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Have You Hugged Your Project Today?

Completecalvinhobbes I just finished re-reading Steve Farber's book, Radical Leap, in anticipation of starting his latest creation (Radical Edge).  Granted, business fables are not for everyone.  Mr. Farber and I share a skeptic's view of the majority of business fables on the market.  However, Steve captured my attention and my admiration with Radical Leap.  It has a sense of realism and application that is rare, with a biting sense of humor that I find refreshing.  The LEAP in Radical Leap is an acronym, standing for Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof.  In his own words:

Here’s the way I’d put it: Love generates Energy, inspires Audacity, and requires Proof.”  (Radical Leap, p. 251)

So here's the question of the day:  Do you love your project?  What about your project team?  Your business customers?  No?  I'm not surprised.  Given the Standish Group's CHAOS failure statistics (two-thirds of our projects still fall short of the mark) and the Herman Group's retention stats that around 70% of workers are looking for other jobs, that's one big gaping hole in the love department.  Before you accuse me of getting all touchy-feely on you (a term to which Farber is also senstive), just think about it:  what projects have you worked on that push your passion buttons?  What projects have made you excited to get out of bed in the morning because you knew that you were the point person for changing the world (or at least your corner of it)?  I've been lucky enough to work on a couple of projects like that.  My current project is definitely up there on the love scale as well.

I'll talk about the other three elements of LEAP in a future post (at least as they apply to project management), as well as a review on Farber's new book, but for now, I just wanted to leave you with the question:  Do you love your project?

Footnote:  Farber does not explicitly state this in his writings, but the implication is still there:  the opposite of love is not hate (contrary to popular belief).  Hate also inspires passion and takes energy.  The implication is that you still care, but you're on the other side of the fence.  The opposite of love is apathy.  Apathy does not inspire energy.  "I don't care" are three of the most dangerous words we can speak, to ourselves, to our project teams, to our families, and to our friends.  My branding buddy, Mike Wagner, always reminds his audience to be loved or be hated, but if you're in the apathetic middle, that's when you're screwed.  If you are a zombie merely getting up in the morning, and you dread going to just one more meeting, and you meagerly sign off every deliverable without even looking at it because you don't think anything you do makes a difference... then read Radical Leap.  It will be a good investment of your time, energy, and life.

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Steve Farber

Brilliant point, Tim: the opposite of love is apathy--especially at work. An apathetic person on a team can suck the energy out of a project faster than you can blink.


Thanks, Steve. I've worked with the apathetic zombie, and I've been the apathetic zombie. Neither is enjoyable. The passion you bring to your writing is truly infectious, and inspires the reader to reach beyond the apathetic status quo. It's just the "WUP" on the side of the head most people need.

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