[00:00:01.450] - Announcer
Do you wonder if others are dealing with the same Project management challenges as you not sure where to turn for guidance and leadership? Office Hours are in session as we discuss Project Management and PMOs with global leaders, hearing their stories story in learning their secrets to success. Our goal is to empower you and help you elevate your PMO and Project Management career to new heights. Welcome back to Project Management Office Hours with your host, Kia Mojo.
[00:00:29.390] - PMO Joe
Welcome, everyone, to Project Management Office Hours. We are the number one live project management radio show in the US, broadcasting to you today from the Phoenix Business RadioX Studios in Tempe, Arizona. I'm your host, PMO Joe. And for the next hour or so, we'll be talking project Management. Today is an exciting day. It's our 100th episode. How exciting. We've got two great special guests with us. But before we get into a conversation with them, I wanted to take a moment just to thank some people. Our first episode was February 15, 2018. And our special guest was Jill Smith. So thank you, Jill, for taking the leap of faith with me and starting this off. And of course, all of these shows wouldn't be possible without a lot of help. I'm just the face in front of the camera, which is scary. Usually it was the voice behind the microphone on the radio, but without a bunch of people, this doesn't happen. So I certainly want to thank Karen Nowicki, who owns the radio station we work out of Phoenix Business RadioX. Thank you, Karen, for prompting me to get going with this. And then your support team, Angie Shields, Darrol Robinson, Kindra Maples, Kelly Lorenzon, Lauren Jenne, who works on my team, and of course, all the other support team members of Business RadioX back in the Atlanta Homebase that comes and help with the show as well.
[00:01:56.320] - PMO Joe
And of course, I want to thank all the guests we've had on as we reach milestones. You go back and look at things that we've done 100 episodes today, we'll have 151 guests total that will be from those shows that's going to cover 18 different countries that we represented on the show, 62 women, 89 men, so 41% to 59%, close to half, which is good. I think one married couple on the show, which was a unique experience. And then some industry Legends we've been fortunate enough to have on Dr. Harold Kerzner was on, Lee Lambert, Antonio Nieto Rodriguez, Ricardo Vargas, Mark Price Perry, Andy Jordan, Laura Barnard, America Pinto, Susanne Madsen, Elizabeth Harrin. And on and on the list goes. But more importantly, I think for our show, as we've been a platform to be able to give people a voice to tell their story because they didn't have a platform otherwise to be able to do that. And also, of course, want to thank our audience because if we don't have an audience, then none of this is really possible. I'm just talking into a microphone for myself. And that's not fun for me.
[00:03:09.950] - PMO Joe
And we've had over 40 million plays and downloads of the show. I stopped counting when we hit that number. So I don't know where we're at today, but I guess it doesn't matter when you get past a certain number. But tremendous thanks to all of you. In the past year alone, our audience demographics have shift to the point where 48% of our listeners are coming from outside the United States. And I think that just truly represents the fact that we're not a us show. We're an industry show, a global show talking out there for the benefit of everybody. So thank you all of our listeners who join us twice per month to hear the show. Lastly, I want to thank our sponsors. From the beginning, the PMO Squad, small company that I just happened to own, has been a sponsor for us. So I want to thank The PMO Squad for giving us the opportunity to bring our brand out to the public. But more importantly, really is the other companies who've come along and supported us. Talaia is a project management software company out of Spain who very early on came in and joined us as a sponsor of the show, traveled from Spain to be a guest on the show.
[00:04:17.730] - PMO Joe
So that was fantastic. PMP Master Prep, and Scott Payne came on as a sponsor for a while as well. So certainly want to thank Scott for that. VPMMA an organization helping veterans transition into the project management space. And The PMO Leader, a global PM community also supporting us. So thank you to all of them. If I've missed anybody, it wasn't intentional. And I will catch you at some point to say thank you as well. All right, we're past the thank yous. And just a reminder, though, to everybody that, hey, you can get a PDU for this every one of our shows. This is 100 PDUs worth of content for free. Just go out to your PMI area and do your selfreported PDUs. Pop the name in there, put the episode in, the description, the date you watch the show. And it's a great way to be able to get those PDUs you need to recertify. I just did it myself last week, so I'm happy to be able to have that out there for everybody as well. We're streaming live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and we're also live on Internet radio. So we're being heard around the world.
[00:05:30.470] - PMO Joe
And I'm very excited today to have our special guests with us. Asya Watkins is joining us from the Atlanta area. And Kim Essendrup is here with me in studio. So welcome, Asya. And Kim, thank you.
[00:05:45.680] - Asya Watkins
Thank you for having me.
[00:05:47.930] - PMO Joe
Asya, if you want to take a moment just to introduce yourself and say hello to everybody, and it would be really appreciated.
[00:05:55.350] - Asya Watkins
Absolutely. So my name is Aysia Watkins. I am the founder of Women of Project Management. We are the only network created to support women and women of color in every specialty of the project management industry worldwide. And that's a little bit about me. And before we even jump into it, I just want to say Congratulations on your 100th episode. I'm sure we'll talk about it more, but that's a really big deal, so I'm glad to be a part of it.
[00:06:21.210] - PMO Joe
Well, thank you so much. And thank you for joining in. I think we're talking before the show. Today is a historic day in the United States as we're having our first black woman nominated to not nominate, but approved to be on the US Supreme Court. So great to be able to Ironically pair that up with somebody who has a community supporting women of color as well within our industry. So thank you for joining us, Asya.
[00:06:45.390] - Asya Watkins
[00:06:46.430] - PMO Joe
Kim repeat, returning guests from show number five way back when we were first starting out. So thank you so much for joining us today as well.
[00:06:55.330] - Kim Essendrup
I'm really excited to be back on again. Thanks, Joe.
[00:06:57.660] - PMO Joe
Yeah. If you could take a moment just to introduce yourself and let everybody know a little bit more about you, that'd be awesome.
