That was 2022, this is 2023

Big Fat Review of the Year

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The Sunday Lunch PM

Raw Transcript

Unknown Speaker  0:00  

Alright, so today, I'd like to welcome to the Sunday lunch project podcast, Colin D. Ellis. Colin is a author, a public speaker, a project manager, a man with many irons, in many fires experience working in, in places such as the shop direct Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice in New Zealand. And Trinity group finder of a number of organisations, including the getting shit done, club, hopefully that doesn't get me an explicit tag for the podcast at the whiskey trip and is an award winning speaker and culture change specialist at the moment. So, welcome to the podcast colour. Cheers. Thank you. Great to have you on. As I start with all of my interviews, and I think some people will pick up the answer to this before I even asked the question. But where were you born? from? Where did Where did you hail from? So I was

Unknown Speaker  1:15  

born in a place called Western which is about eight miles east of Liverpool. So every time I'm on stage, I'm always I always tell people, particularly when I'm not in England, which isn't very often these days, I say I'm from Liverpool. And then every now and again, you'll get a scouser in the audience or you're not from Liverpool meet you to talk like but Western Western was where I was born, I lived all pretty much all of my life in a little village called rain Hill, which is famous for trains, which you probably know which one person you want. I said that on stage that guy's famous for trains. It's the birthplace of passenger railways. This guy came up to me at the end. And like, I think this was in Australia, or maybe even New Zealand was like, Oh, yeah,

Unknown Speaker  1:57  

so I know all about posture. I was like, Oh, my God. Well, I got myself into

Unknown Speaker  2:02  

the history.

Unknown Speaker  2:04  

It's funny how to the big world is very small world, isn't it?

Unknown Speaker  2:08  

It is the first the first when I emigrated Sorry to interrupt when I emigrated to Australia. I didn't know anybody in a single person here. And so I went to a networking event. And I was sat next to a guy and I've got talking to him and he was a scouser. And I said, me, I said, Where are you from? He's like, I was born in western. I was like, Are you kidding me? Of course, all the way to Australia. I'm sat next to someone from the same hospital

Unknown Speaker  2:32  

as me. And we worked out that we were on three weeks apart as well.

Unknown Speaker  2:36  

JC probably so school and stuff as well.

Unknown Speaker  2:39  

Yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  2:41  

So what you say you emigrate, where are you know that where you live in Australia, I'm

Unknown Speaker  2:44  

in. I'm in Melbourne, Australia, I emigrated to we emigrated to New Zealand in 2007. I was working for little words, shop, direct group, I had a job that I loved. I loved that. But we just had a little boy and didn't necessarily want to bring him up in in England, the truth be told, and I randomly flew to New Zealand to see if I could get a job and got offered three jobs. Wow, all all heads of project apartments in in New Zealand. So I figured that would be the time to go, given that we are and you know, that was just before the global financial crisis and the door shut once and for all on kind of immigration in the way that it worked back then.

Unknown Speaker  3:26  

So what made you choose New Zealand? Was it just throw a dart at a board?

Unknown Speaker  3:32  

It was worse, the easiest place to get a visa for?

Unknown Speaker  3:38  

That's the

Unknown Speaker  3:39  

honest answer. We looked at Canada, that seemed to be a lengthy process. We didn't want to move to Australia. Because you know, as you're told in school in England, it's the capital of poisonous spicy things, where everything just wants to kill you as a cat looking at me weird through the window now. And and so New Zealand seem to be an easier route and box, but we have got a cousin who lives there. And we've met awake back in back in Liverpool, and she was talking about how great New Zealand was and how we should come and live in New Zealand. So we looked into it. And it seemed to be the job that I was doing at the time was on the skills shortages list. So it project management skills. Sure, which seems incredible now. And so if you can still look.

Unknown Speaker  4:24  

Yeah, yeah, I have a colleague who's just going across

Unknown Speaker  4:28  

the tree last few weeks, and I think she was saying that, that there's still a skill shortage in that in New Zealand now.

Unknown Speaker  4:36  

But it's an obvious thing to say, Nigel, but it's only you only feel it when you get there. Like it's so far away. Like it, you know, I just I just came back from the US. And it took me 23 hours and 50 minutes journey time to get home. From the media, not even the centres of America, like the mid notes are kind of Inland Northwest. And you realise just how far away it is. I mean, it's beautiful, it's safe. It's clean. It's, you know, there's a joke and said they are welcome to New Zealand, please send your clocks back 20 years. And it is it's a lovely, lovely part of the world. But it is a long way away.

Unknown Speaker  5:13  

Yeah, it's about as far as I can get from here, isn't it? Yeah. So you mentioned you had to learn and family. So tell me about the family? Yes, it's two kids,

Unknown Speaker  5:25  

my wife and two kids. So I met my wife when I was working for the group. Got all Trinity American, they changed the name these days. Now there's something a bit more Jazzy, a bit more consultancy name now. She was the she was working on the corporate newspaper. And I was head of projects for the mirror group. So we're both based in Canary Wharf for a while. So that's where we met. And I got two kids. And they you know, My son was born in England. So he was one when we left. My daughter was born five months after we arrived in New Zealand, so that was a culture shock. All right. So yeah, they've moved about a bit as well. So we're ready for a bit of stability. So Melvin's home for the foreseeable future. Plus the fact you have five months so much, why would I leave it? Yeah, that's fair.

Unknown Speaker  6:10  

So that's so So you decided to do?

Unknown Speaker  6:14  

Not many massive life change things? Pretty much all around the same time?

Unknown Speaker  6:19  

Yeah, yeah. So 2007. So I resigned a job, quit a job, sold the house, bought a house, got married, had a baby, and emigrated, all at the same time, to a place where we didn't know anybody. So yeah, but we've taken a few risks. I think it's fair to say, Yeah, and I always kept my risk template off today.

Unknown Speaker  6:46  

I love to see that risk meeting.

Unknown Speaker  6:49  

Having tried to apply some of the just some simple the combat boards in my house it's not really worked out. Well, when you're trying to bring bring bring the two limb back home, it's it takes a little while for it to sink in.

Unknown Speaker  7:00  

We had some success actually would come up. One morning I woke up and nothing was screwed up on the floor. I'm like, okay, there's the message. Project Managers becoming a dictator.

Unknown Speaker  7:14  

So you said you, obviously, you born in western you. Did you stay in grow up in that area?

