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Episode 481: The PM PrepCast Leadership Academy Interviews (Free)

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Join Cornelius Fichtner for the launch of The PM PrepCast Leadership Academy Interviews, our advanced video series on project leadership. If you want to go above and beyond your project management competencies then this masterclass with conversational interviews from 15 distinguished global leaders is for you. Project leadership is not one-size-fits-all, so we built this class with the senior project manager who is on a leadership track in mind.

We'll talk about how the course helps you become a change maker in your organization, win and maintain your team's trust, how to get assigned to more critical projects, but most importantly, create meaningful and lasting change.

If inspiration, growth, and team satisfaction are critical to you and the type of project leader you want to be, then you have come to the right place.

Learn more by visiting the Leadership Academy interviews

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Video Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode, we are launching my brand new Leadership Academy interview series.

Hello, and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™ at This is Episode 481, and I’m Cornelius Fichtner. Thank you so much for joining me.

A couple of weeks ago, I launched my new program called “The PM PrepCast™ Leadership Academy” interviews. In this series, I interview 15 renowned leaders from around the world. Here they are. We have an astronaut, a four-star general, leadership authors, leadership researchers and also those who bring applied business leadership to the table.

This is an experienced group of leaders that allow me and you to look at leadership from 15 different perspectives and apply their expertise to what you and I do everyday --- lead project teams. You can find all the details or just keep watching.

Oh and talking about watching, this is a video episode. So, if you are not seeing the video and only getting audio, the please do visit to watch. Here we go!

Video Presentation

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello, everybody! I am Cornelius Fichtner. Thank you so much for joining me here today for the launch of our Leadership Academy interviews. Here is our agenda. Where are we? Here we go!

We have five big topics today. An overview, I want to tell you a little bit about the Leadership Academy, then we’ll talk about the guests. Very important, I want to discuss the benefits that you will get out of watching and studying with the Leadership Academy interviews. We’ll have an FAQ and a recap at the end.

If you are wondering where to find the Leadership Academy, well then, here you go, the Leadership Academy interviews. You can find it at Oh and by the way, /leadership works as well. So,,, both of those work very well.

And now, let me introduce everything to you. I think the hardest feature to explain from this video series is the curriculum itself. I mean, interview that build leaders, that’s a good tagline, but what exactly are you going to get? Frankly, if this were a course about project scope management, right. Hard skills, we could talk about: Oh, we’re going to talk about the work breakdown structure. We’re going to talk about business analysis. We are going to talk about maybe even user stories and how to develop those and how you define your scope right there and then. Those are hard skills and scope is something that is tangible. Whereas leadership is something completely intangible, and it is really difficult, right.

Leadership is situational. Leadership is personal. And leadership is primarily a soft skill. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There are leadership techniques and approaches and theories but this course is not about those.

Instead, this is an interview-based leadership course that conveys the leadership experience from my guests and explains how you can apply the leadership practices from an astronaut, a four-star general, a genocide survivor to your projects, right. So, that is the curriculum. The lifelong and combined leadership experience of this group of individuals who I interviewed and how to apply that in your own leadership situations at work.

Let’s start at the beginning here and the beginning is this: From the very beginning, my goal with this course was to help you turn into a changemaker in your organization. Someone who can draw from a broad set of experiences and turn that not only into successful change and improvement in your company, but also give you a fulfilling career.

And we bring this broad experience to you by giving you access to exclusive and in-depth conversational interviews from these distinguished global leaders in order to learn how to become more than just an effective project leader. But also, yes, that change maker in your organization that I’m talking about here. You’ll hear and see project management discussed through the lens of real trailblazers, groundbreakers, and researchers that are part of this series.

I have 15 guest on the program and with each of them, we shine the spotlight on their experience as a leader on the world stage. Because leadership is defined in more than just one way, and in this way, you can then learn to succeed in effective project leadership from the best. There is no manual to becoming a leader. Because leadership is multi-faceted. This means that every industry is unique. And so are you. So, are the approaches that you need to managing your team’s efficiency and satisfaction, yeah?

And in this way, the PrepCast™ Leadership Academy has become a master class in project leadership that goes beyond just giving you the usual leadership approaches and technologies and theories and pretty much regurgitating what you can learn from other leadership courses. This is hands-on leadership with 15 experts from around the world. Yeah, once again, here is the link for the Leadership Academy,, I talked a lot about my guests. So far, here they are. Nice people who joined me on this.

Let me introduce five of them to you in a little bit more detail and we start at the top right there, first stop with astronaut, Dr. Dave Williams. Yes, he indeed wearing an astronaut suit in that picture. In this leadership interview, he draws from his experience at NASA as an astronaut. But also, as a CEO of a hospital. And he not only recounts many leadership moments but also masterfully relates why they matter and how project leaders can apply them to become better at what we do.

Then next, we have four-star general, Stanley McChrystal, from the US Army. In the interview, we examine some of the topics here --- teams, risk control factors, how to define them and how to lead the implementation of risk control factors. We’ll talk about vision and mission, always very important in the army. Changing strategies and very important, communication as a leader.

Then, we are moving on to Kristen Cox. Kristen is the world’s leading authority on how to apply the theory of constraints to government and non-profits. She is also, or was rather also the former Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget for the State of Utah. And here, she was instrumental in leading a program to bring about 35% savings and improvement across Utah’s 20-billion executive branch. Let me repeat that, she implemented a 35% improvement, so reduction in expenses and cost on a 20-billion program. That is quite an achievement, right? And guess what, she did all of that even though she is blind. The fact that she is blind hasn’t stopped her from doing any and all of that.

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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