you call it the People and Projects podcast. My personal #1 rule is to take care of the people, and your podcasts cover the many dimensions of pursuing that objective. Thank you again for your great podcasts. I look forward to hearing more of them!"

I certainly appreciate Cheryl's kind words. Her personal #1 rule is a good one, and is the heart of this podcast. If you get find these discussions valuable I invite you to take a moment and let some friends and colleagues know about The People and Projects Podcast. You can find us on the web, iTunes, and on Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, please take a minute to stop by our podcast Facebook page! I invite you to Like it and the join the discussion.

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


PPP 063 | How to Gain Credibility, Part 2 of an interview with leadership author and expert Jim Kouzes

Total Duration 20:58

Download episode 63

In our last episode I started a conversation with Jim Kouzes about their newly revised book Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It. We continue that conversation in this episode, where I ask Jim for insights such as "How do you keep your credibility when being asked to support a decision you don't agree with?"

You can learn more about Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner online at http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/.

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

PPP 062 | How to Gain Credibility, Part 1 of an interview with leadership author and expert Jim Kouzes

Total Duration 21:06

Download episode 62

I'm recording this episode on the road this week, delivering a keynote on leadership at a Project Management Institute Professional Development Day. Since I have leadership on the brain today, let me ask you: Think of one of the best leaders you've ever had the privilege of working with.... What was it about that person that made them such an effective leader?

Though the details of your answer could be different from what others might say, chances are we would all agree that the best leader that came to mind for us shared one thing in common: credibility.

Credibility is fundamental to being a leader, and in this cast I'm excited to share the first of two episodes from a conversation with Jim Kouzes. Jim, along with his co-author Barry Posner, are some of the foremost researchers and voices on leadership, including works such as their best-selling book The Leadership Challenge.

In these next two episodes, I talk with Jim about their newly updated book Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It.

Don't miss the next cast where Jim and I talk about what to do when you're given an assignment that's over your head. How does that impact credibility? And what about when you have to execute against a decision you don't agree with? Does that mean your credibility is on the line? Jim shares his expert coaching with those questions and more so don't miss it!

You can learn more about Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner online at http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/.

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

PPP 061.1 | Premium: Follow-up on the Michael Roberto interview on Filters

Total Duration 7:11

Download the premium episode

(NOTE: This Premium Episode is being included in our free podcast stream this week. It gives you a sense of the extra coaching that is available each episode for our premium subscribers. Learn more about becoming a Premium Subscriber at http://bit.ly/PremiumSubscribe).

There are many things I love about hosting this podcast. One of them is the opportunity to interact with the experts we interview. You probably notice that I normally include some behind the scenes cuts at the end of interviews to try and give a sense of who these people are. Most are very gracious. There's something about Michael Roberto that truly stands out though. He has great energy, a quick wit, and is everything I would have wanted in a college business professor.

In this premium episode I want to highlight some points from the interview with Michael to help you put the learning into action.

First, filtering isn't bad, right? We need it for efficiency. People say we need to over-communicate but, to an extreme, that can be a bad idea! If you listened to my interview with Cathy Davidson or read her book Now You See It, it's clear that we are wired up to put our attention on that which requires it. We would literally go nuts if we tried to take it all in. So filtering of information can be the equivalent of a corporate attention window: what is it that is most important. Let's focus on that.

So let me ask you: how do you filter for efficiency? What do you do to make sure the most important information gets to you? From a learning perspective, I focus on a relatively small number of blogs and podcasts. I find those give me regular doses of learning without trying to read everything or attend every learning opportunity. For example, I get great value out of HBR's blog. I use CIO Magazine's “What Are You Reading” section as a starting place for new and interesting books and authors to consider as guests. I use a number of Google's filtering capabilities to give me just the news I'm most interested in. I try to surround myself with diversely interesting people who help keep me informed of their viewpoint. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you might want to think about your filtering systems today.