Unknown Speaker  7:21  

Yeah, I did. Yeah, I did very much. I was I was like to leave home because I had to go to home, Nigel. So I stayed the, you know, pretty much until I was 23. And then even when I moved out, I moved into the same area, you know, was a nice area in Liverpool. There was no real need. It was easy to get to. It was easy to get into the city to go go and watch it and go out and on the tiles and it was easy to get it into places like Warrington, where we do who we do likewise on the biz. So yes, Mr. Mr. Smith's Mrs. Miss right down. Yeah, that was my first suit I bought for work. I remember going to miss the Smiths and my mates still give me grief for the fact that I fell asleep in the toilet one night. It's like still getting grief for that, like, you know, 30 years later. It's insane. I don't Mr. Smith, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  8:12  

I had some friends who people I worked with Warrington way and I'd heard of the rumours of the history of Mr. Smith a little bit.

Unknown Speaker  8:21  

Yeah, and the Hitman and heard there's a TV show called the hits. And they used to call it there. Yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  8:29  

So so when you were growing up in western and live in the lap of luxury with with home, what was it you wanted to be? What did you want to be a project manager?

Unknown Speaker  8:38  

Well, yeah, so rain Hill was where I grew up at Nigel and and I had no No, no grows up wanting to be a project manager. And I wanted to be an architect. I did technical drawing for a year and no, actually, I grew up wanting to play forever and right. That's the standard Liverpool. No one wants to play for Liverpool because no one in Liverpool supports Liverpool down. People from Scandinavia for Liverpool, Poland, Australia. So I wanted to play for Everton and then I just I was I was a decent player actually. And but then I quit because I was just playing. I was playing six days a week. And then I wanted to be an architect. I did a technical tour every year I was rubbish. Like, probably terrible at it. And then and then I had no idea. I literally had no idea. I just knew I didn't want to stay in school. I mean, going to university wasn't the thing back in the in the late 80s when the thing that everybody did, and so you know, I got you know, the third time I was suspended from school I had a bit of a chequered school history quickly. So I my dad helped me write a letter to NatWest bank asking them boom, probably pleading with them. Can I have a job please. And I did one interview in Warrington just to check out wasn't a serial killer that had a second interview in St. Helens to check that I'd fit into the culture but it's St. Helens and it would be easy to fit into that culture. And that was it and I got a job at 17 just writing a speculative letter I can't imagine not admin these there's

Unknown Speaker  10:00  

no it would be

Unknown Speaker  10:03  

yeah it's a

Unknown Speaker  10:06  

it's a different different way of getting enrols isn't it? I think

Unknown Speaker  10:09  

Yeah. Very much so many people for each role now of course Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  10:13  

Yeah, that's probably a true because he's I'm guessing in those sort of roles it would have been similar to me if people weren't travelling. When you pulling on those very much a local areas. The people will be travelling significant distances to get to those kind of roles.

Unknown Speaker  10:28  

Yeah, that's right. Yeah, yeah, definitely not my role bank Clark sat on the front counter certain people know and struggling for that. You know what

Unknown Speaker  10:35  

I did bank clock as part of my

Unknown Speaker  10:42  

school work experience I had a week working in the TSP and also stream where I grew up and I really enjoyed the when you take all the money in the back room and you came to on the machines and they do the counting, under the Frank and of the checks I actually quite enjoyed that. So it finally quite therapeutic but a so I don't think I could have stuck it for very long.

Unknown Speaker  11:02  

Well, I remember I kind of got promoted to the machine room early, you know, kind of when I was nearly 18 I think and the machines were these huge long things they must have been about 10 feet long and they made the most incredible noise I remember the bank manager Mr. Rocks his name was he came out he was used to walk around with a cigar that's the way they used to do things

Unknown Speaker  11:23  

like Alice

Unknown Speaker  11:24  

what the devil is this thing because the God said it's it's sorts to check it Frank's the checks Mr. box and it's sorts of is I guess a bloody future. Future this stuff?

Unknown Speaker  11:36  

He was right who do the funny

Unknown Speaker  11:39  

thing is thinking things you saying these about 10 foot long the one I had, I think it was the size of a printer that was so in tell the difference in the size of brands that you were individualise Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  11:51  

So so you talk about the way obviously you got into project management and you were doing banking. How long was that for?

Unknown Speaker  12:03  

Well, I came for seven years. And you know what I love Nigel and and, you know, I said school really wasn't my thing I it just wasn't. And then all of a sudden, I was in an industry where I was in front of people every day and I was part of teams and that's the first time except playing football. That's the first time I'd really been exposed to that where people were given thought about how to create teams. And I really enjoyed working in the bank and I didn't really enjoy where I was working. You know, I wanted to be in the city. I wanted to work in Liverpool. So you know so much to the horror of my parents, I got a job working in sales for the Liverpool Echo, which is the local paper. Now those in those days could get a zero percent mortgage if your staff in the bank, my mama WN Why would you leave a bank, it's got a non-contributing pension, zero percent mortgages like I want to work in a city and just go out straight out on the base after that was my rationale. And I and I don't tell you said people always say did you enjoy the role and I did because the team camaraderie was great. But the one thing I learned was how to touch tape. So they sent you on a three day course. In Matthew street in Liverpool, I learned how to touch tape, which I still do to this day, which is the best thing that I got out of it. But But I but I love the team. I love the team that I was part of I love the camaraderie I love the the pressure of trying to hit targets. I wasn't very good. You know, honestly, I wasn't very good. But I loved that pressure and in and in 97 they put the call out because NatWest wasn't year 2000 compliant, not the day that I was much of a techie, but they put a call out for project managers and and I went and saw this guy who was the was one project manager and the entire organisation. I went to see him. And he seemed like a pretty nice guy. And he said that he enjoyed it. And but I still didn't think that I wanted to do it. And then I someone approached me and said, Listen, we want to talk to you about this year 2000 thing and they said oh, we really think you'd be a good project manager. I was like okay, as I can you just explain to me what is a project manager. I still remember this. He said, you get a car, you get a phone and you'll be away from home on and off for four years. I was like I definitely want to be a project manager that's how it was sold to me. But he said I said Why me? And he said I'll principally because you're good with people and you're good with teams. And he said that's, you know, as long as the prince to stuff none of the gap Can you do a WBS it was none of that. It was good with people good with teams and that was that was early 1997 and that changed everything changed everything.

Unknown Speaker  14:44  

So that was with that with the Trinity group that you said

Unknown Speaker  14:48  

yeah which which was with they were it was Trinity PLC to begin with. And then towards the end of that we merged with the mirror and became Trinity mirror. But yeah, it was it was Trinity group to begin with. So that was regional newspapers. So first field examiner Newcastle Chronicle and journal Belfast Telegraph, which I loved working the cut down and card Western mail and echo Liverpool Echo. Middlesbrough was one of those one of the Liverpool

Unknown Speaker  15:14  

Echo was part of that group was part of that group. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  15:17  

Yeah. So we had to replace systems in all of those areas. And I think we had there was like three project managers to cover all the

Unknown Speaker  15:25  

T's busy time, then.