[00:07:02.940] - Kim Essendrup
Sure. My name is Kim Essendrup. I am co founder and co host of the Project Management Happy Hour. And I'm also co founder and one of the partners at Kolme Group. We're a project and portfolio management consultancy and really excited to be on the show again. Joe was fun the first time, and I can't believe I get to come back and 100 what an amazing milestone. Congrats.
[00:07:26.090] - PMO Joe
Yes. I think that just means I'm old. If I think back to them, I don't think I was wearing glasses back then. So now I have to wear my glasses to see my notes, to see the screen, to see the guests. I think I'm just getting old. But again, thank you both. You're both great hosts of shows. And one of the things I've learned from 100 shows is how much I didn't know. Right. I've been able to learn so much from all of the guests that have come on. I called it my own personal mentoring sessions that just happened to have a microphone there for everybody else in the world to be able to hear. So for you guys, what's that same experience for you, Asya? What are some of those lessons that you've taken away from your shows?
[00:08:12.050] - Asya Watkins
Yeah. So from the guests, there's so many different women that I learned from. I agree. I feel like you I'm just sitting there like a fly on the wall. I feel like sometimes and I'm learning just as much for us, the mass majority of our guests are members that are from our community. And so it's important for us to amplify their voices. But it's amazing what happens when you interview them and ask them questions and you think you know what you're going into, and then they just blow you away. I learned from just my podcast episodes of things I didn't know you do in project management. One of our members, I interviewed her. She was an aerospace project manager, and I had never, ever heard of that before. And so some of the things I don't even like to talk to them too much about it because I want to listen with the listeners as well. But I've learned so much. We just had our latest episode was about project management and blockchain, and I had no clue how the two went together and Fintech and the huge need for project managers in that space.
[00:09:24.900] - Asya Watkins
Project manager, program managers, everybody. I've learned a lot. I'm always blown away by everyone's brilliance and all those different unique perspectives.
[00:09:35.540] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I certainly share that. How about you, Kim? What have you taken away from? Because you've up to 75 shows, mid 70s.
[00:09:44.530] - Kim Essendrup
We're closing on eighty. We're away from 100. But you'll get there. Yeah, I love it, too. Every time we do a podcast, it's like a mini coaching session. I get to learn from a guest or I love to hang out with my co host Kate. And she's brilliant in our own ways, which she has skills that I don't have. And so every episode we have, I get to learn from her. And I feel like our listeners get to learn from her as well. And then what I really enjoy is our membership community. So we get a lot of direct engagement with our members. We do coaching sessions, and I love to speak with them. I love to hear the challenges they're up against, kind of talk through them because I feel like I'm getting an education along the way to see what everyone in the community is facing as well.
[00:10:26.030] - PMO Joe
Yeah, that's a great point. And this is just a point in time. But both of you were able to extend that moment right through your communities. And really the industry gets to benefit from all of that and one another, not just from your community being the host of the community, but the people within it as well. I think back to some of my shows. Right. And I think it was the show with Elizabeth Harrin. And at one point, I think I was supposed to talk, and it was kind of a dead silence because I was listening so intently to her. I just said, I'm sorry. I felt like I was getting mentored. Right. It was just one of those opportunities where it's real life gets in the middle of it. And Amireh Amirmazaheri was on she's now in Australia, but she started out in Iran and she was there during the Iraq Iran Wars growing up as a young child and the influence that that had on her life. Her father had lost his job. Her mother had lost a job as a teacher and how she was getting educated as fighter planes are flying over and bombs dropped on her aunt's front yard.
[00:11:37.430] - PMO Joe
And we're talking about project management stuff. And she's sharing these stories. And that's when I realized, hey, what we do and it's obviously being accentuated right now in the real world as well. But project management is just not as important as a lot of things. And to hear some of the guests talk about those experiences has really been important, I think, for me as well, to learn how to prioritize life work balance. I don't call it work life balance because I put life first. So life work balance comes out of shows like this as well. So community wise. Right. We've touched on these communities in Asya. You brought yours up. But tell us a little bit more about women of project management and why that's so important for you.
[00:12:20.170] - Asya Watkins
Yeah. So I'll kind of start with a very brief summary of even why I started it. So for me, I've worked in the Pharma industry and project management my whole career. So it's been about 20 years on the corporate side, working for healthcare companies like Fortune 50. So the big companies. And one of the things that I ran into is that I never worked with enough women and I rarely worked with women of color. And so to be able to get through the majority of my career on the corporate side for 20 years and easily not work with any women of color, it was for me, starting the community was just as a necessity for myself because I really just needed that community for myself. And so funny enough, I know a lot of people when they start businesses, they do the research and who else is out there? And I really couldn't find it or I would have just joined it. And so I just decided to go ahead and start it. And so now I'm just so grateful that we get to have these beautiful conversations, we get to learn. But it is something also about being able just to see other women that look like you and that are thriving in their careers and that there's no titles, they let down those titles, there's no ego.
[00:13:46.350] - Asya Watkins
And we share. So we have master classes, you're in PDUs, we have live calls where we can always acknowledge each other, teach something. We'll have someone come in, mostly our members, to teach something. But one of the things that I started when I started the community was the first thing was our member directory. And so it started out just a few people in there, including me. And now there's literally hundreds and hundreds of women. But that was the number one thing that I started out doing because it was so important for me for other women to see other women who look like them and that they were thriving, that it was very tangible, that they can touch them, they can connect with them, they can talk to them get mentors. So we do a little bit of everything between the master classes. We do mentorship programs. We partner with organizations that are intentional about supporting women and women of color and hiring them from our community in project management. And then we help them get certified as well. So we do that a lot by partnering with other people who have amazing project management skills or communities as well.
[00:14:59.910] - Asya Watkins
So that's kind of it in a nutshell. It's my heart and my soul.