But secondly, of course, filtering isn't always done for efficiency. And it isn't always done intentionally or for our good. As Michael says, we might by our actions and words unwittingly put pressure on those on our teams to conform to our way of thinking. We have to be careful for how we advocate for certain decisions or positions because our advocacy could cause some who know better to keep their mouths shut--to not speak up because they'll think you are not open to a contrary point of view. A key characteristic of your team must be that every member knows that if they have information or insights that can help you, they can bring it to you without fear of rejection or judgment. That doesn't mean that you will always agree with them or follow their advice. I read a case study from Michael years ago that, in effect, said that people can usually put up with decisions that you make as long as they had a fair say in the process. As long as they're heard, they can better accept what you decide. But if you explicitly or subtly make it clear that you're not open to their point of view, not to mention even giving them the opportunity, you risk making a poorly informed decision that can often surface compliance at best instead of commitment from your teams. Be careful how you may be pressuring people to conform.

Third, make sure you're aware of the power and dangers of advocacy. This filter says that the information is presented in such a way as to advocate for a certain position. Information that might not reinforce the position is held back. Whether from politicians, your senior management, advertisers, a supplier, or someone on your team, keep your eyes wide open for not just what is presented but also for what is not being presented. I've learned to deal with this by asking questions, digging into the data that is presented, and watching for influence techniques such social proof. It's not that I don't trust people when they're making a pitch. But whether it's a resume, a request for something to buy, or an argument for why we should take action, there's almost always some advocacy going on. Make sure you look for dissenting or alternative points of view.

Fourth, remember that sometimes it's the other person advocating. Other times it's you and me only taking in the data we want. Confirmation bias is an easy trap to fall into. Make sure to not fall in love with an approach or decision because it is ours. Cathy Davidson's collaboration by difference is her solution to this, which basically recommends we surround ourselves with diverse points of view that are intentionally looking at different aspects of what's going on. Confirmation bias can be deadly to decision-making. Beware.

Fifth, and to many of the previous points, remember Michael's suggestion about getting out to the periphery. One way to help know what's important is to get out of your office and spend time with customers, or people in remote offices, or with stakeholders. I interviewed Todd Williams earlier this summer about rescuing problem projects. You may recall his advice that, with troubled projects, your team knows the answers. They know how to help you but you need to spend time with them. Extended time. Michael Roberto is obviously a big Churchill fan and his story about Churchill going out and spending time with the frontlines provided helpful insight that had less filtering through the ranks. Of course you have to be careful to not undermine your direct reports or senior management, but getting to the edges or periphery, spending time with those who don't normally have a voice, such as the younger people as Michael talked about. In my interview with Dev Patniak regarding his book Wired to Care, he basically said we don't have to be innovative if we have an intense understanding of our customers--what he refers to as empathy. Stop trying to live off your own wisdom and insights. Get to the edges and you'll get fresh insights.

Finally, remember Michael's suggestion about talking to the Non's. That means spending some time with people who aren't currently using the services or your team or company but potentially could. Or maybe they're not fans of you or your team or your project. Why is that? Don't write them off. Insights from the Non's could just help you turn them.

I trust it's obvious that I really like Michael's book Know What You Don't Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen. Get a copy and enjoy it--it's a great read.


You can learn more about Michael and read his blog by visiting http://michael-roberto.blogspot.com/.

Hey, take a minute to stop by our podcast Facebook page! I invite you to Like it and the join the discussion.

Thank you for being a premium subscriber to The People and Projects Podcast. Please let me know what questions you have and if there's anything I can do to help you lead and deliver. Thank you for joining me for this premium episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!

More Articles ...