Unknown Speaker  15:27  

Yeah, was Yeah. And I literally was home Saturday, Sunday, and then gone again, and fly into glamorous places, like you know, Middlesborough.

Unknown Speaker  15:38  

I used to drive two medals, both to fly to Belfast for Dr. Daniel as well.

Unknown Speaker  15:42  

As I've done Newcastle a few times from from me, Danny and children. I quite enjoy that drive up the road, because it's always sunny, like over there for some reason. Yeah. Maybe that's just yeah.

Unknown Speaker  15:55  

M six, and then a 66. And a 66 was across the board, but in snow in the winter. So he couldn't go that way, and that he had to find a different route. So happy is.

Unknown Speaker  16:07  

Right. So that kind of takes us on to how and why PME. So it was that. When you you moved into that PM in La Jolla, what were you thinking there? As they said, Well, we think you can do, Pam, because from what you were saying there the person asking you to do that obviously understood. What a pm really was about. It wasn't someone who was just going we need a PM, they need a Gantt chart. tool. Yeah. Because like you say, the that the teams and the people relationship side of it being the primary driver? What, what did you do to prep yourself for that?

Unknown Speaker  16:47  

You know, it's it? That's a really good question. As I reflected on it recently, when I spoke at a conference, when somebody asked me a question, they asked me something like, did you know how to plan when you started? And it was a great question, because I hadn't really thought of it. I said, Well, no, I didn't. I didn't, I literally didn't know a thing. And so what was I thinking, while I was thinking, firstly, it sounded a bit glamorous, because it was doing a lot of travel. But it sounded like a skill set that I really wanted to develop, you know, do the things that I was doing, you know, those skills, but there was nothing really that I felt very passionately about, then all of a sudden, I was in this role where I was asked to be a role model, I know that we use those words back then. But I was asked to be a bit of a role model for what we were trying to do. And I could let my personality shine a little bit, you know, I'm a high extrovert. And I think they wanted to say a little bit of that. But at the same time, what I wanted to make sure that I was capturing the detail. And in the early days, I just wasn't capturing the detail. I didn't know how to do it. A schedule, I didn't not, you know, kind of manage risk. And so I had a really, really good boss. And he, he laid things on the line to me a couple of times number one, he said, do we Where's your plan, and I tapped my head in my door there, Rob. And he was like, wait, what he's like, you need to get it out of the onto a piece of paper. And so he was he was fabulous. He was instrumental in really helping me. And I think, you know, I was 27, then 27 or 28. And, and it really put the emphasis on me doing the things that I was uncomfortable doing within my personality. You know, a lot of what I talk about specialist project managers these days, is we very much focused on our own personality, our own communication style, where to be successful, is it's doing all the stuff the personality doesn't want to do. You know, I'm a bounded I had a team of developers and infrastructure engineers and work with a bunch of people member bound and in the all extraversion literally, kind of the room just clammed up, and no one wanted a bar of it. And so, you know, I knew very early on that I had a challenge, you know, I had to work really, really hard to learn techniques. We did a little prince we did Prince to we were like real early adopters, we did it, I think was in 98. And I failed the foundation exam, I must be the only person in history to fail the foundation Exactly. Make it that easy. Because I tried to apply it practically, which sounds like a terrible thing to say. But when I answered the questions, I'm like, all right, in real life, what would I do? And and I very quickly found out well, the theory doesn't always match the reality of the situations that you find yourself in. So that's a long answer to a short question. But you know, what was I thinking I was thinking is a real opportunity for me to stretch myself and develop a career into something that, you know, because I love the variety, it's something I can see myself doing long term.

Unknown Speaker  19:47  

Yeah, cuz I think that, just as you said, the PM and the variety point there. And I know that's been an attraction for me for project management is that

Unknown Speaker  19:57  

what was

Unknown Speaker  20:01  

the variety of what you're trying to do is, is quite often good, the variety of people's often good, but sometimes the repetitive nature of some of it can be the downside of his news is that you know, what's going to happen with the project. And that that, on the face of it looking in, it looks like you can, again, lots of variety, but it's a lot of variety of the same thing. If you know me,

Unknown Speaker  20:24  

it is Nigel, it's a really good point. But but it's, you know, it's really what you create it you know, I often poke fun at Pete, the project managers to say, I don't like the administration side of it. You know, I don't like writing reports, I don't like updating my schedule, I'm like, Look, every jobs got its bits of it that are more mundane than the rest. If you don't like writing reports, go and be a BA still don't know what those guys do. Go be a VA. But you know, you've got to accept that there. You know, every job has a little bit of it that you want prefer, do but you've still got to do that really, really well. Because it's part of what we do. If you don't maintain a schedule, Don't lie. But don't be a project manager. You know, and one of the things that I did later on in my career, and I developed a bit of a name for myself for doing this is what I you know, I used to meet with lots of my peers, particularly in New Zealand. And they would be like, oh, how'd you get people to get their reports in on time? I'm like, Well, if they don't get the report and on time, then they get performance managed out of you do there isn't what you mean, performance manager mobile, it's their job together, if they can't get reporting on time, what chance do you think they've got to get in project in on time. And it's kind of those little things, those little disciplines that I definitely developed early on. And kind of, I guess, reassured myself that, that that was the trade off for all of the other variety stuff, is with the travel and with the different people with the different issues. You know, and I loved planet, I love planet so much. I love trying to get as much certainty as possible, because I knew that as soon as you get into delivery, it's easy for me. And yet, that's a skill that we seem to be losing within the profession these days. You know, like, I poke fun at sponsors all the time, because I think they're to blame, you know, these Nike project sponsors, just do it, just do it, just do it. And you never get time to plan anymore. And the way that they're trying to circumvent that now is by going Nigel, that's a whole other thing.

Unknown Speaker  22:26  

Yeah, that's, yeah, I'm I can I know what you're saying? Is that kind of thing of great. We don't have to be sure what we want. Yes, you know, you do need to be sure on what you want. It's just a different way of getting to that being short on what you get. That's right. And I think some people see our job as we can change our minds.

Unknown Speaker  22:46  

Yeah. Adam mentioned Jane Doe, my

Unknown Speaker  22:49  

Yeah, having recently been a product owner course, from the scrum stuff and kind of it gets dropped into my mind how that bat product owner role within an organisation being given the right level of authority and the right level of power. to own that product is fundamental to making an agile project work. Because without that, you might as well just randomly pick what you're doing.