[00:15:04.910] - PMO Joe
And you gave me a behind the scenes tour of that community. So when you say the member directory and they can see other women of color, everyone has a picture there, right. So it's a visual reference for them to attach to. It's not just a name. You can actually see that person who looks like you're in the community.
[00:15:21.890] - Asya Watkins
Yeah. And their titles and a little bit of summary behind it. And we love to share the things that you're not going to necessarily find on our resumes or on LinkedIn. And those are important. Right. Because they give you the highlights. But we also know that women and women of color and just anybody in this industry because I don't think anyone wakes up and they're bored and they say they want to be in project management. You don't know. A lot of times you kind of drift into it. Right. And then you fall in love with it. But we love to also share to how we got into it. A lot of times it's not a straight A to B.
[00:15:56.820] - PMO Joe
And also you didn't mention it, but also job postings in there as well. Right. For partner companies.
[00:16:02.990] - Asya Watkins
Absolutely. We partner with a lot of great organizations. We've partnered with Amazon, one of the Thompson nonprofits, different government roles. And so it's important for us to talk to them, to talk to whoever that's hiring, whether it's had an HR or their executive team, just to make sure they understand who we are and that we will only align with organizations that know exactly who we are and what our mission is and that they're also in alignment with that. It makes it just a win win on both sides. And we've had really great results for organizations because of that partnership.
[00:16:43.860] - Kim Essendrup
What a great community. That's really cool.
[00:16:45.680] - Asya Watkins
Thank you. Thank you, Kim.
[00:16:47.530] - PMO Joe
And we have the URL here on screen, but also just a question out of curiosity. Right. Women of Project Management, can men join as well? Do you have any men in there or not?
[00:17:01.700] - Asya Watkins
We do not have any men, but we have had men asked before. Listen, we'll welcome everybody, but the content is mostly geared towards women from a woman's perspective. But we love everyone who wants to join. But I just give them a warning.
[00:17:20.570] - PMO Joe
Yeah, we did a show, I guess it was back in the show, 38 maybe or so, but with Kornelia Homewood, who used to work with Kim, Lynda Stanton and Elise Stevens. Elise Stevens runs a Celebrating Women of Project Management yearly event. And we talked about that. And for me, again, it was a learning curve. I had 50 plus years old. So when that conversation happened, I was in my early 50s still, and they were talking about experiences as women that they have in conference rooms every day and on project teams every day that I was probably contributing to Unknowingly. And it was very eye opening for me to understand imposter syndrome and the clothes that you need to wear to work so that you're not perceived the right way or you are perceived the right way. And I never once in my career ever worried about what I had to wear to work. So shows like that and communities like yours are so important for people who are uneducated in areas that are of importance to our industry. So thank you, Asya, for putting that community together, leading it, and giving it a voice with your show and certainly with that community.
[00:18:36.210] - Asya Watkins
Thank you. I appreciate that.
[00:18:38.520] - PMO Joe
Kim, how about you? Obviously, you guys have a very successful community as well off of the show. You had mentioned it a little bit earlier, but can you give us a little more detail about that? We do.
[00:18:47.700] - Kim Essendrup
So before the show, I did a lot of coaching and mentoring, and I seem to be answering a lot of the same questions. So I thought I'll just put this in the blog post and I'll share the blog post. But funny enough, people don't want to read 10,000 word blog post on project management. So I thought, how can I make this a little more interesting, accessible and had the idea for doing a podcast. So I reached out to Kate because I figured, how can I make this more fun? And I figured that'd be the way to do it. So we did a few episodes, and people that we didn't know and weren't related to started listening to it. So we kept going. And as we grew, we saw an opportunity to work with some of our listeners a little more closely and have them help join a community. So we stood that up, and that's worked out really well for us. We have a platform. We move from kind of an old school BBS system onto a little more modern social tool. And it's really cool to get to interact with everybody. And one of my favorite things that we give as a perk to our members, which at the time we thought, well, let's try this out and see if it works or if we get overwhelmed as we'll do one on one with our members.
[00:19:58.050] - Kim Essendrup
So if you've got a problem, you want to do a one on one, we'll let you schedule one per month. And I got to tell you, I love that so much. It's so fun to listen to our members, to talk with them to understand where they are. A lot of times it's some career coaching. So understanding where people are in their careers. And it's interesting you do a lot of one on ones and you start to see different trends among your audience and what's going on in the community. And it's fun to help other people because I had people who helped me along. So it's nice to pass that along and it really makes it fun. Even if nobody listens to us as a podcast, it still be fun to record the episodes because that's a lot of great learning content. But then interacting with the members is just really what keeps us motivated.
[00:20:41.470] - PMO Joe
One of the things I love about your show is it's serious content, but you guys approach it in a more light hearted way. Right. You have a little fun with it. Right. Your tagline is like something a little salty or something.
[00:20:53.980] - Kim Essendrup
Yeah. We try to have fun with it, sort of that after a long day at work and you maybe go to a happy hour or coffee hour with a really close friend who understands what you do and you can share maybe rant a little bit, but it's fun. We like what we do and it's nice to have that positive take on it.
[00:21:14.540] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I was listening recently. I can't remember when but your first show with Tim Creasey, who is the Chief Innovation Officer at Prosci, and everybody listening. If you want a great podcast moment, it's when Kate has what she calls the first podcast mic drop moment. And when Tim provides a little education on his philosophy about change management, I think it was one of the best lessons he's ever learned along the way. And Kate just almost exploded through the microphone. She was so excited, so strongly encourage everybody to go out and check out that episode with you guys. Yes.
[00:21:55.070] - Kim Essendrup
I have to say, I have a professional man crush on Tim Creasey. It's just brilliant. I just love any conversation we have with him.
