I love people who tell me something won't work... or that I'm wrong... or (my personal favorite) tell me I'm crazy for bringing it up. It makes trying all that more enjoyable and proving them wrong all the sweeter. Of course, I'm not a do-the-I'm-right-you're-wrong-in-your-face-dance kind of guy. I prefer more of a quiet waltz past the finish line.
But I digress.
As you may have guessed by some of my posts, I generally don't categorize myself as just a professor or a consultant any longer. I'm the "Carpe Factum" dude. I like to help people chart out the accomplishments for their future. What can they become if they put their minds to it? The hard part is never getting them there; it's getting them to envision what "there" looks like. Ask any project manager who knows his or her stuff. They'll tell you that a successful project will expend far more energy during initiation and planning. Just defining a direction is tough.
Based on the Doctorow quote above, what have been your greatest successes in helping others (or yourself) define the next course of action? How do you deal with the derisionaries - those naysayers who say it can't be done?