Unknown Speaker  23:24  

What Well, that's right. And, you know, it's only suitable for certain things, and we've still got organisations are like, all right, everything's Agilent that was I couldn't fail. You're gonna fail.

Unknown Speaker  23:35  

You're gonna use a hammer to screw something in or paint a wall here. Yeah, that's right. Like make sure I using the right tool. We've got

Unknown Speaker  23:42  

the site, we were in the cycle of waterfall, bad, agile, good and make some best projects I've ever been involved in. Were waterfall projects. The difference was we had competent people who knew how to do it in the right way. You know? Yeah. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  23:57  

So talking about your product, Jackson, so you mentioned your year 2000. projects that you your first projects you jumped into tell us a bit about that.

Unknown Speaker  24:09  

Yeah, so um, you know, we were doing, I was doing pretty much three projects at once. And that really, I really enjoyed that. Not only that, I use that model. As I headed up my own project departments moving forward, I was managing one in initiation, one in delivery, wanting closure. And so you know, I would spend a week you know, one day the implementation I was three days on site, I remember my favourite one was Huddersfield. So I was working at the hottest field examiner. They didn't have an office for me I was working for regional so there's a bit of a kind of sideways look at these people coming in from regional you know, especially me with my suit on and so they didn't have any work for me. So they they hired a porter cabin and put it in the car park. So I was in a porter cap man, Sue Ebbets. And if you're listening to mean celebrities and we're in it we're Porter cabinet a car bar. And and it was it was such great for us to have a squirrel that used to come and visit and I used to feel it's no wonder I went nuts.

Unknown Speaker  25:11  

Very good.

Unknown Speaker  25:12  

I'm so you know, we had so many different storeys, but it but it was a great, it was a great lesson for me because the stakeholders are quite different. You know, I remember that the sponsoring NT side and Middlesbrough was quite a hard ass You know, he he was a tough guy to get along with but I found a way to do it. You know, I worked really hard at that much, much easier. And Belfast, lovely, lovely people in Belfast, welcome and accommodating would do anything. And, and so what we have to do very quickly, Nigel was established a team, and then also communicate really, really well. Because what we were implementing, of course, for those those people that remember y2k is we weren't implementing just to fix, we were implemented a whole new way of doing things. You know, when I see people now doing new ways of working, I'm like, well, you don't need new way to work, what you need to do is work with the teams to get new ways of behaving. Because when you get new ways of behaving, you naturally get new ways of working. And so that's what we have to do, where we always successful, we got a lot of pushback, you know, I mean, especially newspapers, we will, we will replace in page makeup systems, advertising systems, like a very traditional old fashioned business. And so we faced a lot of challenges. But we just kept communicating in different ways. We had to be really good at things like planning, risk management, issue management. And it was tough. It was, you know, when I think back now, I had to hit the ground, running and cliche and I had to hit the ground running, and to learn the entire profession, probably in about four weeks, and then just learn on the job, there was no hiding place, if you got something wrong, you got to hold your hands up straight away. There's an element of vulnerability in order to create connections with people empathy was high, because we knew that what we were doing was effectively going to change the livelihoods of some people. But most of all, it was about courage and discipline, and really, as a team finding ways to do things that, you know, we would say, and we would say they're innovative these days, they weren't back then it was just about literally, what can we do now to fix this problem. And we would be there till midnight, and no one ever said, We want overtime, we want more pay, no one ever did that. Because we were so invested in the team and in being successful. And we just love, we just love mixing and, you know, we love socialising and all of the things that great teams do. And so that, you know, I'm It was a great grounding for me, because I learned the difference between management and leadership because I worked for a leader. And then laterally, I worked for a manager and I started to see the difference and decided that I would want to be a leader. And then got great at creating teams, you know, we don't teach people how to be great team building. And so yes, I learned how to do that really well to

Unknown Speaker  28:05  

Berlin. So in with with that, just a more personal curiosity, really excited. I was involved in some y2k stuff. When I was working at Barclays, I ran the same sort of time. What What was your approach with that was because I'm guessing, similarly, my more back office or services that we're talking about. So there was there was some absolute criticality on the day to day operations that I imagined some of the other weird things you were talking about there. But there was like, Chief accountants department and things like that. So they were quite keen for their accounts to be right. What What did you how did you approach that? Because I'm guessing you had a setup system and all that. That's printed newspapers, and you can't interrupt the printing of the newspapers on those ridiculously dead tight deadlines? how did how did you approach that?

Unknown Speaker  28:59  

We had to create almost an entirely separate business. And I don't mean with all of the people. But you know, we kind of mirrored day to day operations, Nigel and created something new. You know, we call them environments these days, but we had a completely different environment. Because of course, what we can't do is interrupt anything with regards to getting the newspaper out.

Unknown Speaker  29:22  

Yeah, and I suppose I'm just gonna say sorry to interrupt for people who are listening who are young, and they may or may not be. The problem was, is that you the way to so year 2000 thing was that most dates were stored as 1999 and then would reset to 01. And wouldn't recognise the fact that it goes to 2000 or 2001. Sorry, move to 2000 not 2001. And that was the problem was making sure that all the services still operated on the day that we took over. That's just contextualise for if I've got some young listeners, which I don't, but

Unknown Speaker  29:58  

I, what I what I love about and I tell this joke all the time on stage is that people always say, Oh, yeah, it was a red herring. Nothing happened. Yeah. Because people like those. That's a

Unknown Speaker  30:08  

good place to stop.

Unknown Speaker  30:11  

save the world. Everybody's you're all welcome.

Unknown Speaker  30:16  

You're going to claim that much. So I'm not sure I said much.

Unknown Speaker  30:23  

So yeah, we had to create a completely separate environment. And, and in those days as well, Nigel, we were getting four editions out of the newspaper. It wasn't just one.

Unknown Speaker  30:32  

It was four editions, and most of them were printed on site. So we had to create a separate environment, and then it was big bank. And so we would switch everything off. You know, so the different days or different sites would switch everything off on a Friday night, and we would redo everything on Saturday. It was it was so stressful. Kind of making sure that everything came back up and everybody's PCs were working. Not only that, and and yeah, and yet the thing that I remember most of all, that was our biggest challenge was getting the advertising systems to balance. That was the hardest thing of all to get it to balance exactly to the penny, because that's what the accountants, you know, definitely wanted. Yeah. So it'd be great in a separate environment and was full on Big Bang. And we switched everything off on a Friday and we switched a new stuff on early hours a Saturday morning.

Unknown Speaker  31:30  

sleepless nights leading up to that is definitely

Unknown Speaker  31:32  

a Sunday morning. It was it was Sunday morning. That's right.

