Friday, May 11, 2018

Radio Show - May 11, 2018 - Why Project Management Has to Change - Colin Ellis

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The Work/Life Balance

The Work/Life Balance

Friday at 2 PM Pacific

May 11th 2018:Project Management Has to Change - Colin Ellis
Rick will interview Colin Ellis to talk about why project management has to change. It has to embrace all that is new and that works and discard all that is old and broken. It needs to challenge the current doctrines, structures, processes and people that are holding it back. What’s required is something that builds on what works well whilst establishing a different mindset and skill set that’s fit for the future of work. Delivery people that role model emotional maturity, build organisational agility and continually improve the way things are delivered to ensure that the organisation consist

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Colin Ellis

Colin D Ellis is an award-winning international speaker, renowned project leadership expert and best-selling author who works with organisations around the world to help them build capability that's fit for the future of work. Able to draw on more than 20 years of public and private sector project leadership in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, Colin peppers his presentations with anecdotes, statistics, practical insights and plenty of humour to ensure that audiences are engaged and laughing! He get people talking through his emphasis on people being the best version of themselves and creating teams they can be proud of. Colin is originally from Liverpool in the UK and now lives in Me

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The Two Wolves....

I get several questions around the logo for my company.  There are two main stories.  One is personal, the other stems from an old story that is dear to my heart.  First the story:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, 'My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all.

One is Evil.

It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, ego and superiority.

The other is Good.

It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, truth, benevolence, empathy, generosity, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

'Which wolf wins?'

 The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.'

I love that story.  It reminds me to focus on the positive and reward the good work done.  The second reason for my logo is a personal shout out of pride to my family.  I am Irish and Italian.  I lean more to my Italian side.  The wolf in my logo is modeled after La Lupa, the mythical she wolf that nursed Romulus and Remus back to health.  In many of the pictures of her, you will see the twins.  In the logo, we removed the twins and put R2 underneath it to signify my children. Ramsey and Remo.  Finally, the wolf has green eyes to signify my wife.  So I am the wolf protecting my children and my wife is looking after us.  That is the story!

No Day But Today,


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Culture vs. Vision

In the project management world, we can see the clash between culture and vision vividly.  Sponsors, companies, or clients will state what they want (vision), and then rarely change what they do (culture).  The culture continuously will outpace the vision.   

I had a chance to spend some time with Seth Godin recently.  He says, "You can't change a culture if you don't follow the vision."  He shares a story about an organization talk about wanting to have a culture of inclusiveness.  Their number one sales person was known for behaving poorly.  Several complaints were brought against him.  The company never took true action against the sales person.  The real reason is that he was their top producer.  Therefore, the actions outweigh the words.  The culture of the company trumped the vision.

I see this quite a bit in project management.  We are often hired because companies want to understand portfolio management and to be able to make better project decisions.  They think that software will solve culture issues.  While software is a great enabler, it will not solve organizational or cultural issues.  I recently heard an organization was reaching out who is an existing user of a PPM system.  They were wanting to use resource requisitions.  When I inquired as to why, the answer is because they were not getting the engagement from the resource managers and they wanted to have a better tracking mechanism to prove it.  They even removed many of the rights from the resource managers because they were not utilizing the system properly.  The subsequent result is to add a process that requires more clicks and more tracking from the people who do use the system to prove what they already know.  Why not address the actual issue?

One of the biggest cultural issues that we run into frequently when it comes to portfolio management is the resource manager.  Organizations ask to know the utilization of their staff and want the data to make better project selection decisions.  The logical source of the data is the person who is paid to supervise the staff or the resource manager.  The organization will then say, "we don't want to ask them to do it," or, "they will throw a fit because they are already to busy."  Stating that we do not have time to do resource management is the same is saying that we are too fat to diet!  It is simply not true.  It pushes many people outside of their comfort zone to have to hold people accountable.  That is a key difference between leaders and managers.  Many managers that I know want the title and the money, just not the accountability.  The crazy thing is that from company to company, what is expected is based on what the culture allows.

It is great to have a vision, the culture is what will win the day.

No Day But Today,


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Believe in people.....

The greatest asset any organization has is it's people.  Without fantastic employees, no company can survive.  This is always intriguing to me when organizations make decisions thinking that there is a "silver bullet" that can solve organizational or leadership issues.  One of the most popular shifts right now is Agile.  When I first heard of Agile, I was skeptical.  I thought it would go by the wayside like ISO or Six Sigma.  When it started to gain steam, I devoted my full resources to understanding it.  Especially as I saw some of my favorite clients become derailed during the implementation of Agile.  Just like any methodology, software, or project, you have to trust your people.  The magic formula in business is people, then process, then technology.

Agile is fantastic as a methodology.  However, it is the people that can deliver results.  It actually requires more trust in teams and people than some of the other methodologies on the market.  So if an executive is having organizational issues, why do they think adopting a new methodology will solve it?  A successful Agile transformation requires a strong foundation of leadership and the ability to trust the team to make decisions.  I am seeing so many Agile transformations in progress right now that baffle me.  I was just talking with my good friend John Stenbeck as we were taping the next episode of the Web series AgilityCast about this.  In many of the Agile transformations, it is being suggested to take the entire organization through a transformation instead of incremental gain.  Alf Abuhajleh said it best that people are implementing Agile in a Waterfall way!  John suggests an incremental implementation of transformation so that experimentation and results can be understood and tweaked while expansion of what works can be rolled out to the rest of the organization.  I concur.  