[00:22:01.420] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I talked to Tim yesterday and he's going to be our guest on our next show. It'll be his return visit he was on last year also. So, yeah, we've got some fun stuff to talk about. I think it's fun stuff. Hopefully the audience will enjoy it, but we'll see it's good stuff. And then also, I wanted to share The PMO Leader community with everybody as well. For those who aren't aware of that, The PMO Leader community is a global community that is for PMO leaders or project managers or agiles or anybody in the industry of delivering projects. And it's a way for you to be able to come together and network and exchange information. But we also have it set up as an ecommerce platform so we couldn't find anywhere in the industry where project management professionals can go and transact on an Amazon like setting to be able to buy books, get training, find consultants, book a speaker, whatever it may be that you need within your industry or your company to help you. We're trying to be that one stop shop that you can go get it at the same time, go on a discussion board, ask a question and get some people, answer questions for you.
[00:23:13.630] - PMO Joe
And then we host content. So we have people who don't have a voice in this industry, like the three of us who host the show, but they would like to do it. They don't know how. They didn't have a platform, they didn't have a voice. So we have five different shows that are hosted on the community where it's just regular project management leaders who host a show on the book club and they review books every month and talk to the authors of those books or professional services firms who always get a black eye or just out there trying to get money. Well, we interview the people from those communities and talk how they help people in our industry. As a service provider, I know our clients are happy that we're there and had they not known about us, they may not have been in the position they're in today with the success they've had. So we try to give the industry as a whole an opportunity to shine and not just a few individuals that are the most popular people that are always out there. So certainly invite everybody to go out there and check out The PMO Leader and see if it's a good fit for you as well.
[00:24:17.360] - PMO Joe
We had a question come in. I want to ask you guys. Luis Herrera asks, do you think there's a difference in the way a man and a woman manage a project? And would there be a way to take advantage of those differences by assigning one or other based on that? Asya, what's your thoughts on that?
[00:24:40.090] - Asya Watkins
That's an interesting question. The way I'm reading that, I don't think there's a difference in a woman is better than a man. There's just different approaches and it's still, in my experience, a woman has her own any woman, different women have their own approach. I don't think that's the case. I think it's maybe the methodologies that you follow on the project, how you approach a project in general, whether you're a man or you're a woman. For example, I work at Walgreens Corporate as an It project manager and I knew nothing about technology or It. And so for me, as a project manager, the way I approach the projects was when I sat in on meetings with the developers of trying to learn at least high level of what they were talking about, what they needed with the QA teams, needed everybody, all the stakeholders there. And that was new to me because that was one of my first roles in project management. And so I don't think it comes down to being a man or a woman but I do think it does come down to understanding whatever that product is that you're working on that industry and then learning your team enough to know what is it that you need.
[00:25:59.070] - Asya Watkins
Because if you're in a project management role, you're the connector, right. You're seeing the big picture. Everyone's really great at what they do, but they're only down in their own silos. So really understanding how you can connect the dots for everyone to keep that project moving. And people say Devils in the details, but I love those details. And so I think it's just more of an approach, whether you're a man or a woman, that makes you really good in that role.
[00:26:27.310] - Kim Essendrup
Yes, I totally agree. I don't see the difference between a man and a woman, but I think you would need to focus more on the differences between people and project managers. Project management as a professional title is kind of ridiculous because it's so broad. If you think of there's project managers who run ten hundred million dollar projects and there are project managers who run $500 projects, it's still a project manager. And so along that huge spectrum, even within the same sector, the same kind of projects, you're going to have some project managers who are really good at forcing and pushing things through. You've got some that are going to be maybe a little more diligent when it comes to some of the details, maybe more technical, maybe more people focused. You have to focus more on what is the right project manager for a particular project or a certain circumstance and not worry about if they're a man or woman.
[00:27:21.130] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I think I'm remembering back to the show with Elise that I talked about earlier, the celebrating women in project management at that time, if I'm remembering right, the Marvel movies were coming out every other month. It seemed like there was another one. Right. And the best part about them all was we finally were getting to see female superheroes. And it was just another example of how in society, all the strong, all the people who came to the rescue were always men. But now within platforms beyond the workforce, whereas broader reach, where billions of people are seeing things, where millions of people are seeing movies and there's a woman that is leading the charge, there's a woman that's winning that battle. I'm with both of you guys. I don't think it matters that a man or woman is running the project. I think what matters is that we're allowing and giving the right women the chance to lead those projects. That has been a challenge, I think, within our industry. And I'm glad that as an industry, we are probably not where we need to be. But I think in the past few years, there's certainly been more progress made, at least.
[00:28:31.210] - PMO Joe
So, Luis, thank you for that question. And there was a comment back on that from Michelle Baker that says that she's seen different access to next projects, though, for women. So maybe the assignments may be a challenge, but perhaps the running the project themselves is okay. So let's go on to our next topic here. Again, we talked about the mentoring and all the different shows that we've all been a part of and the different guests we've had on our show. Are there one or two maybe that stand out for any particular reason as maybe providing some additional influence to you along the way or maybe made you pause something beyond your man crush with Tim Kim? Is there any other ones that you can think of?
[00:29:20.960] - Kim Essendrup
Well, I got to talk about Tim here, of course.
[00:29:23.670] - PMO Joe
[00:29:25.510] - Kim Essendrup
It was really nice talking with him. He had a number of different topics he talked us through when it came to change management. And so many of them were really so profound that I found myself quoting content from the show to my colleagues, to my partners and then at home, which I like what you're talking about, but it just really changed the way I think about change and the way people go through change. It was really profound for me.
[00:29:54.670] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Asya, how about you?