Unknown Speaker  31:36  

So with, with that project of being your first one, yeah, moving on now, looking at your stalking you on LinkedIn. As with all of my interviewees, there's a vast array of different projects and roles that you've been doing. And thinking about the projects you've done. What was the what would you say was the largest project? And when I when I say largest, I don't mean, what was the biggest value? What was the biggest number of resources, it's what felt the biggest to you. And that might have been impact on the end customer or impact on the business you're in or whatever, or impact on the people involved or whatever felt like the most significant project to you. And in that project, what did you learn?

Unknown Speaker  32:36  

I had a bit of a rapid rise, Nigel, I do some project managers out there have managed like a billion projects, I didn't manage a billion projects. I was very fortunate in at the end of the y2k stuff, the mirror group, as it was then said, we need to establish a central what they call programme office at the time, that was in 2003. And you're the guy had it all, because I didn't know what I was doing that either. So I was making that up as I went along. So in terms of the biggest project, because because you know, I went on to programme management, I did a fair bit of programme management, we had some big initiatives, then we specifically within the narrow group, we wanted to go from the biggest to the best, because we weren't the best newspaper group, but we were the biggest. So we had a number of programmes and initiatives. And I did some programme management within the book. I haven't managed billions and billions of projects. But the ones that I did, I managed really, really well. The biggest learning curves definitely came at the start because I didn't know what the hell I was doing. And I decided early on to become the best at Project Management better than anybody else. That's what I decided. And what I did, what I found, and I'm not suggesting for one minute that I was the best, by the way, but I decided that I wanted to become the best. And so I researched it and I learned it and I learned all of the techniques. And I just wanted to I was like a sponge. And and so all of the things that I did the definitely the early projects were definitely my best. And the whole leadership thing was really, really interesting to me. Because I've worked for some people that I just didn't like. And I didn't like them because it's personality clash or whatever. But also didn't like it because they didn't set work in the way that I wanted to. And I had a great boss. So I watch nice to write things down. I still do this now write things down that I see that I like and think, Okay, how can I do that, you know, particularly when I watch watching people speak or hearing people talk about culture. And so the biggest thing that I learned was definitely early on in my career is by watching people and their interactions with others, and finding out what's effective. And that's how I learned to communicate in different ways. So that it's again, early on in my project management career. But still, one of the things that I learned was, how do I change my style, depending on the person that I'm talking to? When I first started as a project manager, I had a group of developers, and they just weren't listening to me and my ally. So I went to my boss, I'm paraphrasing our call remember exactly what I said, but I was like, these guys are idiots. Like, none of them are listening. None of them do what I want to do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, what we need to do is like, maybe, maybe you're the idiot, I was like, What? Like maybe maybe you're the idea. Have you thought about the fact that they might not like the way they you they might look like the way that you're talking to them. I was like not being rude is like no, no, I'm not saying that he's I bought it, I thought that actually the way to motivate somebody is to find a way that they like to communicate and speak like that. I'd never thought of that before. Never thought of that before. And and so I learned how to communicate probably in about four different ways, which you know, I later find out matched Carl Jung's work or theory, personality and all that stuff. And, and that was the best thing that I learned that if you can change the way that you communicate, and if your resilience, the eventually what you can do is build teams that everyone wants to be a part of, because they know that not only do you respect what they know, but that you also respect the way that they do things. And we call it empathy these days. But yeah, that that was possibly the most important thing I ever learned. Yeah, it's, it's it.

Unknown Speaker  36:23  

It sounds familiar, and I picked up I was I was given a book many years ago. I think the guy's name was Dr. Robert ROM. And he talked about the, the disc behavioural.

Unknown Speaker  36:36  

Yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  36:38  

And, and then subsequent to that, I started listening to a podcast called manager tools, which is two guys Marco zone and

Unknown Speaker  36:49  


Unknown Speaker  36:51  

horseman. Michael. Yeah. Mark horseman, sorry. And they go into incredible depth around the behaviours of the, the, through the four models, those, and they, I think they map onto those, Carl young things as well. And, and, and, and they really emphasise the fact that you got these behaviours, how you like to be communicated to what your defaults are, and the fact that everybody else is default. So different and, and how simple things you can do by considering other people's

Unknown Speaker  37:28  

way of communicating

Unknown Speaker  37:32  

can make life so much easier for you, especially with things like email, because they talked about that, yeah, they're talking about the father, like me, I'm a fairly flaky at the best of times. And if someone says me a long email, lots of detail, I've all read that in a minute, I'll give that some attention. And it goes on the back burner. If I trust the person, and I've got a few guys who've worked for me before now, who said we should do this? And I've gone Yeah, do it. And it's like, hang on, I haven't told you all the details. And you'll have made, you'll have done that. You trust you to have done a much better job of it, whether it's the right decision or not than me. And I'll take your word for it. And quite often, if you present that to people, they'll go Well, yeah, you said it's the right thing to do. I've got the background, I can pick that up later. But the problem is your, your sense of what a long, long email, they've got to read all the way through another bottom their ass for a decision, and you got to read it again. And as well. And it kind of, there's lots of little things that give you tips on just to, as you say, adapt to other people's way of communicating rather than

Unknown Speaker  38:38  

thinking everyone's happy with your wonderful way of communicating.

Unknown Speaker  38:41  

Well, you know, and often Nigel, you know, I used to inherit teams, and they're like, Oh, this guy's a poor performer, this guy's a poor performer. And you dig into it, and they're technically very good. But no one's ever changed their style to meet their style. So I was just going to my teams, you know, create a career of doing things like definitely, I would say, I don't like email, don't send me an emails. Like, literally, don't send me any emails. If you want a decision to come and talk to me, that's my preferred style. If you feel the need to explain yourself, do it face to face, don't do it on an email. Don't copy me into any emails, I set up a rule, if you copy into an email, it goes straight into into my trash. Yeah, I put it

Unknown Speaker  39:22  

into a separate thing as well.

Unknown Speaker  39:23  

Yeah. So all of a sudden, I'm getting no emails, and my all my peers, or my senior execs are like, Why do you get no emails? Like, because I tell people not to send me emails? How hard can that be? But for everybody else, you know, I very much communicate in the way that they want to. But of course, we're not taught this in Princeton, we're not taught in in Pembroke, we're not taught in Agile, we're just taught techniques and methods. And yet, and yet the most important that, you know, the best projects are results of the people that lead them, and the environment that they create. But that whole concept of what it what does it mean to be a leader? And how do you create great teams, somehow, is secondary, all the technical stuff. And yet, that's the stuff that gets the project delivered. And it still baffles me to this day, I'm still on this. You know, I've been doing it what for about four years now? And and I still come across these people like oh, well, surely if I get my PMP qualification, I'm a project manager. I'm like, Dude, that gets your foot in the door, get your foot in the door and project management. Now go and apply that and you'll find out the real world is very, very different. They don't want to follow an eight step scoping process. That's not how it works in the real life. That's when you gotta have the badges, you've got to do all the things, right? You've got to have the badges. That's your professional development. But that's not the reality of project management.