What I have noticed in the most successful Agile implementations is the secure leadership and the profound trust that they instill in the structure and teams.  Agile is actually more disciplined than many of the methodologies if implemented properly.  If an executive already does not trust the team or staff, then Agile will not be the fix.  It will only create more confusion and miscommunications.  So many organizations are diving in to the Agile world thinking that it will just make everything faster.  It can, but with the right trust and leadership.

No Day But Today,


Radio Show Transcript - My Experience with Transformation Costa Rica - Recorded April 6, 2018

My Experience with Transformation Costa Rica - Recorded April 6, 2018

To get to the web page of the radio show, click here.

To download the mp3 file, click here.

To subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, click here.

Please remember this is a transcript of a radio show that airs live every Friday and is also podcasted.  Spelling and punctuation may be affected.

00:00:27;02 - 00:06:59;19
Rick A. Morris: And welcome to another edition of the Work Life Balance. We're coming to you live from Greensboro North Carolina. I had to make a trip for the weekend to do some work. So not maintaining my own Work Life Balance but happy to be here happy to be with you guys. And it's just me today as I tease this show last week we're going to be talking about my personal experiences with transformation. Costa Rica. So I did a lot of talks about you know preparing for this trip. I went on the trip. I've definitely come back a different person from the trip. And so I wanted to lead you through that. But first you know we've had a really exciting announcement last week. If you missed it we did completely relaunch So we've got some new exciting products that are out there so for the first time ever. You know a lot of this came from the John Maxwell team and the people that I've been working with in one of the biggest influences in my life over the last three or four years has been the power of mentorship and in really having somebody speak into me and really helped me grow my influence and understand how to influence it. And quite frankly I think the greatest power in project management is the power of influence. And so as I started to look I actually started to google and see anybody who was doing any kind of direct mentorship or guidance for the project management community directly. And nobody was. So we've created a product to do that. And so if you can visit there's two different products out there. One one of them is based on my book which is Project Management That Works that's been out there for 10 years. It's been a best seller but as I've shared on the show before too I've changed a lot in the last 10 years so what I do is actually it's 8 hours of video of us teaching the book. But generally when you get me in a seminar I'm talking about formulas and I'm talking about how I use Microsoft Project I'm talking about all these different things that I do in my career. But it's very difficult to show you that in a seminar. Well what we've done with this video series is actually sit down and show you. So not only do you get the teaching you get. What has changed in the last 10 years from when I wrote the book. And then we also then show you and give you all the different formulas and tools and techniques that I've used over the last 20 years. So for instance when I talk about a real risk assessment I give the database that I created. I show you how I utilize it. I give you all the formulas behind the scenes and I do that from a seminar but it's very difficult to sit down and get to the nitty gritty and then all the videos are recorded into like 10 to 15 minute segments so that it's easy to consume. You don't have to give up the whole Saturday to kind of go through this. So when you're looking for a specific thing you want to learn about Project Status reports or you want to figure out how to add risk to a project plan or any of those different things it's built for reinforcement so that's one of the products we release. The other one is mentorship. So we're building a community of like minded people. That we can really dive in and talk about how to not only grow your influence but utilize your influence in an ever changing marketplace. So the way that we manage projects 20 years ago is not the way that we should manage projects 10 years ago and it's certainly not the way that you manage projects today yet most of the guides in the books the way they're written were written in a specific way. So this is going to be ongoing learning and direct mentorship about how things are changing and what we can do and different tools and techniques and so there'll be 24 lessons a year in this mentorship program as well as 24 Live calls and what's going to be cool about the live calls is not only will we reinforce the learning but will also give you an opportunity to have direct Q and A. So that whatever issues you're having in your current job are or you know learning paths or just anything that you want to explore we're going to be there for you so you can find all of those at So we're really really excited about that. We just launched March 30 first and so far things have really blown up for us so we're really really excited. And then if either one of those don't sound good to you then you can just simply join our main mailing list by getting out to and I sent about 4 emails a week just about thoughts and things that you know are coming up but specific to the project management market so we hope you'll join us on that journey. So back to the topic of what we're going to be talking about here. So first let's define it. First let's talk about John's journey in. You know it's taken me a while to really kind of wrap my head around all of this but in working with John Maxwell John had an organization called Equip and what Equip was really designed to do was train leaders in the church organization and a lot of you may or may not know but John's very very faith based and he was training leaders and they had a goal to train church leaders in every country on the planet. And that of course was unheard of nobody had ever tried to do that. It was something that. You know most people thought was was a lofty goal and so they got to a point where I think that they had maybe 30 countries left and in those countries were like you know very dangerous countries we're talking like Yemen and Afghanistan. Some of these others but they pushed through and they actually accomplish that goal. And so John started to think about you know what's next. And that's where the vision of transformation came from in of course I'm paraphrasing this for because I can talk about this for years but the vision of transformation came and what he wanted to do was start a movement that was bigger than him bigger than all of us. So what does it really mean to transform a country. And so what he started to talk about was aligning the Seven Streams of influence. And so when we start talking about the Seven Streams of influence we're talking about government talking about arts you're talking about education. You're right about the media you're talking about the business you're talking about church in your town about family. So those are your Seven Streams of influence and also making sure that within the government you have buy in all the way to the top which is the president of the country and so they started to align all these different factors of what they would need buy in from to come and do a transformation. It's how we go about transformation is through roundtables and teaching people roundtables in talking about universal laws and values. So those universal laws are around you know listening.

