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People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

The People and Projects Podcast, where we bring interviews and insights to help you deliver projects and lead teams.

The People and Projects Podcast, where we bring interviews and insights to help you deliver projects and lead teams.


Chicago, IL


The People and Projects Podcast, where we bring interviews and insights to help you deliver projects and lead teams.






PPP 360 | How Hands On Should You Stay? Mistakes That Managers Make, With Dr. Janet Polach

Mistakes (New) Managers Make If you are currently in a management role, do you remember what it was like when you first took on that new position? Do you remember what your struggles were? Janet Polach joins us today to talk about her book The Seven Mistakes New Managers Make: How to Avoid Them and Thrive. Though it’s a book for new managers, my take is that we could all benefit from being reminded about the traps we can easily fall into as we seek to become more effective leaders. Learn...


PPP 359 | Improve Your Team Culture In 15 Minutes? Brad Federman Tells Us How

Developing Culture Beyond the Theory You know that the culture of your team and organization is critical to your ability to get work done. But here’s my observation: most books on culture stay too theoretical. They share models for understanding what culture is. They have high-level processes for transforming culture. And despite nodding my head while reading these books, I find they’re often not sufficiently practical. How do we, in practice, develop culture over time? That’s the focus of...


PPP 358 | How Compassionate Leaders Deliver Results

What Is Compassionate Leadership? In this episode, we’re continuing a series about rehumanizing the workplace. From conversations with so many of you, I know that you desire to lead in a way that builds people up and delivers results. It’s not one or the other--it’s both. Well, that idea of leading with empathy while delivering results is the premise of a new book by Donato Tramuto entitled The Double Bottom Line: How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results. In this...


PPP 357 | Loneliness On Your Team—And What You Can Do About It, With Author Steven Van Cohen

The Crisis of Loneliness One of my least favorite phrases over the last couple of years is the term Social distancing. I understand the idea and I worked to be diligent about keeping others safe. But that’s physical distancing--and that had its place. Social distancing, on the other hand, has been arguably devastating. My guest today says that, without even realizing it, we are subtly turning our backs on humanity every day. Steven Van Cohen joins us today to talk about his new book...


PPP 356 | Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong, with Eric Barker

The Dirty Little Secret of Business For years I’ve been telling coaching clients that the dirty little secret of business is that everything comes down to relationships. I know: It’s not dirty. It’s certainly not little. And I suppose it’s not a secret--you know relationships are important. But the statistics about relationships are not encouraging and it’s not just because of social distancing during COVID. Maybe it’s just that we’re busy. Or maybe it’s that what we think we know about...


PPP 355 | Fear Is Holding You And Your Team Back--Here's What To Do, With Unfear Author Mark Minukas

A How-To Guide for Psychological Safety Fear is something that can impact us as individuals for sure, and it spreads to teams and organizations. In this episode, we’re going to take this topic of fear head-on to help empower us as leaders to deal with it. My guest today is Mark Minukas, co-author of a book entitled Unfear: Transform Your Organization to Create Breakthrough Performance and Employee Well-Being. In this episode, Mark talks about what unfear means--and doesn’t mean. He shares...


PPP 354 | The Stories We Tell Ourselves—And Why We Armor Up

Rehumanizing the Workplace A couple of years after COVID first hit, I can think of so many examples of how we’re becoming less human at work. It’s not just due to automation or outsourcing or remote work. Whether it’s because of social media, political polarization, or a host of other factors, I feel like there’s increasing pressure to not speak up. To not be yourself. To blend in. To not rock the boat. In a way, to be less human. I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Rosie Ward, co-author...


PPP 353 | The Not So Simple Art Of Doing Less

Staying Focused One of the biggest challenges we face in day-to-day living is staying focused. There are so many things vying for our attention. In fact, right now, even as you’re listening to this episode, you’re probably doing something else, right? Like driving, working out, going for a walk, maybe even going through email. To help fight back against those challenges, I’m excited to introduce you to Erik Qualman, author of a book entitled The Focus Project: The Not So Simple Art of...


PPP 352 | How To Build Psychologically Safe Relationships With People Who Are Different From You

Psychological Safety on Project Teams It is likely not a new idea to you that there are so many benefits to our projects and our teams when we foster a culture of psychological safety. The idea of psychological safety is straightforward. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Because of that, I’m always on the lookout for resources that can help us make progress in developing trusting relationships with teams and organizations. In this episode, I’m excited to introduce you to LaTonya Wilkins,...


PPP 351 | How To Deal With The Predictable And Avoidable Pitfalls Every Project Faces, With Kimberly Wiefling

Scrappy Project Management Too much project management education--including what you find on bookshelves at stores--is dry. Seemingly impractical and irrelevant. I'm constantly on the lookout for people who are practical and inspiring voices in helping us get better at leading teams and delivering projects. In this episode, I'm excited to introduce you to Kimberly Wiefling, author of Scrappy Project Management. In today's discussion, Kimberly will help us understand what it means to be...