Unknown Speaker  40:41  

Yeah. And I think it's that that concept of, and I can't remember who I talked to about this, right. It's like learning a musical instrument, you're going to learn to play guitar, you need to learn how to play classical guitar, and learn to play it perfectly well. So the friend of mine is actor, so you need to be able to learn to play well. So then you can start to learn to play it off the rules. Yeah, yeah. You know, the rules. So you know what, Okay, I understand the rules and stuff. I'm doing the rules. Right. Okay. So that one ain't gonna bother with on this project, because I don't need to. And you can you adapt those tools you need, and you make the right level of governance and you. And again, it's it's, I'm sure it was written in Peters book The other day, P. Taylor's is that he talks about the fact that you communication is the lion's share of a project managers job is about the communication. And most of the tools that we look at in the project managers kit bag are about different like Microsoft Project isn't a planning tool. It's a communication tool. It's you could use that's what it's for is to be a Gantt chart is a way of representing the timeline on a plan to schedule a plan. So that inherently in it is a communication tool. It's not a fun. Well,

Unknown Speaker  42:01  

yeah, I slightly disagree. It's a way of capturing information so that as a project manager, you can answer the questions. I used to hate it when project managers used to send Gantt charts around Oh, yeah. It's like you. You get it?

Unknown Speaker  42:17  

Yeah, you can't paint a wall by sending someone a paintbrush

Unknown Speaker  42:20  

now, you know,

Unknown Speaker  42:22  

but you can use that you can use again, chance your centre right, there's again, I can talk you through it. But it's a tool you can use as part of an illustration, isn't it?

Unknown Speaker  42:31  

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  42:32  

Yeah. So. So kind of moving on from the largest animal learned on that. More of a juicy question, what is the biggest screw up that you've had in your project management career? And what did you learn from that?

Unknown Speaker  42:49  

Well, you know, all lives is defined by screw ups. I think the biggest one ever though, what I when I went to when I my first programme, Officer, this is 2003. Four, is I decided going to love this one, I still still got it somewhere. So I decided that what we needed because my boss at the time said what we need is regular across the portfolio. So I was heading up, I guess the programme offers for the entire organisation, right particularly in it we needed, we need a consistent way of managing it projects. And what I did was I conveniently threw out the things that made us successful, and why y2k, all of the communication, all the team building stuff yet all of that out the window, I thought, well, the way to get consistency is to apply a method

Unknown Speaker  43:37  

because that's the right thing to do.

Unknown Speaker  43:40  

And so I we arranged for everyone to our Prince to train and three day prints to train and I rewrote the 450, page Prince to manual into 60 pages, or 58 pages, something like that. And I've still got it somewhere. And and I decided did that that's what I would do is send that out to everybody. And actually, if everyone could just follow this process, it would be successful. And of course, of course, it failed massively. And no one did it. And no one got anything in on time. And I blamed everybody but myself. Because I'd forgotten about all of the things that actually make project successful, slavishly follow in a method just isn't the thing. I didn't make it about capability improvement. I didn't visit the sites and talk about the challenges that they faced, I didn't upscale people and how to communicate in different ways that didn't give me any instruction on how to create great teams. And so I was given the chance to correct it, which I was hugely grateful for the time. So we started to do some of those things at a really couple of people who worked with me, and they were awesome. And you know, we really changed the way that we did things. But yeah, that was the biggest screw up to think that that would work. And and yet, it was such a great thing to learn back in 2003 for whenever it was, because it really set the tone for the way that I did things then moving forward in my career to get in project management is when everybody else was doing that. I already knew it didn't work. Yeah, I already knew that that approach didn't work. I already knew that talent project managers that if you follow the system, you'll be successful just was never going to be the right thing. And so that was that was the biggest screwup during lots of minus groups along the way, particularly around communication, and not getting communication, right. But they were speed bumps. And you know, what I would do is write down what I learned, in order that I could change and then work and worked hard at the change. Really? Yeah. Cool.

Unknown Speaker  45:41  

So let's, let's move back into a bit more positive.

Unknown Speaker  45:44  

Yeah. So killing me.

Unknown Speaker  45:50  

Yeah, there's a few positives after this, you will, you'll have forgotten about that conversation.

Unknown Speaker  45:55  

Through through your career, there's, there's gonna be some deliveries that you have been involved with, and

Unknown Speaker  46:03  


Unknown Speaker  46:05  

you'd have taken a lot of pride from that that success and those deliveries and what would you What would you highlights has been your proudest project programme delivery?

Unknown Speaker  46:17  

Well, for me, it was the proudest times of what I've headed up the big teams. And faced in a significant challenges in that time, you know, we had, we had one, my first job in New Zealand, we weren't delivering to the, I guess, the regulator in the way that they would like. And so the pressure was on for us to change, otherwise, we'd lose money. And obviously, the knock on effect to that would be people's jobs. And then we turn that around, I was had a project for the Ministry of Justice when we had the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand. And the response of the team was absolutely fantastic. So because that was a bit of a challenge, we have to literally stop doing lots of things. Yeah. And start doing lots of other things. And you really get a sense of people's flexibility, agility, resilience, all of those things there. But you know, fortunate to work with lots of great people who just knew how to get the job done. Really Nigel, I never, you know, I tell project managers, this, you know, project managers, it's tough, but you take all of the blame, and none of the credit, I think for the things that are successful, the team is the one that does the real work. And it's your job to make sure that the team know what needs to get done. And when. And so I've been fortunate to be part of some really, really great teams that have done some pretty amazing things.