00:06:59;29 - 00:07:29;26
Rick A. Morris: And forgiveness and attitude and things like that. And so there are 16 10 universal laws and 6 things based on intentional living that are trained within these roundtables. And so what we do as coaches at the John Maxwell team is we actually sign up. We pay our own way. We volunteer our time and we go to the countries that have invited us and we have to have an invitation of the president of the country for us to come plus the Seven Streams of influence have to be signed on to do this.

00:07:30;16 - 00:08:36;28
Rick A. Morris: And we go and so when we go we actually are training facilitators on how to do the roundtables and train them in the process and how to do this and really it's just getting everybody talking about aligning yourself or centering yourself on these universal values. And so when we're done we had you know we would train say 15000 people which is what we did in Costa Rica. Now those 15000 people each now are in charge of a roundtable themselves which is five to eight people per roundtable. And so they're now training or leading through over the next 16 weeks 65000 people. And so what we're looking for is using Malcolm Gladwell tipping point of getting 10 percent of the population to have gone through this roundtable process. And from there starting to see what metrics and factors that we can start to track to start to see what kind of impact that would make on an entire population and country. What an incredible thing to be a part of right. I mean that's that's what I did.

00:08:36;29 - 00:10:53;25
Rick A. Morris: So the first country was was Guatemala and then they did Paraguay and already in Guatemala and Paraguay you're starting to see the benefits of what was happening including now there is a leadership curriculum that has been written for students around the 16 values and in intentional living that's going to be part of what is taught to high school students and kids of all ages actually. But it's going to be part of the official curriculum so that every student is going to be trained within these as part of their general education in Guatemala and in Paraguay we're talking about millions of kids in the next generation. Talking about universal values. I mean we can't wait to see what's happening. So Costa Rica was the third country that we were invited to him with the first opportunity that I had and a chance to go participate. So off we go. So you get off the plane you're picked up you end up at this hotel. And to be honest you have no idea what you're walking into and even some of the people that were in Guatemala Paraguay. The first thing that they're telling you is every country is different. So the way it worked the process all that kind of stuff different but the coolest thing is is that most of the people that are there with you have been people that that are part of this John Maxwell experience with me. They're already family. So you're in there with people that feel like family your closest friends and you're in this country and you're all in it together. Right we've all signed up we're ready to go. Everybody supercharged. But I will take a side note right here because it was a funny story. But you just recognize the impact and the things that you take for granted. So the very first night we're having dinner and there was a guy that was serving you know. There was several people that were bringing food to us and that kind of stuff and this guy had this plate of churros in one of my best friends in the John Maxwell team Sheri Griffin. She didn't want a churro. She just didn't want one. And this gentleman was so nice and he was so sweet and he just kept offering her one because he felt like she got missed.

00:10:53;28 - 00:11:05;21
Rick A. Morris: And so we nicknamed him the churro pusher and it was just a joke and so he came over and took a picture with Sheree with a whole platter of churros in front of her.

00:11:05;23 - 00:13:04;28
Rick A. Morris: We took a picture and we posted that on Facebook and the John Maxwell thing there was like one of the first pictures that came out of Costa Rica and people were hungry to see what was happening. And so that particular picture got liked and forwarded and all kinds of stuff. Well the next morning I bumped into the guy and I just showed him what we had done. And he was so touched by that he was just so touched that that we posted that but that so many people would like that picture and that so many people would share the picture. And from that point forward every time I saw him he come up and hug me and say God bless you Rick. And I was I was blown away by it because we were being silly and you know really just not even thinking about it and that's a normal everyday occurrence for us. But to him that made him feel extra special and you know he was doing his job and we were we were having fun with them. And he became our guy. But you know just that that one moment in the fact that he felt fame famous within the John Maxwell team for a second meant the world to him. And it just that was like the first moment for me to sit back for a second go wait a minute we're we're really doing something here. So it's incredible. And that was just the start. We were then visited by the vice mayor of Costa Rica who happened to be married to the president of Congress who was incredible and then trained by Mike who really took care of us and was our first entry into seeing Juan who is the personal translator to John Maxwell. So those are some of the players that we'll talk about. Also Barry Smith was there which he was incredible throughout this whole thing. But that's where we are. We were there on the first night. We're trying to figure it out. We've met Mike we've met Juan there.

00:13:04;29 - 00:13:13;22
Rick A. Morris: My people are there and we're all just confused. And we're going to leave it right there while we take our first break. We'll be right back with the Work Life Balance. Rick Morris.