[00:29:56.820] - Asya Watkins
I love all of them, but they all have their own very unique perspectives. Actually, one of our first podcasts I had with Hajjat and Cara, and she's an It project manager. She's also a black woman and she's been in the industry for 20 years as well. And our whole podcast was about imposter syndrome. That was something that always comes back. Right. Because there is a lot of talk with imposter syndrome with women and resumes, but just in general, too. Right. Because a lot of different perspectives of like one of the people who I think that was Michelle Baker, who put a comment sometimes just the access and being able to get on a project. Yes. One of my first role was It project manager, but my very first role was a project coordinator. And I went out for the project management role, ended in the project coordinator role, and then eventually I got the project manager role. But that was because I was already doing the work of the project managers and I was on a team with other men. They were all amazing men. I'm still friends with all of them now, and they taught me a lot.
[00:31:13.730] - Asya Watkins
But it came to a point in my career and said, well, why am I doing all the same work? And I don't have the same title as you guys, right. So sometimes that kind of works on you even years later in your career, and that kind of plants the seed sometimes of that imposter syndrome, because then you kind of sometimes think, well, is it something I'm not good enough at, or can I be better at this or that? So that was one of the podcasts that really consistently comes up because everyone deals with Imposter Syndrome in one way or another. But from that woman's perspective, from a woman of color's perspective, there's a lot of other factors, a lot of times that comes into play that you just don't know if that is a thing or not. And sometimes you're just wanting to have a shot of opportunities for different roles. So I want to say that's definitely one of them is Imposter syndrome.
[00:32:16.630] - Kim Essendrup
That's interesting. You mentioned that show topic because one of our most recent shows was on that exact same topic, Imposter syndrome, and we call the Imposter syndrome diagnosis and treatment. And it was a topic that was requested, maybe demanded by our member audience. They really wanted to hear us talk about that. And it's something we encountered a lot in our one on one. And I have to say it's one of the episodes we've gotten most feedback on. It's something that everybody feels and everybody feels like nobody else feels that, I think sometimes. So I think it's really good for all of us to talk about that and bring it out because project managers are usually highly capable and they're aware of how difficult things can be. And so they talk themselves out of trying to go for things sometimes. And so it's good to bring that out and say you should go for it. It's not that bad.
[00:33:07.810] - Asya Watkins
I think that's a really great point, Kim, and I think it's also just power and having those discussions. Right. Because it just validates your feelings sometimes literally. That's also one that needs because sometimes if you're in your own little bubble, especially if you're working in project management, because a lot of times you're kind of in your own little bubble and you're working with your team, but you kind of psych yourself out sometimes, and sometimes you just need someone to validate your feelings or even just share something they had that they stumbled in their career, they failed or they went ahead and went for that role and then surprised themselves because they got it. There are so many of those different stories, but I think when we speak on them and speak about some of those maybe even failures, it has even more power because you can kind of validate each other's feelings and kind of hype each other up, too and let people know, like listen, more people, you know than none who got to a certain level, there's a lot of failure before they get there. So just hurry up and sell fast so you can get to whatever that goal is that you're trying to accomplish.
[00:34:18.130] - PMO Joe
Yeah. It makes me think back to some of the shows we've had on here as well. And to your point. They're all great shows and they're all great guests. But sometimes the mood you're in, the situation in life, something sticks with you maybe a little bit more than others and some for good reasons and some for not. We had Colin Ellis on from Australia, and again, we're a live show and the Internet went out during the show. What do you do when you're hosting a show and your guest is no longer accessible? So that was a memorable moment that has stayed with me of luckily, we had an in studio guest that day as well. So we're able to keep the show going. But we lost half of the content. Right. So we invited Colin back to join us for a show down the road. Another one was I had Dr. Kerzner on the show, and this is to me it's the guy that's on the Mount Rushmore of project management.
[00:35:09.740] - Kim Essendrup
You know everybody.
[00:35:12.370] - PMO Joe
I don't know if I know them. They're just a guest on the show. Right. But I reached out and he said, yeah, I'd love to come on your show. So that was fun. But I said, listen, I've got the guy who's kind of written all the books on this. And all we heard growing up in project management was scope, quality, time, budget. It's the golden triangle of things. That's how you measure success. So I said, I got the guy in front of me. I'm going to ask Dr Kerzner, how do you measure success on a project? He said, It's very simple. Did the business get what they wanted from it? There was nothing about budget. There was nothing about time, nothing about scope, nothing about the quality of it. Was the business happy with the project?
[00:35:56.460] - Kim Essendrup
My role is a lie.
[00:35:57.990] - PMO Joe
Exactly. That's how I felt right at that moment. I said, I've got to stop thinking that way because it was so simple but so true. And that's what we've done with our clients ever since that day. We sure you measure those things because they help you get to the outcome of did the business get what they wanted to? But it doesn't change the fact that the outcome is the most important thing that you have to make sure you achieve right. And then the other probably the most impactful moment for me was, I'm assuming most of us or many of us have seen the movie Lone Survivor. And John McCaskill was a guest on our show. He was in that Navy Seal team that performed that operation. And the day before, he was the Seal commander. And he recounted the story during the show. So certainly for everybody to go out and listen to the show to get his words, not me paraphrasing it. But he told command that the mission was too dangerous and he wasn't going to do the operation. His team wasn't going to perform it. And as you know, of course, because there's a movie about it, the mission went forward and it was a bad mission.
[00:37:09.140] - PMO Joe
And he was back at command having to listen to the radio communications as to what was happening. So our show is about mindfulness and meditation and the experience that he had to go through with the survivor guilt and all of the emotions attached to that. We picture these Navy Seals as such hardened warriors that they can handle everything. But for his entire life after that moment, of course, was impacted greatly by it. So John continues to do great work supporting veterans these days with his mindfulness and meditation. He has his own podcast now. I think it's men speaking mindfulness. And if I got that wrong, I'm sorry, John, but go check it out. Search up John McCaskill. That's where I talk about the reality of life, right? I mean, we're in this running projects and there's a guy that's fighting wars for us and making decisions that are impacting life and death situations. But within project management, if you're an aerospace project manager, a healthcare project manager, or other, you may be influencing lives with your projects as well. So thank you both for sharing some of those. And one other moment I'll share that was unexpected for me.