Unknown Speaker  47:48  

So actually do the actual deliveries and then what they've done, what what

Unknown Speaker  47:56  

project based

Unknown Speaker  47:59  

activity achievement that you've had, would you rate has been your proudest Not, not necessarily better delivery. It could be the lead the lead the witness sort of thing. But it What, what's given you personally the most, you've sat there and thought, yeah, I'm proud of myself that I'm proud of that, that that situation,

Unknown Speaker  48:24  

gosh, but great at self reflecting and finding positives, and not that I'm a negative person, but I don't really look at myself in that way, Nigel, I think, you know, I'm 50 this year, and kind of catches, like, when I look back 23 years ago, what I've learned, I'm proud that I'm still relevant. I'm proud that I can talk a language that people understand, I'm proud that I can stand in front of groups of people, you know, regardless of the generation and there's something in that message for everyone. I'm proud that I didn't stagnate that I see lots of project managers do, that they didn't stay wedded to that one thing that they knew, I'm proud that I challenged myself and move to different roles and different organisations that are different challenges. And, you know, never stop learning, never stop meeting people. And, you know, and I'm proud that it kind of 46 I, you know, with two kids and not a lot of money in the bank that I decided to follow a bit of a passion and, and kind of take everything that I've learned and put that back in books on stage, in facilitated programmes to help organisations change the way that they get things done. So I guess there's been a series of moments over that time, I couldn't pick one thing out, but but you know, ultimately, to still be relevant in 2019, having come from where I came from, is possibly the proudest thing. And it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of efforts. But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Unknown Speaker  50:12  

That kind of leads nicely onto one next question really is around how you What made you start with the writing and with speaking and taking that step? What was it was the what was the catalyst in that? Really,

Unknown Speaker  50:28  

I was working I was I was working in change management, for the Ministry of Education in New Zealand, quite a big piece of work to do, but it was part of a small change team. And the girl that I was working next to she was blogger, and I never really thought about blogging. So this is in 2013. And she said you should write because you know, I should write a blog, like, why would I write a blog is going to listen to me? Anyway, so she was the catalyst for me thinking about blogging, and then when we emigrate, we emigrated to Australia that year, so I had a head project, we're over another government department. And you know, I had a little bit of time on my hands. My job was to change the culture, which I love doing. That's my bag. That's the thing. Everyone's got one thing that's mine. And so I started writing about some of the things of course, like zero people read them to begin with, it was like, No, people read them. But it was just that I had a viewpoint Nigel that I wanted to get off my chest. And I thought, well, if I could write it, maybe somebody would read it, and it might change the way that they thought. The real catalyst though, was I went to a project management conference in Adelaide, in 2014. And was rubbish and and I was gutted to have spent the money on it, and to be completely underwhelmed, and I was massively underwhelmed over three days, and like, no one there is talking about the realities that we face. No one had is talking about the actual human skills that we need to be successful. Nobody, and no one else is making it entertaining and interesting to listen to. It was a bunch of pale male stale guys just droning on about method and the way to deliver benefits is, like we all know, right? The way to deliver benefits is for the sponsor to give a damn, you know, what I'm writing down all these things, Nigel, and I'm not a moaner, I'm not like I could do better, let's go, I'm gonna moan. I'm like, screw it, I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it. I'm going to become a public speaker. I've done maybe two speeches before then maybe two or three speeches, mainly because I was a practitioner organisations and people invited me to speak hope that I would bring an army of people with me as a civics view. And that was in that was in 2014. And so I quit my job, we have no money. I said, enough money for three months rent, you know, we didn't have a house or anything like that. But so I think set up enough money for three months run, and decided that I would write a project management, like training course. And I would try and sell it to local businesses here in Melbourne. But we've only been in nine months. So nobody knew me. Like nobody knew me No, not a clue I was I didn't have any position in, it wasn't really right. In then more than a few blogs. I saw it failed. So I had to get a contract job. So I got a contract job as a PR manager for a telecommunications company, started to capture all of the stuff that I knew to be true. And then try it again in 2015. That was at the end of my contract. And then I stayed up for months rent this time. And my wife was like, What are you doing? Why, you know, we got two young kids what the hell is going on? I'm like, I think I think I got something I got something to like yet. I don't think you do. She still wants it. And then couldn't, no traction, nobody wanted anything. And I went for an interview at consultant office. Now this is how I remember it might not have gone exactly like but this is definitely how I remember it is when I was in this consultants office to have a conversation about project manager role. I never wanted to be a consultant that was happy being a contractor like, you know, rolling my sleeves up.

Unknown Speaker  54:17  

He, he had a he had a speaker Council.

Unknown Speaker  54:21  

He had that he was doing these breakfast sessions that he would invite people in to speak. And he had a speaker either at a speaker Council, something came up in the conversation, where I said that I could do a speech. And he was like your speaker. I was like, yeah, definitely a speaker internationally all over the world. Not a liar. You know, I was talking about the times that I've done trainings courses, you know, in Liverpool, yeah. Jordan. And And anyway, good enough, he gave me this opportunity. So what do you talk about as I talk about leadership and team building and project management, as I guess the things that people forget about all of the time? And so anyways, like, okay, yeah, well, yeah, we'll get that a crack anyway, long storey short, at that session that I ran for, like an hour of a breakfast with somebody from a retail company. She was like, Oh, my God, I love what you're talking about. We've got this challenge and transformation programme. The thing that's missing is leadership and team building, we can do all the other stuff. Will you come and work with those? And I was like, Yes. And she said, but I'm thinking what we need is something every month. And I was like, Yeah, I can totally do that. And that's the right way, you know, it's the right way to do the personal development. And so the fee that I charged was my monthly rent every month for 12 months. And so I knew that I had the rent covered, I just needed to find something else to cover the food and my wife was working. And so she was looking after that side of things. And that was it. And that was the start of it. And for in for 2015 2016. I had two clients. That was it. I had one in Melbourne and one in New Zealand, where I saw a really good reputation. And that was it. And that was the start of it. And in that time, then I wrote the conscious project leader, which, you know, I wanted to write my project management book that was real, not that other people's books aren't real, but certainly real in the way that I'd seen it and lots of humour and wanted to do something slightly different. And yes, and that was it, Nigel. So I got it started to get a little bit of traction from the back in 2015 60%.

Unknown Speaker  56:19  

And, yeah, I'm trying to think about when I first became aware of your work, and I think it's in the last 12 months, kind of it you kind of have found, I think, I'm not sure if you're on a podcast, or whether it's just on LinkedIn, or whatever. But the project rots from the head was the next book, which was the one that I remembered the title of that being quite memorable.

Unknown Speaker  56:51  

Yeah, that was a because

Unknown Speaker  56:52  

I'd read I was I wanted to write a book that haven't written a book for project managers, I wanted to write a book for, for sponsors. And I and I looked at all these books, you know, and yet you need to write a book, as you well know, right is to write a book, you've got to read lots of books. And I read and the titles role like a guide to sponsoring projects 10 things sponsors need to know is like sponsors are idiots. It's about the reasons that projects fail is because the sponsors and as like, I want to make sure that the title represents that. And so there's a Chinese or Japanese proverb that the fish rots from the head when they talk about organisations and how they fail. Or like, yeah, the project rots from the head. And so yeah, there was a lot, they got a lot of, I guess, interest in the book because of the title,

Unknown Speaker  57:36  

which is good idea. This is all about marketing, isn't it? Yeah. And so and there's two other things I'm going to talk to you about before I close off this around your your writing and blogging and things like that is is two other irons that you have in the fire that I noticed recently. You're the founder and organiser of the getting shit done club. Yeah. And co founder of the whiskey trip, do you want to tell us a little bit about those two other irons you've got on the fire.