00:13:18;24 - 00:13:51;14

00:16:04;27 - 00:16:24;03
Rick A. Morris: Now back to the Work Life Balance all right we're back to the Work Life Balance and we're talking about transformation. Costa Rica and just kind of my personal experience as what it was like what our experience was like so we left off. It was it was night and we just got there. I got some food. Everybody's kind of getting acclimated.

00:16:24;22 - 00:16:43;15
Rick A. Morris: So we wake up the next morning and the first day is training. So they're training us on how to train everybody else to be facilitators so we're actually going through the process that we're going to be training everybody else on. For the most part you know I'm going to cut a lot of that out. So that's training. We're there.

00:16:43;22 - 00:16:57;15
Rick A. Morris: But but it's incredible Mike that trained us is is one of the most incredible facilitators I've ever got a chance to see and work with. He's done thousands of roundtables and it certainly shows.

00:16:57;23 - 00:17:08;15
Rick A. Morris: And so then becomes this envelope dropped so again every country being different this was a new thing that they're doing. And I think this was the brainchild of Barry Smith.

00:17:08;15 - 00:19:15;12
Rick A. Morris: I'm not sure but they then pass out these envelopes and everybody gets these envelopes and they tell you not to open them and then when you do it's kind of like Christmas. But this is kind of your first inclination as to what your schedule is going to be like and everybody's kind of comparing it was kind of cool is kind of like getting your your class schedule when you're in school or whatever. And so it either will tell you. You know it has the days. But I'll tell you there have a company training which is just generic that means you're going out and doing a roundtable or there were special color cards that meant you had a special event so you know could be the university their soccer federation or the orphanage or something of that sort. But nobody knew what that meant. No nobody nobody knew anything still at this point. So we go through training and then that night there was an official party in which we met our translators for the first time. And so these translators were all from Costa Rica and they were all volunteers as well. So they were taking time off of work. They were doing things to you know help out as well and being official translator and they had to go through training. And so this was the first time we were all getting together to meet John came in and spoke to us and we got to hear from Mark Cole and several other people. And so that night wraps. And now it's the next morning and you're kind of ready to go. Now when they say it's organized chaos. That's exactly what they were talking about. And you know I was pretty prepared for that. So you kind of number one you have no idea where you're going. So you know you have a card in my card for the know at 6:00 a.m. you know be ready to go. And so you go in you have breakfast and when they say whenever you're ready get in line. And so you get in line. And so then they just started saying two coaches four coaches three coaches. And then you'd go down and get into another line and then you're paired up with a translator and you know off you go. And so two coaches and a translator jumped in and they had us doing pair coaching because we were teaching two lessons so one coach would do one lesson one coach would do the other and you jump in and you go you'd just jump in a car.

00:19:15;13 - 00:25:32;23
Rick A. Morris: And so our first training was was a small church and the pastor of the church was driving us he took us there. And so Juan Diego was our translator so you get to start to meet them get to know them start talking about how it's going to go kind of set up the training of that stop and then you show up. So you have no idea how many people are going to be there. You know what the church is going to look like any of that stuff. And so there's about 10 people at the church and it's our first training. And what an incredible experience. Let me let me just go and say the roundtable experience is powerful because you're not there to coach you're not there to teach you're there to experience and you're there to actually be the leader of the experience which means also kind of digging into your self. And so the two lessons that we were training or teaching at this point the facilitation process was on attitude and forgiveness. And so there was just incredible experiences that were coming out of that. And so when we were getting an attitude and I'll go ahead and just be transparent. So when you're going in and into one of the portions of the Roundtable what you do is you rate yourself from one to 10. And as I'm being jovial and being me and I'm actually in my presentation mode. So I said so you guys feel like I've got a pretty good attitude. And I said so I rated myself three and they all look shocked and I said because right before I came to Costa Rica I was trying to do a product launch and my son came into the office and you know he kind of startled me and I snapped at him. And so you know at that moment at that time I was and I didn't like my attitude. I didn't have the attitude I needed for my son at that time. And so they started to get the process. It's not like your overall attitude all day everyday it's about specific instances and then what the roundtable really asks you to do is to pick a specific time with a specific person and the whole point is that small actions lead to great change. And so you know us as facilitators were modeling the behaviors so I said as soon as I get home from Costa Rica I'm going to take my son into the office and apologize to him for that and work on the attitude. So that shows them what it's what it's all about. And then when you get to forgiveness that's a whole other story right. So that's where you know you really start to see some of the breakthrough even with the facilitators and the power of the Roundtable process. So we work in the small church. It's incredible. And the bond that you build with people so Juan Diego he he hits me on Facebook like probably every other day. So he's checking in with me. Tell me about the Roundtable's he's leading. We're talking his friends. And you know these bonds that you build with these people and just you know I spent four hours with the guy. But we feel like family because not only is the experience incredible but but it accelerates that that timeline that you do to build bonds with people. So that's my very first training so as I'm coming back I'm recognizing and so I have a color card in it's university. And so I start asking around and I'm like whoa what does university mean. And so I'm finding out that universities is an opportunity to go here. John speak but it's kind of like an event where we're just sitting there and John speaking and while you know I relish the opportunity to hear John Maxwell speak I've heard John Maxwell speak quite a bit and I'm there to train to facilitate to do these roundtables so I trade cards I was like you know who wants to go to the university and somebody is like I do. And I was like great here's my card I'll go back out. So I I turned around go right back out and do another roundtable. And so the second roundtable that we do turns out to be this small company and they were called Brain innovations. There was like six people. And what I loved about them so much was that the guy that drive it as he so worried that he's wasting our time because there was only six people that he prepared a busy road chart for me to show that the six people that we were training the six to eight people that they'd already signed up for their roundtables that they were going to be doing roundtables with. And then the impact that those people from their roundtables were going to be having and how that was going to impact like 235 people. And I was I was blown away by that. I was blown away by. He was already showing me his leadership side that what we were about to do in the next three hours was going to impact 235 people in Costa Rica. And so we were like lets go. And what was also very cool was I got to go out and coach with a guy by the name of Tony Sims. And so Tony and I are acquaintances on the John Maxwell team like we see each other and I am sees we know each other we talk right. It's all small talk. That kind of stuff but I get to watch this guy in action and then he pulled the move and it's his story to tell not mine. I just want to say that when he was coaching in the introspective moment he had with them blew me away to the point that when we were sharing stories that night I had to I had to recognize him. It was awesome to be a part of that it was so cool that I got to be there for that and it was. It bonded me and Tony because Tony was so good. I learned so much from watching him do that. And I just thought it was a really cool thing. And then our translator Ivanna. So she ends up calling her friend and saying you've got to be a translator you've got to come down here and Ivana actually hit me up on Facebook Messenger night before last tell me about the roundtable she's setting up so I mean these people are incredible. They're so excited. And they're sitting down talking about values. Then you translate that to the experience that you have here in the United States that when you start talking about this stuff people shut you down. So I mean this this is incredible. And this is only my first day. So when we come back from break I'll tell you about date to your list and into the Work Life Balance with Rick bore's.

