PPP 033.1 | Premium: Discussion Questions for Leading Teams, with Harvard Professor Dr. J. Richard Hackman

We previously had a Premium Podcast stream only available to subscribers. We've now removed that restriction. Over time we are releasing those former episodes, including this one.

Attached you will find a file you can use to facilitate a discussion about the interview with Dr. J. Richard Hackman. I recommend you have your team listen to the podcast episode ahead of time for maximum benefit. Please don't hesitate to contact me at with any questions. Thank you for being a premium subscriber!

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PPP 033 | Leading Teams, with Harvard Professor Dr. J. Richard Hackman

Episode Duration 34:39

Download episode 33

I can easily recall the days before I became a manager.

I started my career as a software developer, which by nature of how software gets created, usually meant work being done in teams. When my team leader or manager would mess up in some way, I would occasionally think, when I finally get to lead a team, I'm going to do things differently! How hard can this be?

Then I became a manager! It was then that I truly realized that it's one thing to talk about leading teams--it's a whole different deal when you have to be the leader and your team members aren't necessarily as motivated as you want them to be, or priorities change, or your senior management seems dim-witted, and you feel overwhelmed.

The truth is that leading teams well is difficult work, often under-estimated by those who haven't had to hold the reins. One of my favorite experts on this topic is Harvard professor J. Richard Hackman. In this cast I look forward to sharing a recent discussion I had with Dr. Hackman based on his book Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances. In addition, check out Dr. Hackman's book Senior Leadership Teams: What It Takes to Make Them Great.

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

PPP 032 | Become a More Effective Leader Using the Latest Brain Science

Total Duration 35:48

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It's so easy to get into a rut. Whether it's on a personal basis, a project team, or even an organization, it's easy to keep doing things the way we've always done them.

Actually, the brain kind of likes it when we go on auto-pilot. This allows the brain to focus on the more important matters before us, like the stare your boss is giving you when you're trying to reply to a message on your Blackberry during her staff meeting!

Each year we learn more about how the brain works and how we can use that knowledge to better meet the challenges we face. In this episode I interview Madeleine Van Hecke and Brad Kolar, co-authors of the book The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain Research. Make sure to check out the website for their book at www.TheBrainAdvantage.com.

You can get your copy of Madeleine's book Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things on Amazon. It's a great read!

One way to snap out of the old way of doing things is to bring new thinking into your organization. Do you have an upcoming company meeting or retreat? We have keynote presentations that can inspire and motivate your teams to successfully deliver the projects and lead their teams. Give us a call at (866) 884-5323 to learn more.

I invite you to join me next time when I talk with Harvard Professor Dr. Richard Hackman. Richard is world renowned expert on how teams work, and we'll discuss his excellent book entitled Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances. Thanks for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!

PPP 031 | Leading Teams with Meaning, with Dr. Adam Grant

Total Duration: 29:30

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I'm in Las Vegas this week, speaking to leaders from hundreds of companies from around the world. Las Vegas is certainly an intriguing place on many levels. It's an economy that thrives on tourism and in order to keep those tourists happy and coming back, organizations out here need reliable, skilled, engaged workers.

The truth is, the need for engaged, motivated employees isn't just a Las Vegas issue.

I've long felt that the most dangerous employee was not the one who has left the company. It's the one who has left the company but they haven't left the company! It's the people who are just checking in and checking out, day after day, taking up space and leaving a huge amount of productivity on the table. Whether you lead a team of software developers, salespeople, accountants, or doctors, much of our organizational success comes down to how engaged and motivated our front line employees truly are.

I'm staying at a very nice, well-known hotel in Vegas. To be honest, I'm not impressed with the front line service. And you know what? I intersect with enough companies to recognize this isn't just an issue at Caesar's Palace. Chances are your organization could use some insights on how to further engage your employees as well.

In recent years I've enjoyed following the employee engagement research and writings of Dr. Adam Grant from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. I had the opportunity to catch up with Adam recently and look forward to sharing that interview with you in this episode.

Project management podcastIn the interview, Adam recommends the following books for follow-up:

I strongly recommend each of them as well.

A proven way to help engage your team members is to invest in their development. Budgets don't always allow for you to send them away for training but that doesn't mean training has to be put off for a year.

Clearly you already know the benefits of podcasts. Some of the best free learning available these days comes from what you're doing right now—listening to casts such as The People and Projects Podcast.

Well, starting in July of this year we are launching Premium Subscriptions for our podcast. You and your teams will still have access to our free episodes. But we are going even further with the Premium Subscriptions to help you develop and engage your teams.

Project management podcastHere's an example of how you can use our Premium Subscription: Have members of your team listen to an episode of The People and Projects Podcast before a team meeting. Prior to that meeting, you download the premium content for the episode. This will typically be questions you can use to facilitate a discussion on the topic. In addition, there are usually links to additional resources such as recommended books or articles for follow-up learning. All this makes it easy for you to develop practical project management and leadership skills on your team without breaking your budget.

Beyond that, Premium Subscribers are automatically entered into drawings for books and other resources throughout the year. And, as a special bonus, you get free admission to webinars that I lead throughout the year. Visit here to learn more about how to develop your team with a Premium Subscription.

One last thing! Would you take a moment to let a friend or colleague know about The People and Projects Podcast? I'd love to pour into them as well, to help them lead people and deliver projects.

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

PPP 030 | Wired to Care, with author Dev Patnaik

Total Duration 25:50

Download episode 30

What comes to mind when you think of empathy?

Do you think of someone who is highly sensitive and compassionate--maybe even too much? Or does that description sound more like sympathy, where empathy isn't quite as emotional?

Empathy remains a hot topic in leadership. It's difficult to lead people without some measure of empathy in your approach. Yet I've observed from plenty of executive coaching clients that there's some opportunity to better understand what empathy is--and isn't as we seek to deliver projects and lead teams.

Project mgt and empathyOne of the freshest voices on empathy today is Dev Patnaik, CEO of Jump Associates. Dev recently authored the book Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy. I had the opportunity to talk with Dev and look forward to sharing that interview with you in this cast.

Make sure to get a copy of Dev's book Wired to Care. And check out the book's website (wiredtocare.com) and Dev's organization Jump Associates.

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

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