[00:38:24.070] - PMO Joe
Kenneth Steiness was on the show way back early on and he had heard or known that I had co founded VPMMA, the nonprofit organization to support veterans transitioning into civilian project management careers. And unbeknownst to me, he gave us a gift on air live during that. So completely off guard of hey Joe here's. I think it was $5,000 donation to BPM from his organization Project Sensei, Sensei Project Solutions. So another great opportunity in a moment to be caught off guard. It's like my producer and I were looking at each other after that happened because nobody could speak. She had tears rolling down her eyes. It was just a fantastic moment on the show. So again, this is where you do a radio show about project management and some other fun stuff happens along the way. So we talked about some of the guests that we've had on the show that have made a difference for us. Are there any guests that you're tracking that maybe you haven't had on yet, that you're stalking them in some way that you want to get them to get on? You'd love to be able to share their story, get their message.
[00:39:31.870] - PMO Joe
Asya, is there anyone that you can think of that it would be great if you could get them on the show?
[00:39:36.990] - Asya Watkins
You know what my honest answer is? I don't have anyone in mind in particular because the way I kind of approach it is I like to just stay open because I know that there are so many things that I still have to learn and there's so many different perspectives. And so I really just stay open. A lot of times, funny enough, women will send me a message or send me an email and say, hey, I would love to talk about this. And a lot of times that's organically how it happens and it just blows me away. But no one in particular that I can think of Besides, maybe you joke. We'll make an exception to have a man, right?
[00:40:18.980] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I'll come on. Sure, why not?
[00:40:22.450] - Asya Watkins
But, yeah, to me, I kind of practice just really staying open to the different opportunities and all the different amazing perspectives that people have, because I love learning about all of it.
[00:40:38.160] - PMO Joe
The invitation is out there in the future when the timing is right now that I'm pushing myself on, I'd love to come on and talk. I spent 20 plus years in Atlanta, so I've got lots of Atlanta stories to go back to talk about as well. To be a lot of fun. How about you, Ken? Yes, who is it?
[00:40:57.260] - Kim Essendrup
Yeah, I might have actually confirmed this guest in the hour before I drove down here.
[00:41:05.250] - PMO Joe
Breaking news. Drumroll, please.
[00:41:06.890] - Kim Essendrup
Yeah, I don't want to spoil it, but fingers crossed. So when the COVID vaccinations opened up and there were these pods that got stood up, these big facilities, and the one I went to to get a vaccination was down at the Cardinals Arena. And we drove up and my mind was completely blown at how incredibly organized and efficient this thing was. It was like a machine. It was a parking lot. And suddenly there's a vaccination site. There's healthcare professionals, there's people guiding traffic. There's some kind of a very efficient way to get thousands, hundreds of thousands. I think of people through this process. They've got PDAs, they're tracking everything. They've got my appointments, they've got healthcare professionals, they're monitoring. I thought, this is absolutely amazing. I was glowing, and I kept talking. My wife was in the car with me. She's like, Gosh, please be quiet. But I thought, this is amazing. I don't know who organized this thing, but I've got to track them down. And since then, I've been trying to track somebody down who I can talk to, who's willing to come on. And I just dead end. And then I went and had happy hour, like, I don't know, a couple of months ago with an old friend of mine.
[00:42:20.960] - Kim Essendrup
We had lost touch because of covet, and he kind of does his thing, my thing. And we were talking and he was asking about the podcast, and I mentioned this thing, and it was still driving me nuts. And he says, oh, you know, I did one of those. You did what? He says, oh, yeah. I set one up and I read it like, there's no way. He says, oh, yeah, you started telling me all about. I said, Can I have him on the show? He's like, Well, I got to get permission and all this. And so I just chatted with him before I came. He says, I got thumbs up. I can come and do it.
[00:42:49.680] - PMO Joe
[00:42:50.370] - Kim Essendrup
I cannot. Wait. He started telling me about it right now, and I was really nerding out. I said, Stop right now. Stop right now. Save it for the show. But it's like my Christmas wish came true.
[00:43:03.150] - PMO Joe
For a podcast episode topic lucky you. Well, I'll share mine, and hopefully I can get as lucky as you've been. The Foo Fighters have been in the news recently. Their drummer passed away, Taylor Hawkins, but long before then. I love the Foo Fighters. Music is a big part of my life, and they bring tremendous joy to it. But another person who they brought tremendous joy to was Fabio Zaffagnini. And I apologize if I mispronounced his name, Fabio. But if you've ever seen the thousand musicians come together and play music, he started an organization that does that. And they had a project that they did Rocking 1000 is the name of the organization. And he's in a small town in Italy, Cesena, Italy. And he was the project manager that brought together 1000 musicians, drummers, guitar players, bassists, singers, et cetera, and had them all play a Foo Fighter song. And the purpose of that, the outcome of that was to get the Foo Fighters to come to Cesena, Italy, and play a concert. Here's a line from the video. If you go out and watch the YouTube, I watch it every single day. So I'm a lunatic that starts my day with the same video every day.
[00:44:26.650] - PMO Joe
I'll apologize if you think some of the words in here are appropriate, but we're live, he says in the video. "I've been working on this fucking project for more than one year, waking up every morning thinking about how to make it real." That's the life of a project manager. He organized 1000 musicians from around Italy to come play one song for over a year. It took him to do this, and the outcome was the Foo Fighters went and played that concert, and Dave Grohl went out there, and he acknowledged it, and all the Foo Fighters acknowledged it, and it became a world event. To me. I think it's the best project in the history of mankind. Now, the people at NASA may have an issue with that. The Egyptians building the pyramids may have an issue with that. But to me, it has changed my life forever since the day I saw that video. I need that guy to be on this radio show. So for everybody out there listening, if you have any way for me to be able to, I'm connected with him on LinkedIn. I'm sending messages. He won't return them. So I've become the stalker, right?