00:28:33;22 - 00:28:52;21
Rick A. Morris: And we're back to the Work Life Balance so we're on our third segment of Costa Rica. And before I wrap up day one as we're getting back to that evening after day one when we say it's all hands on deck kind of thing. I saw some of the craziest things that get a great picture where it looked like some books were leaped off and some coaches needed it.

00:28:52;21 - 00:41:40;11
Rick A. Morris: So there's a guy on this little Suzuki Motorcycle like one of the fast ones and he's duct taping a box of books onto the back seat so he could deliver these books to the coaches that needed him and I snapped a picture of that. I mean you just saw all kinds of crazy things of everybody getting you know involved pitching in that kind of stuff. So as we go to day to day two I was on deck in the morning and so I didn't go anywhere in the morning so in the afternoon they're saying OK we need eight coaches for translators. And they jump in this van. So as we jump on the band there's five coaches three translators and everybody's asking where the books are. And the driver said no the books are already on site. So we say fine. So we show up to this beautiful private Catholic school. And so as we show up we asked where the books are they say there's no books. OK no problem. And what did the director of marketing that worked for the school she could translate so she ended up being my translator. So we divide everything up. We said no problem. So we had one of the Spanish books with us. We said we'll just go make copies of the lessons that we need and we'll get the books you know sent over here so we get on the horn we get the books coming be uber and there's nothing the printer that can make copies is like taken for like the next hour. So he said No problem. So we scanned it and we put it up on the projector so that we could start doing what we needed to do. So it was an amazing group effort of everybody just kind of pulling together. And so in one of the things that we do when we're teaching these classes and so in this case now there's five of us. So there's two coaches in one room and then three coaches each have their own room and there's about 25 30 people in each room. So one of the things that we do in the roundtable as well when we're talking about attitude is we start talking about you know who do we know that that exhibits that attribute and who do you admire and why. And so in this case you know I chosen a person that's on the John Maxwell team with me and again I don't want to tell her story it's her story but she's just been through a lot of issues and she just happened to be with us. But she's one of the most amazing bright lights that you would ever meet. And her name is Amy. And so I was telling my class and so here's exactly what I told the class. I said look I said there's an incredible coach that's here you know with me. I said as a matter of fact she's next door and I said she's had an incredible amount of issues in her life and only person that will really you know burden you with their issues are the people that can't carry them on their own two shoulders. And I said she's not like that. I said if she walks into this room it's like the sun has come into the room I said she's so positive she's so incredibly awesome. And so to me that's who I admire an attitude. I said it just like that and then I said but you know what's weird is that I've been using this you know since I've been here in Costa Rica. She just happens to be next door. True true. You know a luck of the draw. So if you want to meet her you'll meet her after class. So I say that we go through the whole training. We finish and we actually finished about 10 minutes earlier than Amy and her class dead and the whole class sat there and waited. And so I went and grabbed Amy brought her into the room and immediately they just made this line and they all started to hug her and it was just an incredible moment that really moved me it moved me move the class in. You know I've got tons of pictures and video of that but it was incredible moment. So Amy came back to me. She goes what did you tell them. What did you say. And I said I didn't tell them any of your story. I just told them that I admire you for the attitude. It was just an incredible moment. So that night we ended up going to the National Theater and at the National Theater John spoke and this is the first time I got to see John and Juan worked together. And you actually can go out to YouTube or go to Facebook and you can look up Mahadev most Costa Rica on Facebook and you can see this but John and Juan working together is like a ballet and wannabe and John's translator. It is absolutely 100 percent like a ballet. It's one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in a job. One actually can do John's you know every speech they've been doing it together for 15 years. But it is it is one of the coolest things I think I've ever seen in you know knowing and I've seen John so many times now we kind of know what he's going to say. But to see Juan interact with him and be translated It was it was an extremely cool moment. So that night you know we all go back we hang out. And so it's the next day. Now the next day as I'm getting paired up with a translator We're going to go we find out we're going to a hardware store like a home depot. And as we're going into this home depot it turns out that my translator is the friend that Ivana called. So my translator on day one that was at the small business with us when she called her friend her friend ended up signing up had to go through training on day two. And then day three she gets paired with me. So again just incredible coincidences like that were working throughout this whole Costa Rica trip. So she ends up getting paired with me and my friend Randy Wheeler. And so again Randy Wheeler and I know each other we've talked with each other we've shared some great moments that I see. But to watch him coach watch him do what he does. You just have a newfound respect for these people and you just get to learn from them. We had two different styles so it was great for the room and then