Episode 177: PM Podcast Leadership Series: The Cure For The Common Project
We launch the series with four interviews that I did with two authors of project leadership books. The first two interviews are with Rick Valerga (www.projectleadershipadvisors.com), author of “The Cure For The Common Project” and then you will meet Thomas Juli who wrote “Leadership Principles for Project Success”.
However, the first author that you are going to meet in this episode is Peter Taylor, because Peter Taylor has once again published a new book based on his blog “The Lazy Project Manager”and he is donating the proceeds to the Japan relief effort. I suggest that you go ahead and stop by at The Lazy Project Manager and buy this book for a good cause.
If, however, you would much rather WIN a book, to be precise if you would like to win a copy of Rick Valerga’s “The Cure For The Common Project” then you are in luck, because we are giving away 2 copies. One copy (as always) is reserved for our premium listeners and the 2nd copy can be grabbed by anyone. To participate in this giveaway, please go go www.facebook.com/pmpodcast, look for the book giveaway and simply leave a comment.
Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.
Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #177. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.
Today, we begin with what I hope is going to be a great journey here on the program. We are starting “The Project Management Podcast™ Project Leadership Series. The idea is that for the rest of 2011, we are going to return again and again to the topic of project leadership by bringing you interviews with experts from the field.
We launched the series with 4 interviews that I did with 2 authors of project leadership books. The first two interviews are with Rick Valerga, author of “The Cure For The Common Project” and then you will meet Thomas Juli who wrote “Leadership Principles for Project Success”.
However, the first author that you are going to meet right now is Peter Taylor, because Peter has once again published a new book based on his blog “The Lazy Project Manager”, and he is donating the proceeds to a good cause. Let’s hear what he has to say about that:
Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Peter and once again, welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™!
Peter Taylor: Cornelius, thank you! Yes, back again. You can’t get rid of me, can you?
Cornelius Fichtner: Yes, unfortunately, oh well. Well, thanks for being back. We want to take a look a new ebook that you have just published but before we do that, let’s turn around and take a look back to the last book you published that was “The Lazy Blogger,” how successful was it?
Peter Taylor: I’m quite pleased. It sold about 125 copies in total which raised a reasonable sum for the cancer research at that point in time, right at the Christmas period. So I’m pleased. It was successful. Hopefully, a few people had some enjoyment from the stories that were inside that and I thank you and the Podcast for the support.
Cornelius Fichtner: Absolutely! We’re happy to do that. You have just released a new ebook once again. You’re donating the proceeds to a good cause. It’s called “The Lazy Blogger, “ excuse me, not The Lazy Blogger, “The History of Lazy.” You get me all confused. It’s called “The History of Lazy”?
Peter Taylor: Yeah, I produced too many books so I might do a lot of writing and in between the real books being published, I produce a lot of material for articles, et cetera.
“The History of Lazy” it just struck me again. There’s an important cause out there with the Japanese situation. I had all this material that came about mostly because several people out there asked me questions about the journey I’ve been on over the last 2 years to the point of whether Lazy Project Manager is the brand that’s out there and the popularity. Rather than individually write to people, I decided now is a good time to collate the history and put it all together. They’re my experiences of writing the book, of getting speaking engagements, of starting my own podcast, of blogging, of article writing, et cetera, et cetera so really The History of Lazy for the most part is about that 2-year journey and also my experience and experiments into the social media world which is being very enlightening.
Adding to that, I wrote, it is The History of Lazy and other stories and I’ve added to that a number of other articles that I have put in place over a period of time to actually share with people a little bit more information about Lazy, Laziness, Productive Laziness and things like that.
Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! And as you have just mentioned, the proceeds of the book, they will go to the Japanese relief fund. Did you compile this ebook as a means to help Japan or had you wanted to compile it anyway?
Peter Taylor: I think given time because I just built up material and I’m a very sharing sort of person that I probably would have produced a book. I kind of in the back of my mind thought, “well maybe next December…” a year after Lazy Blogger, perhaps I have enough material. But with the situation, the terrible situation there in Japan, I thought this model works reasonably well last time. I’ve raised an amount of money that actually, I could accelerate this and produce the ebook now and as a result of that, I could gain some money for the Japanese Red Cross and try to help out in my own tiny way.
Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! So how much does “The History of Lazy” cost and how much of that goes to the relief effort?