[00:45:33.670] - PMO Joe
Just like he did, creating a video to get the Foo Fighters to come beyond a show. We're now live out there. Fabio, I'm looking at the camera. Where's the camera? If you are listening, please come on my show. You will make me complete when you're on my show.
[00:45:49.960] - Kim Essendrup
Maybe, Joe, you need to organize 1000 project managers to sing a song.
[00:45:57.830] - PMO Joe
I don't know about this, but Frank Saladis, he's been on the show and he's the singing PM, right? He plays guitar and everything. Maybe I could get Frank to do that. Yeah. Let's organize a project of six degrees of separation. Somebody in my network knows Fabio. I've got to get him on the show. This is fun. I love it. Here's the point. We're having a lot of fun on the show, and we're sharing a lot of good information because it's a celebration, right. It's 100 shows. So just from your perspective in your career, what have you been able to celebrate that I think is important for you personally or your community or your family or your company? Celebrations often get pushed off in project management. Right. You put in all the work, you end up going live, and then the next thing everybody's talking about is how many bugs are there from the go live. Right. You didn't get the chance to celebrate. So here we are. What are some things that you guys have experienced that either deserve the celebration you've had the celebration, or how can celebration be an important part of what we do?
[00:47:05.930] - PMO Joe
You and as you both have that look of, like, don't make me go first.
[00:47:10.130] - Kim Essendrup
Am I hiding behind my microphone here?
[00:47:12.030] - PMO Joe
But we'll start with you, Kim. Sorry. How to celebrate anything related to celebration, right?
[00:47:19.730] - Kim Essendrup
I am. Every day, I'm thankful for my partners. So Kate, my partner in my podcast, and Drew and Matt, my partners for Kolme Group, because when you start something off and there's nothing there, it's a huge risk. And for you to reach out to somebody and say, hey, do you want to do this crazy, stupid thing with me that might be a complete and utter waste of your time? And they say, oh, sure, yeah, let's do that. Somebody who's got that much faith in you and wants to take that journey with you is something you really should celebrate. So if you've got partners like that in your life or people you work with, people who partner with you to have you on your podcast. Thank you, Joe. To support each other, we just really take a moment and be thankful for it.
[00:48:06.040] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I love that. Asya, how about you?
[00:48:09.290] - Asya Watkins
First of all, Joe, I think this is such a beautiful question because this is something that I had to pause last year and say I have to get better at. Just like you said, it really also Additionally validates my feelings, I think, because we're the ones always doing the planning, it's just all about the planning, planning, planning, go. Then you launch, and then it's like, okay, then the real work starts, right? And then a lot of people hopefully benefit from what you're creating. But it's a lot more of go, go. And I know that's definitely been my story. We love it. We're crazy. We're good at it. Right. But I know for myself I don't take those moments to pause and even reflect and do those lessons learned. We're good at doing that on projects and certain things. But just in general, of what we've accomplished or even running a community or the sheer energy that it takes to do all of that. Right. But we love it. We're passionate about it. So I am intentionally trying to create those moments. That's one of the things that I want to do this year. We're going on our 7th year of existence, and I've just been going funny enough, I have not enough it yet, and I'm not enough just yet.
[00:49:34.260] - Asya Watkins
All the officials, but I'm planning a live event. And so this is kind of yes, it's for women to gather and project management to support each other. How basically bringing all everything that we do live inside the membership, live in real life, because there's plenty of people who we've seen each other, we've prided together. We've seen the ups and downs, and we've known each other for years, and we've never been in the same room. Right. We got close and then Kobe hit, but it was like, okay, back up two steps. And so that's one of the things that I'm doing. It for the community, but it's also for myself to take a look back. And sometimes, especially when you're doing it virtually podcasts and radio shows, it's real, but it's so surreal of all these amazing people that you get to know, I'm planning that. So we can just all be in the presence of one another. And then I can kind of physically look at everyone and look over the crowd as we're doing all the learning and the loving and all the other things, but just to be in the sheer presence of them, that's something that I'm planning that I've never done before.
[00:50:51.570] - Asya Watkins
And part of me, I'm distracting myself because it's another project. But I think it's important to take those times. I did say that I want to do more of those things. We do everything virtually, but just finding other ways to connect. But I think it's in those moments, at least for me, that I feel like, oh, wow, this is actually really real. When you see those people sometimes or you just have something that's out of the norm, that's kind of an extension of your business. So that's definitely one of the things that I said I wanted to incorporate more. And I think that that came from I forgot his name, Joe. But you mentioned one of the guys who does, like mindfulness. I love that you tie those two together because I do a lot of yoga, a lot of meditation. And for me, that's kind of where it came from, too, because it's more of we go, but like just sitting in the moment and enjoying it and not taking those moments for granted. We're on 100th show, right? Like not taking that for granted. You worked years to get here. There's a lot of work from you, from your team.
[00:52:06.500] - Asya Watkins
So just making space and time to take knowledge and kind of Pat yourself on the back, but just kind of breathe it all in and appreciate it.
[00:52:15.710] - Kim Essendrup
I think that's a great point because we get so focused on getting our project done, getting it done, getting it done, and it gets done. And now you either look back and think of all the things that could have gone better or you're onto the next one. And one of my personal favorite episodes that we've done was with a race director for Ironman because I passed Iron Man and so to have to speak with a regional race director for Ironman about the amazing project that goes behind creating an Ironman event was pretty amazing. And I asked him, at what point do you feel like you're done? Because immediately you have to start planning the next one. It's never 1 minute. It's never that moment when you're done and everything's packed up in the trucks or the last person crosses the finish line, he says, you don't know what it will hit you sometime during the day. So you're watching the sun rise over the swimmers in the water, or you're watching a lone runner by themselves late in the race, just kind of pushing through their own challenges and making it there. And I think that's a great lesson that I took because really stop.