  1. PPP 061 | Be a Better Problem Finder, with author Michael Roberto
  2. PPP 060 | How the Brain Science of Attention Changes Everything, with Cathy Davidson (Part 2)
  3. PPP 059 | How the Brain Science of Attention Changes Everything, with Cathy Davidson (Part 1)
  4. PPP 058 | How to Lead Your Boss, with author John Baldoni
  5. PPP 057 | Rescuing the Problem Project, with author Todd C. Williams, PMP
  6. PPP 056 | Improving Your Success through Little Bets, with author Peter Sims
  7. Taking Action on Your Crazy Ideas
  8. PPP 055 | Change Anything, with best-selling author Kerry Patterson
  9. PPP 054 | Become a Better Problem Solver, an interview with author and management thinker Roger L. Martin
  10. PPP 053 | Saving Your Good Ideas From Getting Shot Down, with John Kotter
  11. PPP 052 | Leading Change, an interview with John Kotter
  12. PPP 051 | Great on the Job, with author and Harvard blogger Jodi Glickman
  13. PPP 050 | Managing Project Risks (Part 2) with Dr. David Hillson
  14. PPP 049 | Managing Project Risks (Part 1) with Dr. David Hillson
  15. PPP 048 | Get Free PDUs for Listening to the People and Projects Podcast
  16. PPP 047 | Management: It's Not What You Think! An interview with Henry Mintzberg
  17. PPP 046 | Get Your PMP®, an interview with Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
  18. PPP 045 | Being a Student of PM, with Josh Nankivel
  19. PPP 044 | Think Small! An interview with Phil Simon, author of The New Small
  20. PPP 043 | The Way We're Working Isn't Working, Part 2
  21. PPP 042 | The Way We're Working Isn't Working, Part 1
  22. PPP 041 | New Year's Resolutions for Project Managers
  23. PPP 039 | Networking for People Who Hate Networking: An interview with author Devora Zack
  24. PPP 038 | How to Manage Your Boss, an interview with author and speaker Bruce Tulgan
  25. PPP 037 | Making Better Decisions through 10-10-10
  26. PPP 036 | Engaging Your Employees, with author Brad Federman
  27. PPP 035 | Delivering Projects Through People, with author Dave Po-Chedley, PMP
  28. PPP 033.1 | Premium: Discussion Questions for Leading Teams, with Harvard Professor Dr. J. Richard Hackman
  29. PPP 033 | Leading Teams, with Harvard Professor Dr. J. Richard Hackman
  30. PPP 032 | Become a More Effective Leader Using the Latest Brain Science
  31. PPP 031 | Leading Teams with Meaning, with Dr. Adam Grant
  32. PPP 030 | Wired to Care, with author Dev Patnaik
  33. PPP 029 | The Project Success Method, with author Clint Padgett
  34. PPP 028 | Influence Without Authority Scenarios, Part 2
  35. PPP 027 | How to Influence Without Authority, an interview with author Dr. Allan Cohen
  36. PPP 026 | How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help. Part 2 of an Interview with Dr. Ed Schein
  37. PPP 025 | Corporate Culture Survival, with Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus, Dr. Ed Schein
  38. PPP 024 | PDUs for PMPs, with guest Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
  39. PPP 023 | Steve Martin and Andy Kaufman on Influence
  40. PPP 022 | Who's Got Your Back? An interview with bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi
  41. PPP 021 | The New Year Money Episode, with author and speaker Matt Bell
  42. PPP 020 | Accountability That Works! An interview with author and speaker John G. Miller
  43. PPP 019 | Making New Year's Resolutions StickK! An interview with Jordan Goldberg, CEO of stickK.com
  44. PPP 018 | Project Management Beyond PMI, an interview with Bill Duncan, primary author of the original PMBOK(R) Guide
  45. PPP 017 | Take Back Your Life! An interview with author John Wittry
  46. PPP 016 | World of Thanks, a special Thanksgiving podcast episode
  47. PPP 015 | Is Failure an Option? An interview with Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure
  48. PPP 014 | How to Know What You Don't Know, an interview with author Michael Roberto
  49. PPP 013 | Managing Politics and Conflict in Projects, with author Brian Irwin, PMP
  50. PPP 012 | Why Feedback Doesn't Work, with Charles Jacobs, author of Management Rewired
  51. PPP 011 | Fierce Leadership, an interview with author Susan Scott
  52. PPP 010 | Managing Generation Y, an interview with author and speaker Bruce Tulgan
  53. PPP 009 | Why New Systems Fail, an interview with author Phil Simon
  54. PPP 008 | Managing Extreme Projects, with author and consultant Doug DeCarlo
  55. PPP 007 | Leading and Delivering with Virtual Teams, with guest Dr. Karen Sobel Lojeski
  56. PPP 006 | Getting More Done with Less Stress, with guest Jason Womack
  57. PPP 005 | How Engaged Are Your Teams? Got Conflict? A conversation with Kenneth W. Thomas, author of "Intrinsic Motivation at Work"
  58. PPP 004 | Increasing Your Charisma, with guest Dr. Nick Morgan, author of "Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma"
  59. PPP 003 | The Myth of Multitasking, with guest author Dave Crenshaw
  60. PPP 002 | Project Sponsorship, with guest Alfonso Bucero, PMP
  61. PPP 001 | Why Social Networking Matters

Be the first to hear about new episodes, livestreams, webinars, and more!