Peter Taylor: Right! The cost of it £3.50, that’s in English money of course. Although anybody can buy it through my websites and that’s easily done. As much as possible, the only deduction from that £3.50 would be the very small PayPal fee that I have to pay for actually selling the book through PayPal. Apart from that, 100% of everything else goes to the Japanese Red Cross.
Cornelius Fichtner: Okay! And in the email that you originally send out about this, you mentioned that it’s 17,500 words long and this is very important, I am guaranteeing that it will have some typos and logical errors. Can you really guarantee that there are typos in it because I’m not going to buy it if you know, later on, I realized, there are no typos in this?
Peter Taylor: I can guarantee. When I launched ”The Lazy Blogger,” people were very kind. They came back to me in a very nice way and said: Did you realize you spelled something wrong here and this didn’t make sense here. And they did it in a very good spirit with the fact they understood it was for charity and I’d self-publish and self-edit it which is one of the hardest things to possibly do. So I’m not a 100% guarantee, but I am 99.99% certain that there will be a typo in there because I self-edited it so therefore I’m sure, I missed something.
Cornelius Fichtner: Excellent.
Peter Taylor: And hopefully that will satisfy your need to have that guaranteed but not upset anybody by coming across one or two errors because it’s all in a good cause.
Cornelius Fichtner: Great! So I do encourage all our listeners right now to go out there, spend £3.50 and buy a few typos from Peter Taylor called “The History of Lazy” and of course the most important thing, Peter, where do people now have to go to in order to buy the book?
Peter Taylor: Okay! They go to my website which is www.thelazyprojectmanager.com and just on there, you can select the tab which is By the Book and the top item in the online bookstore is now this book “The History of Lazy.”
Cornelius: Fichtner: Excellent! Peter, thank you so much for once again donating the proceeds of this book to a good cause and thanks for being back on the program!
Peter Taylor: My absolute pleasure, thank you!
Cornelius Fichtner: So go ahead and stop by at The Lazy Project Manager and buy this book for a good cause.
If, however, you would much rather win a book, to be precise if you would like to win a copy of Rick Valerga’s “The Cure For The Common Project” well then you are in luck, because we are giving away 2 copies. One copy as always is reserved for our premium listeners. So if you are a premium project management Podcast listener, there’s nothing you have to do. And the second copy, that one can be grabbed by anyone. To participate in this giveaway, please go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast and look for the book giveaway. Just leave a comment in the book giveaway and you have entered. And now the interview.
Rick Valerga is the author of “The Cure for the Common Project: Five Core Themes that Transform Project Managers into Leaders,” and a speaker on the subject of project leadership. His industry experience includes program and project management for Agilent Technologies in electronics hardware, software, and aerospace defense applications, and assignment as an officer with the US Navy's Civil Engineer Corps. Rick has been a Project Management Professional since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the US Naval Academy and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
And now, please lead the way into our project leadership series. Enjoy the interview.
Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Rick Valerga, author of the book “The Cure for the Common Project”.
Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Rick and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™.
Rick Valerga: Thank you, Cornelius. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Cornelius Fichtner: Wonderful! So your book is titled “The Cure for the Common Project” and yet it is about project leadership. What was the inspiration for this particular title?
Rick Valerga: Well, it ties in with the subtitle of the book which is “Five Core Themes that Transform Project Managers into Readers”. This book is about the everyday leadership behaviors that help us unleash the value of the tools for project management. I thought of it all like a prescription, a daily dosage and so I symbolized these 5 core themes with 5 pills on the cover and use the title, “The Cure for the Common Project” as the headline.
Cornelius Fichtner: Right! So instead of The Cure for the Common Cold, we’re talking about The Cure for the Common Project and those 5 themes, we’ll be hearing about those are the 5 pills that you have to swallow in order to cure your project misery, is that it?
Rick Valerga: That’s right.
Cornelius Fichtner: That’s right, okay. So what is your personal interest in project leadership?
Rick Valerga: Well, I have found that for something so important, project leadership is woefully underrepresented. There are thousands of books available on project management tools and methodologies but far fewer related to project leadership and that’s unfortunate because poor project leadership behavior can completely undermine the tools of project management. On the other hand, great project leadership can help us get the most bang for our buck from the PM Tools.
Cornelius Fichtner: Alright. Of course I have to ask you: How do you define leadership?