it turns out that our translator and I don't want to say her name because she she was kind of withholding this information but she worked for the U.S. embassy and then ended up signing up the U.S. embassy to go through roundtable's in Costa Rica. And again you're just sitting there just blown away by how hungry this entire country was for this material. And to talk about values and to go through a process so that afternoon I was supposed to go to the soccer stadium. And again I saw that as an opportunity I asked is it is this John speaking or is this some special event. They said it was John speaking. I said OK so I traded it out so I could go back out again and do another roundtable. And as we jump in the car we jump in a van. There's four coaches I said Where's the books. And they said the books are on site. I said no I've been through this before so let's just go ahead and put a couple boxes of books in the back of the van this time. And it turns out I get to go back to the same private Catholic school that I was at the day before. And again all of this is random. You have no idea where you're going how it's working out. It's all a timing thing. It's just it's it's absolutely 100 percent organized chaos. So when I get back I start bumping into all the people that were in my class the day before and it's like a high school reunion. I mean these people are hugging me. They're coming out and they're running up and talking to us and we had people from the director of finance all the way down to the janitorial staff in my class. And so they're all coming over and all of a sudden I feel like I'm the I'm the tour guide for the school because I've been there before. And so I'm showing to everybody where you know where to go and I get to run into the director of marketing who is my translator again. And so this time we ended up training all the teachers. So we worked with all the teachers have a fantastic time. And then they did a special presentation for us where we actually got to tour the school and meet a lot of the children they had some of the students come in and talk to us about their their lives their school. It was an incredible event. And so then that kind of wrapped up all the Roundtables for us. So that night there was kind of a big party for us. But then a lot of us had paid to stay an extra day to do what we called the service project. So the service project we all split up and went to schools that were in underprivileged areas and we worked with schools so they split us up into four groups two of the groups started the service project while the other two groups split up and went and worked with classrooms for two class periods and then we swapped. And so we ended up completely repainting this entire outside patio area for the school. And then when we were working with the classes just completely fell in love with these kids. And I think every one of us picked out two or three that we wanted to bring home with us. And every one of us had a moment or two where these kids just just came to our heart because for these kids that we were working with. That was most likely their only meal that they were getting that day. And the only time anybody was kind of showing any kind of care or love for them. And so it's amazing that in you know spending an hour with them that they can touch you that much. But that experience in working with them and doing that service project affected me deeply deeply to the point that I couldn't wait to come back and talk to my kids and show them the pictures and you know just be with them. So that's the trip. In a nutshell a lot happened in four days that went by so fast. But you had 250 coaches all of us had the stories. You know I had friends of mine were training like the TSA. As a matter of fact as I was boarding the plane to come back some inline in showing my passport to get on the plane to leave Costa Rica and the TSA agent asked me if I knew the coach that trained them. And I did. And he pulled me out of line and hugged me and just said you know what an amazing time it was to have John and the coaches and everybody here. So the impact I know that we made even a short time but we kind of just descended and just just hit that country like like nobody's business and we're just everywhere at once. But then we were gone. And so now you have these you know 15000 people that were trained and in a most Costa Rica taking it further now and we know that there are 65000 people that are going to this process that we're starting. And so just to know to be a part of that and just know that you were there and so the phrase that we all left with was you know we were in the room we were in the room when that that started we were in the room to kick this whole thing off. And coming back now in kind of re-entering the United States the brief story that I had and I shared it briefly but every time we talked to somebody in Costa Rica and told them what we were doing and we had stories of the Uber driver that was taking somebody hearing about what we were doing and coming back and signing up his company. He was doing side side work for Uber but happened to work for a company signed up his whole company. I mean everybody that we talked to in touch Costa Rica wanted to be a part of this and then I come back to the United States and I'm working with an executive who says he can't he can't communicate to his team. So he sat down and said hey let's do a disk profile so that we can at least find out what the general communication styles are of your team. Now we can start to work with that and start to do some individual coaching and that entire executive team goes to H.R. block set right. You start to look at the differences in culture one that these people are talking about forgiveness and in listening and attitude. And we're just trying to figure out how do you communicate in there like now. We don't want to talk about that joke. So the re-entry for me was very difficult and I've been talking to a lot of the people that experience Costa Rica with their feeling the same way. So it's incredible just to kind of think about that and I'll leave you with that thought.

