It's a Project Manager's World Newsletter with Dr. James Brown
      June 2009 Full Moon Edition      

Book Review

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity, Hugh MacLeod

This book is currently ranked number 1 on Amazon's list of best selling leadership books.  It contains some valuable universal truths presented in an interesting way. I would classify it at as a "Leadership Lite" book worthy of downloading to your Kindle or stashed in your briefcase to be read on an airplane. (See my one big reservation about this book at the end of this review before you purchase)

I love "fun to read" leadership books versus the "utilitarian", "old fogy" "Harvard Business Review" style and this book is fun to read. I still read the utilitarian books...I just suffer through them. What makes this book good is the stories to illustrate points are the author's own.

Here are my top eight takeaways from Ignore Everybody.

1. The more original your idea is, the less good advice people will be able to give you.

2. Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships that is why good ideas are always initially resisted.

3. Your idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing.

4. The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.

5. Being good at anything is like figure skating - the definition of being good at it is being able to make it look easy. But it never is easy. Ever. That is what the stupidly wrong people conveniently forget.

6. Your job is probably worth 50 percent of what it was in real terms ten years ago. And who knows? It may very well not exist in five to ten years...Stop worrying about technology. Start worrying about people who trust you.

7. Part of being a master is learning to sing in nobody else's voice but your own...Put your whole self into it, and you will find your true voice. Hold back and you won't. Its that simple.

8. The biggest mistake young people make is underestimating how competitive the world is out there.

Point Number 6 is Profound!

I think point number 6 (Stop worrying about technology. Start worrying about people who trust you) is worthy of further discussion.  In today’s woeful economy or tomorrow's boom or bust economy your relationships matter more than your technological expertise.  It won’t matter how many certifications you have to your name if you lose your job, or your company goes out of business… the starting point to recovery (or going to the next level) is your relationships. 

Relationship Building is Risk Management for Your Career

This is why I recommend everyone should not only be a member of professional organizations but play an active role in them.  Professional organizations are diverse communities that will exist in good times and bad.  Relationships developed there will serve you well throughout the normal ups and downs of your career. 

Your career might always be up and you may never need these relationships but just like in project management, bad things sometimes happen to good people.  Fostering relationships in professional organizations is good risk management and in the majority of cases you get more out of it than what you put into it. By the way, relationship building is more than having 500+ contacts in LinkedIn.

I recommend this book with one big reservation.

The captions in the cartoons are racy to say the least and not suited for the corporate environment or youthful readers. If the racy cartoons were toned down or removed I would have immediately sent a copy of this book to all of my clients.  So my clients will have to choose to buy this book themselves knowing that some of the content is rated R.

Dr. James T. Brown PE PMP CSP Copyright 2009 SEBA Solutions Inc.,

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