[00:53:17.920] - Kim Essendrup
And I don't say smell the triathletes, but just stop and look for those moments because they happen throughout the project. They happen throughout your life. And it's not just at the end when everything is sorted, there are those great moments throughout, and you need to stop and celebrate those all the way. Absolutely.
[00:53:33.910] - PMO Joe
Yeah. The thing I'll mention is celebrate the unexpected. So many people have come on the show. We've had discussions that they ended up in a place that they never intended to start. The show is a perfect example. I never thought I would be here for 100 episodes, but it's open doors that I was willing to walk through that I normally wouldn't have been able to have been exposed to Carston Ley was on the show, and he had talked about growing up in I think it was Germany, the family of farmers. And his family said he graduates high school and what are you going to do? And they think he's going to work the family farm and he wants to go explore the world and travels to Mexico and South America. Now he's in Vietnam, but he was willing to take that risk. Right. I think every guest we've ever had on here didn't start out as a project manager. They ended up as a project manager of some kind. But they had to say yes at some point when somebody said, are you willing to and for everybody listening out there, celebrate saying yes to something that you didn't plan on doing, go outside your traditional comfort zone and see what's there.
[00:54:47.890] - PMO Joe
Earlier, Asya, you had mentioned, fail fast. Right on something. I take those and I change it slightly. I call it life work balance instead of work life balance. I don't say fail fast. I say learn fast. It isn't a failure. It's a learning. Take it to do something and learn it. Right. So that's what I say. Let's celebrate saying yes to things that we just aren't sure about, as Kim had mentioned earlier. Right. You didn't know it was going to work or not, but you just go do it. So that's what I'll say for today. When I look at the clock, as I do with every episode, I say, Jeez, how did an hour go by already? We're just getting started. Is this a two hour show today? I don't know, but here we are. We're at the conclusion again. So I always like to give you guys an opportunity to say, hey, is there anything we didn't talk about today that you want to be able to mention? And if not, that's fine. But how can people get in touch with you? What's the best way for people to get in touch with you to be able to connect after the show to keep the conversation going?
[00:55:48.170] - PMO Joe
So, Asya, we'll start with you.
[00:55:50.270] - Asya Watkins
Yeah. So I don't think it's anything that we didn't cover. I really enjoy the conversation. I think we talked about so many things, so I loved it. And thank you for having me here. If anyone wants to connect with me, they can find me. Asya, walkins on LinkedIn. Women of Project Management on LinkedIn. We have ridiculously amount of fun on Instagram, too. There's about 25,000 women in project management over there. And so you can follow us at Women of PM. Basically, Women of PM anywhere, on any platform, all Mfpm.com, you can find me anywhere. Google my name. There's not many Asya out there.
[00:56:33.910] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. And Kim, how about you as well?
[00:56:37.820] - Kim Essendrup
It was a pleasure meeting you, Asya, nice to meet you. I've seen your podcast out there, so it's really doing some great work. And Joe, thanks again for having me on the podcast. I really appreciate it, especially on milestone episode like this.
[00:56:50.790] - PMO Joe
[00:56:52.330] - Kim Essendrup
I'd love to connect and chat on LinkedIn. So you can find me there. You can listen to us set it up about project management on project management, happy hour podcast on any aggregator out there you can find. And then on the PMO side, if you want to nerd out about project management tools, we do that, too at Kolme Group. Kolmegroup.com.
[00:57:14.960] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Thank you, Kim, for being on. And part of the logic on this was when we started the show, we tried to always have a local guest and then somebody who was out the area. Because when I moved to Phoenix, it always seemed like Phoenix had redheaded stepchild syndrome. Right. It was like, we're not as good a project management town as the rest of the country or world. And I said, I want to bring on a local guest and a non local guest so that we could see collectively we can carry that conversation just as well as any other part of the world as well. So, Kim, it's great to have local and non local representing us once again and going back to kind of our original format. So thanks so much for joining us. And Asya, thanks so much for joining as well. Thank you to all the listeners in your comments and questions. I know we didn't get to all of them, but I certainly appreciate you joining in. Be sure to visit www.thepmosquad.com/podcast to check out all of our shows and of course, all the podcast platforms. Right to be able to go out there and capture them.
[00:58:13.880] - PMO Joe
We've got a great lineup of guests. We're not stopping at 100. We're going to continue onward. So next show we're going to have Tim Creasey from Prosci. We had mentioned that. So we get another chance to talk with Tim. Louise Worsley from South Africa will be joining Ricardo Martin from Spain, Sanjeev Augustine, Melissa McDonald, the smart PM, Constantine Reibel and Robert Breise from Germany. Mayte Siviera. We're going to have some folks from Track Via talk about citizen developer. They're going to be joining us. We're going to have some folks from not Clarizen. That's the company that you support over there. KeydIn KeydIn is going to be joining us as well. We're working on the format of what that's going to look like and potentially, but probably not. I mentioned this in the past. Our June 16 guest is Mariia Abdullina. Mariia is in Ukraine. So most likely we're not going to be having Mariia join us for that show, but the invitation is there and the spot is there if we're able to make that happen. I've had some LinkedIn communication with her, but everybody keep Mariia, her loved ones, and all of the people in Ukraine in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this horrible invasion that they're working through right now.
[00:59:31.510] - PMO Joe
Reminder, the show is recorded. We are live. We didn't lose internet, so that was great. So we are a live show, but they're recorded. So go out and subscribe Project Management Office hours on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you to our sponsors, The PMO Squad and The PMO Leader. And that's it for now. Office Hours are closed. Until next time, I'm PMO Joe and you've been listening to Project Management Office Hours.
[00:59:58.330] - Announcer
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