00:41:40;12 - 00:41:49;07
Rick A. Morris: We're going to do our final segment on the Work Life Balance in just a second but we've got some commercials for you to listen to your listeners to the Work Life Balance with Rick Morris

00:44:46;17 - 00:45:28;19
Rick A. Morris: We're back and I talk to very very quickly and very very fast about transformation. Costa Rica but if you want to be a part of a trip like that if you want to find out more you can certainly hit me up at Twitter at Rycke Morris. Find me at Rørik at Rick Morris dot com or armourers at R-squared consulting dot com. Find out how to become a member of the John Maxwell team because we have 29 other countries at this point that have invited us. Now they've got to go through various things before we'll come. So we don't know where the next country is but we know we're going. And so I can tell you at this point I'm not going to miss another one of these transformation trips wherever they call us wherever they want us to go.

00:45:28;19 - 00:48:32;02
Rick A. Morris: I'm going to be there because as is my friend John Steinbeck who just came into the room has reminded me our favorite quote from John Maxwell is once you taste significant success just never will satisfy. And. I think that was a significant moment. I need to use the last portion of this show just to kind of get this off my chest so I don't mean to be a downer but I need to pay tribute. We lost somebody in the R-squared family this week. So a lot of you guys that know me in a lot of the guys that have been around us over the last couple of years. Mike Stephens passed away this week. He was the V.P. of sales and development for me. But more than that you know he was the best man in my wedding and a great friend for 20 years. So I just had a couple of stories I wanted to share. You know I met this kid when we were servers at Chili's. And I just quit managing restaurants and decided you know I didn't want to be manager of a restaurant anymore and so I just got a server and bartender job again and I heard this guy walking through saying where's the Hobart. And unless you've worked for steak and ale or Bennigan's nobody really knows what Hobart is but I knew that guy had worked somewhere and I'd worked and we bonded immediately. He introduced me to his church and we became quick friends and I was getting married about a year after that and he was the best man at my wedding and then we you know like all things do you he came in and out of our lives. One of my favorite moments is. My wife and I decided to go see local theatre. He loved musical theatre being part of that and we talked to a couple of years Mike and I and we show up to a local theatre version of The Full Monty in which Mike was the lead and I was like I'm about to see more of Mike and I think I'd want to. And so I surprised him backstage in between acts and he then moved to Texas and again we lost touch for a while. And then a couple of years back I look over and carpool and I see Mike and carpool and I just joined the John Maxwell team. And so I approached him in the car we went had lunch and I told him you know I don't know what you're going to do for me but I know you're supposed to work with me. And I hired him a couple of months later brought him into the John Maxwell team with me. And we shared a lot of fantastic moments together. And so he leaves behind a wife and two incredible children who he loved absolutely dearly. So he's going to be sorely missed for our organization. He's going to be missed by us so you know I love you brother. And we're thinking of you as they as they laid him to rest today.

00:48:32;17 - 00:51:34;13
Rick A. Morris: Upcoming on the show. We've got a lot of cool things that are going to be happening to this show specifically. So coming up next week we're going to have the real life cue on the show Mike O’Brochta. If you missed that show you can go back and search that actually titled it The Real Life Q when we say that he literally is the project manager that makes all the cool gadgets for the CIA. He's got a new book out. I was hoping the book would tell me who killed Kennedy or some of the other cool facts but I don't think it's that kind of book. But he's going to be revealing what his new book is and talking to us next week the week after that and have Inge Rock on the show which is a fireball you're definitely don't want to miss. You don't want to miss the English rock show. She's going to be calling in from overseas but she helps small businesses really define what they want to do and really help Breen's people. She also is a prominent member of the John Maxwell team. And of course that leads to the twenty seventh which we hope we're going to have a couple of additional announcements on top of the fact that we're going to have Maria Concecao on which we talked about quite a bit from the Maria Cristina Foundation. She's got seven in his book A World Records. She's a powerhouse herself born hoping and I don't want to reveal too much but I like to go ahead and put things out there because that commits me to it but we're hoping for a little bit of a format change for that. So we're working on that technology now. But there may be potential that you could not only listen to us but attend that live and watch me interview her directly on screen. So watch for details to come out for that. That's going to be announced on our pages. The Voice America page that will be announced through my Twitter and Facebook but this is going to be an interview. Don't want to miss. And it's also going to be hopefully a new format change that will take not only place on that show but from that point forward. So we're looking forward to some exciting things. I actually just signed your contract to do this for another year. So we're so excited. We'll be doing this for another year as a show so if you love us we appreciate it. The numbers have been incredible as we sat down and looked at everything. The audience is actually grown by 56 percent year over year and that means you guys are listening. So I love you for it. I appreciate it. Keep talking to us. Keep hit me at Briquet Morris on Twitter. Are Morris at R-squared consulting dot com and please don't forget to check out the new Rick Morris dot com for all the products that we talked about in the beginning of the show. But for now I'm going to head off to North Carolina as we build some new exciting products with our great friend John Stanback so be watching for those to come out here shortly as well. So for that we're going to give you back your Friday. We love you guys for hanging out with us on the Work Life Balance and we'll talk to you next Friday with Michael Obracta the real life. Q You've been listening to Rick Morris on the Work Life Balance.

