The Courage of Your Convictions

I’ve just crossed the one-year mark of my post-corporate journey– one that started with a decision to STOP doing something, without fully mapping out what I would START. It was a profound personal epiphany, and it also left me jobless.

I was burned out, for sure, but mostly frustrated by the desire to contribute in a larger way. My demons of self-doubt had finally given way to new voices in my head:

"Hear Me Now and Believe Me Later!"

“I actually know what I’m talking about. My approach delivers successful initiatives. You might not want to listen, but… (now in Hans & Franz voice): Hear me now and believe me later!”

But how to position myself to be able to do my thing? Well, first I’d have to position myself as something. I networked with anyone and everyone who wanted to have a conversation and share ideas. Soon enough, I could see the value of authoring a book to develop a platform of credibility.

I hit the keyboard, and it tumbled out of me, both parts marketing strategy and catharsis. For two months solid, what poured out in ten hour days became The Project Whisperer: Understanding the Human Part of the Gantt Chart.  It was hard work, but it wasn’t hard. These were the contents of my head, now on paper.  My 90-page business card. My manifesto. Out there for the world to see.

The book did its job. It gave me leverage for media interviews, speaking opportunities, and a growing presence on social media. And finally, paying clients.

And here I am now, as a consultant, brought in to advise a large program that is trying to find its way. It’s not only plagued by some of the pitfalls covered in my book—it’s plagued by ALL of them. As if the universe is saying “OK, girl. Let’s see whatcha got.”

I’m gratified to report from the front lines that I’m eating my own dogfood, so to speak, in full Project Whisperer mode– treating people with dignity and respect, getting them what they need to thrive, and operating authentically. I can see no other way. And I can see it working.

There’s nothing more scary—or more gratifying—than subjecting oneself to public judgment, and having the courage of your convictions to push through resistance because you finally have the confidence to put it out there.

So what are your convictions? What do you just KNOW would make your project more successful, or your workplace more productive, or your working environment a place where more people could thrive? I know that you have the ideas, and probably even the experience to back them up. What’s holding you back? Typically it’s fear– of losing your job, of being ridiculed, or of trying something and failing.

I’m not crusading for everyone to throw caution to the wind, but I hope there’s someone who will read this and a spark will ignite. I’m here to tell you that you can do it. Take that chance. Write your book, or start your blog, or introduce new leadership techniques into your organization. Your time is now.


HOT TIP: If want to write a book, check out a great new resource from Peter Taylor, a fellow PM crusader who has appeared on my show “PDU For Lunch”. PM Published  has been put together to help you get published, not an easy task these days. Who knows, you may well just have the idea for the next number 1 business book! Peter is working with a group named Infinite Ideas to develop more titles in the Project Management sector. So, if you’ve written or are considering writing a book, get in touch now though – at the very least you can download a free eBook called ‘Get Published’ written by Infinite Ideas.


2 responses to “The Courage of Your Convictions

  1. Nice post Pam, although not related to project management, but it’s nice that you are sharing your experience on going solo with the rest of the world.

  2. PM Hut… glad you enjoyed the post. I guess I didn’t convey my point completely. It IS about project management. So many project managers know in their guts that there’s a better way to get things done– and with the “courage of their convictions”, they can break through to lead in very effective ways. The back-story about my solo adventure was really meant as the context for this life-changing realization.

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