Unknown Speaker  58:11  

The latter First, the whiskey syrup is a passion project. So I do love my whiskey. I'm a quality, not quantity kind of person. And so there are a number of great whiskey bars here in Melbourne. And what I wanted to do was to create like a luxury, because I you know, I've had sort of a little bit of success over the last couple of years, I wanted to treat myself kind of a way of me celebrating success. And I thought, Well, what I want to do is go on like a luxury tour where I get to take in different whiskey distilleries, but also getting experience as well. And it was nothing. And so I working with the bar, the manager of a local whiskey bar here in Melbourne. So we put together this whiskey trip. So it's a kind of unique luxury experience. We're doing Tasmania, first in Australia, and then hope to do Japan, Scotland, us lots of different place you can go. So that's my passion project, the getting shit done club is a little bit of a frustration for big corporate conferences. And again, having gone to conferences for 20 years Nigel, is what they would do is spend all that money on a on a keynote speaker. And then everybody else was practitioners not that that's bad or wrong, because you need that. But sometimes it just needs something a little bit different. And people just want to be motivated, want to be inspired. I've met loads of great public speakers over the last three years. And so I thought, well, Robin, take people out of the office for three days and make him spend 1500 dollars a ticket, or 1000 pounds a ticket, let's just create a simple half day thing, low cost. It's all about getting shit done. And you know, the speakers don't take a fee. And we give all of the money after we've covered all costs to charity. And people can make the time for it. That's half a day. So you know, you'd be quite prepared to take half a day off work and spend 75 dollars to come and listen to five great speakers or for me, great speakers speak about something you know, so we cover all of the topics from HR, to leadership to project management, to vitality and staying fit to you know, we're working with Atlassian we're going to speak from Atlassian in Sydney Atlassian big software company, you know about how they get shit done. So this was the plan really not to just to create something different in the conference world for people who perhaps can't afford 1500 dollars a ticket or three days out of work. And they've been pretty popular so far.

Unknown Speaker  1:00:35  

So we're going to keep going.

Unknown Speaker  1:00:37  

So I see what looking forward.

Unknown Speaker  1:00:40  

Yeah, you've got a few coming up over the next few months. I think this This podcast is not going to be going out for a little while. So it's probably not very timely to mention the one that

Unknown Speaker  1:00:52  

was really popular yesterday. Yeah. What's the sponsor in London won't let me know.

Unknown Speaker  1:00:58  

Yeah, that'd be good that we can talk. Give me find the time to get down to that one.

Unknown Speaker  1:01:04  

That's brilliant. Um, I got some quickfire questions. Now for the end of this, which is always the last project podcast you listen to. If you listen to podcasts and know people,

Unknown Speaker  1:01:14  

I the digital PM podcast. I'm not a physical listener. But the digital PR podcast is is the last one that I listened to you.

Unknown Speaker  1:01:22  

Yeah. And I interviewed

Unknown Speaker  1:01:25  

Ben? Yeah, a couple of weeks ago. And yeah, nice, really good interview that was coming out month after next. Cool. What's the last blog that you remember reading the project blog that made any central or other blogging?

Unknown Speaker  1:01:41  


Unknown Speaker  1:01:42  

subscribed to Elizabeth herons blog. I really love Elizabeth take on things because it's different than most other people. And so I read that every week, and she just did one yesterday. And so I read that yesterday, last last night. So that was, what was it this morning? Yeah, it was like it was last night. This is the last one. I remember reading it.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:00  

Okay. And craft these ones here. Now. You if you are giving a top tip to a seasoned PM. Who What? What would what is the one thing you you're going to say that would make the massive difference to their careers.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:19  

The way the way that people like to be motivated and inspired is different. So you have to change your style. And the way that we build teams today is different than it was. So make sure you stay relevant and learn skills that will make you successful now not 10 years ago.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:35  

Yeah. Brilliant. And the final one would take you back to

Unknown Speaker  1:02:43  

when is it? January 1998? It will December 1997. Whichever whenever the conversation was, and you're you're starting that first day in project management on the Trinity mirror group and UY today transformation project. What What do you tell Colin? What do you told you and Colin? God?

Unknown Speaker  1:03:09  

What would I tell him?

Unknown Speaker  1:03:10  

Don't get crash parties?

Unknown Speaker  1:03:16  

definitely tell him that.

Unknown Speaker  1:03:18  

Here we did. That was that's a whole other presentation. storey what would I tell him? I

Unknown Speaker  1:03:28  

you know, what would give him where I am, I wouldn't change where I am right now. Nigel. And so there's not a lot that I would tell him because it might lead me to a different position because I'm very, very happy with what I'm doing right now. And I feel like I'm making a difference, you know, got another book coming out. The project book is out in July. And and so maybe I would tell the young column to maybe start writing down some of the things that work to share them with other people. And then to rub endlessly get better at the things that you know, I don't enjoy maybe that's what I would tell him but I feel like I've done the

Unknown Speaker  1:04:05  

cornea. Well, that is everything I was gonna ask you. It's been

Unknown Speaker  1:04:13  

talked about myself ever, like ever. I'm exhausted.

Unknown Speaker  1:04:18  

And it's quite it's quite as you say, hopefully some of these other I've managed to get anyone to cry on the call yet so that's my goal. Right on the inside or Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, course. Yeah. And I do appreciate the amount of time you've given me today. It's been a really interesting and entertaining interview. If people want to get in touch with you want to look at your work I'll include some links into the the the show notes but what what what would you recommend the the best and quickest way to get older.

Unknown Speaker  1:04:55  

So LinkedIn is the easiest. So Colin with one hour Colin DL. So feel free to connect on LinkedIn and then just ping me a message and that's got my contact info my website, which is Colin You can just google me these days, which is nice that I can walk there and you know, people are trolling me. Yeah, I'll get the definitely I got a new book out in in July the project book so that will be will be marketing that so you'll see me about the place. But yeah, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, I do all of the social things.

Unknown Speaker  1:05:29  

Okay, brilliant. Well,

Unknown Speaker  1:05:32  

all I've got to say then is thank you again, and I hope you have a lovely breakfast. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Unknown Speaker  1:05:40  

Thanks, Nigel. Great store today.

Unknown Speaker  1:05:42  

Thanks, God.

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