PPP 350 | How To Hire For The Anniversary Date, Not The Start Date, With Lou Adler

Hiring: Your Most Important Responsibility It could be argued that there is nothing more important than hiring outstanding people. But the sad fact is we generally stink at hiring people. For a host of reasons, we often end up hiring what our guest in this episode calls the 90-Day Wonder—someone who, after 90 days, makes us wonder, “Why in the world did we hire this person?” How do we avoid that? Well, today I’m excited to introduce you to Lou Adler. Lou is the author of a book entitled...


PPP 349 | How To Communicate With Manipulators, Naysayers, And Other Difficult Personalities

Communicating With Difficult Personalities One of the biggest complaints people have when working on projects is related to communication. Often people feel out of the loop or they just don’t understand what is being written or said. It’s been suggested that up to 90% of what we do when we’re leading projects is communicating. And I think it’s fair to say, we all would benefit from leveling up our ability to clearly, and effectively communicate with our teams, colleagues, and...


PPP 348 | How To Work Less Hours And Get More Done, With Author Joe Sanok

Thursday Is The New Friday If you ask someone about how things are going at work, what’s a typical response? What I most often hear is “Busy! We are busy!” Ask someone how they’re feeling, and many people will say, “Fine.” But if they get more transparent, what they’ll often say is, “I’m tired.” Busy and exhausted. Can you relate to that? In this episode, I’m excited to introduce you to Joe Sanok. Joe is the author of a book entitled Thursday is the New Friday: How to Work Fewer Hours,...


PPP 347 | How To Influence Your Boss, Stakeholders, And Your Team, With Zoe Chance

Improving Your Ability To Influence One of the common concerns I hear from clients and podcast listeners is related to influence. How can I convince a boss or colleague or stakeholder or loved one to agree to something, especially when I don’t have authority in the situation? I can confidently tell you that my new favorite book on the topic of influence has just hit the shelves and I can’t wait to introduce you to it. Zoe Chance is the author of Influence Is Your Superpower: The Science of...


PPP 346 | Lessons From A Successful Project Manager, With Donna Gregorio

Lessons from a Successful Project Manager (and Business Analyst) One of the joys of hosting this podcast is introducing you to a wide group of authors and practitioners. I’m constantly on the lookout for resources to help us on this mission and in this episode, I’m glad to introduce you to Donna Gregorio. Donna is a practicing PM and wrote an easy-to-read book entitled The Successful Project Manager: Practical Guidance from Lessons Learned. In today’s discussion, Donna will tell us how her...


PPP 345 | Becoming A Better Leader From The Inside Out, With Darren Reinke

Improving Your Ability to Lead We often joke in our project management workshops that participants have signed up for a leadership class cloaked as a project management class. So much of our ability to deliver projects comes down to our ability to lead people and teams—regardless of our title or whether team members report to us directly. That’s a core premise of the People and Projects Podcast--that we’re all leaders—and I’m constantly on the lookout for resources to help you and me...


PPP 344 | You CAN Change Other People. Here's How; With Peter Bregman And Howie Jacobson

Can You Change Other People? We’re continuing a series of episodes on the topic of change. Back in Episode 339, we talked with Katy Milkman about her book How to Change, which provided some helpful insights into the behavioral science of change. Then we talked with Gary Lloyd in Episode 343 about his book Gardeners Not Mechanics to get practical insights on how to lead change in organizations. I wanted to add one more episode in the series to focus on a key aspect of what we need to do as...


PPP 343 | How To Cultivate Change At Work By Thinking Like A Gardener, Not A Mechanic

Leading in an Ecosystem We’re continuing a series of episodes on the topic of change. Back in episode 339 we talked with Katy Milkman about her book How to Change, which provided some helpful insights into the behavioral science of change. But what if you are planning to lead a change initiative. Beyond what Katy brought us from behavioral science, I wanted to bring you a process—something that is practical, memorable, and tested across industries. And I’m glad to say I found it! In this...


PPP 342 | Change Your Words And You Can Change Your Team And Your Career, With Krister Ungerbock

Little Changes Can Make A Big Difference It’s interesting to me how little changes can have outsized benefits. For example, how something is said. There’s a difference between a boss saying, “You can hit this date, right?” and “Here’s what we need to get done. How much time do you think this would take? What do you need from me to make that happen?” Sometimes it’s just little shifts in what we say. How we make an ask. How we look at a situation. And with just a little shift, we can...


PPP 341 | The Pushy Project Manager, With Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

Help For Leading and Delivering Projects Part of leading and directing projects is influencing--ethically using the tools and techniques at our disposal to deliver the intended results. Could it be that, at times, we might even need to be a bit pushy? That's something that my guest mentions here in episode 341. I’m excited to be joined by Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez to talk about his new book, the Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook. In addition to being an author, Antonio is a...