Modeling the Behavior - Part 2

I did a post earlier this week about modeling the behavior that you would want to see.  It is a great way to bring positive change to corporate cultures and a cornerstone of our practice.  I was at an event earlier today and making small talk and heard something that made me want to journal right away.  I was talking with a gentleman who was telling me that he manages a group of engineers and that when one of them would get too into the weeds in explanation, he would ring a bell on his desk to signify that the conversation was over.  He was proud of this.  He said he had his staff trained like Pavlov's dog so when the bell would go off, it was meant to let them know they were driving too far into the details for him and it was time to move on to the next point.  He was sharing this a sense of pride in the conversation.

I am a huge fan of modeling and understanding DISC profiles and communication techniques.  As a project manager, communicating with each other and our teams is one of the most important aspects of success.  I could quickly tell that this person was a high "D" or dominant personality and a strong leader role.  His engineers sounded to be of the high "C" variety who wanted to be into the details.  I asked a question of him that took him completely off guard.  I asked, "So when do the engineers get to ring the bell?"  He looked at me completely perplexed.  I went on, "So if you are on a topic or too far off for the engineers liking, do they get to ring the bell to signify it is time for you to move on, or is it just a one way device?"  By the look in his face, you could tell that the question has either rarely been asked or never been asked before.  He did not like it!  I told him that I didn't mean to offend him if I did, I was just curious on how the dynamic worked.  I tried to lighten the mood by telling him that in my role as a project manager, I rarely complete the tasks, my team does.  Their contribution and happiness on the project is my largest concern.  We awkwardly left the conversation.

At the end of the event, he caught up with me outside.  He told me that nobody had ever challenged the notion that the bell ring could be offensive or that it was a one-way device.  He said that he sat and thought about it through the program and couldn't get it off of his mind.  It was not the type of leader he wanted to be.  He said that he was going to throw the bell away when he got back to his office.  "Or," I said, "you could wait until the next staff meeting and let them know that you never meant to offend anyone with it, apologize if you are comfortable with that, and then throw it away."  He said that he liked that idea better.  He asked me how I thought of that.  I told him one of my favorite stories.

I was a young manager and could feel my team slipping away from me.  I had a planned vacation and asked them that while I was away, to write down everything that they didn't like about me and I would make that part of my personal development plan.  They could either present it to me directly or give it to my boss.  They presented it to me directly.  Almost everything that was presented was a small item that I could improve upon right away.  Small items that were bothering them that I was not aware that I was doing.  I was able to immediately act upon their feedback and strengthen the bond with the team again, it just took the courage to ask.  One of my favorite all time quotes comes from Carl Jung, "Unless you make the sub-conscious conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it fate."  Most of us have to be willing to understand our blind spots in order to improve them.  We have to model the behavior and be the change that we want to see.  Instead of pointing the finger and announcing what we do not like, we must point within and model what we do like.

No Day But Today,

Rick A. Morris

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Model the Behavior

One of the questions I get most often is asking about my first PMO.  We were built to deliver 60% of our projects successfully.  This incredible team delivered 99% of the projects on time and on budget.  The thing I was most proud of was how they impacted the corporate culture of the organization.  It also helped me frame one of the biggest techniques I use today, modeling behavior.

How many times have you seen suggestions or change come out of failure?  How many times have you seen requests for change come out of complaint?  Now, how many times have you seen a request for change been modeled?  In round tables, we teach that small actions lead to great change.  We didn't know this at the time, but that is exactly what can occur. 

A common framework and an activity that I am not a fan of in project management is lessons learned.  The intent is good, the execution is why I am not a fan of the activity.  Rarely does anyone learn a lesson from that meeting.  The meeting is held because it was required by the process.  Several things are listed and then gathered on a shared drive or listed somewhere.  Are people really going out and studying these lessons and enacting them to great change?  We are pulling these from complaints and using suggestions for change.  However, most organizations then just settle back in to the next project without changing anything.

Modeling behavior is about changing something small.  You make a proactive change and then monitor the result.  The process is tweaked until it is perfected.  When the results are seen, others want to be a part of that success or feel the benefit of the change and will request it.  This drives more adoption and belief in the change.  Instead of the complaint and negative top-down driven change, this becomes a positive and bottom-up driven change.  It is empowering and contagious.  So instead of complaining that something needs to change, make the change on a small scale and model the behavior you desire.  See how that works and what those results will offer.  I can tell you with many stories the difference can be a completely different corporate culture!

No Day But Today,