PM-Mastery

Project Management Mastery, AI Innovations, and the Art of People Skills with Andy Kaufman

February 06, 2024 Walt Sparling
PM-Mastery
Project Management Mastery, AI Innovations, and the Art of People Skills with Andy Kaufman
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to the PM-Mastery podcast's 50th episode!

I want to thank the incredible listeners and, most definitely, the incredible guests I have been fortunate to interview!

I wanted to do a special 50th episode with a guest that could provide an incredible impact on our audience, and I was able to do it with someone who has been a mentor to me in many ways; not only in project management but also gave me the motivation to do my own thing and start this podcast! I have been following Andy and his podcast for many years, during my learning years in project management and my current passion project of the PM-Mastery podcast. 

In this episode, you will discover the keys to project management mastery with our esteemed guest, Andy Kaufman, from the People's and Projects podcast. As we celebrate our 50th episode milestone, Andy brings his wisdom from the frontlines of teaching project management and leadership. Together, we unpack the essence of adapting tools to the unique challenges project managers face and reveal how staying abreast of real-world issues through podcasting can keep you grounded and ahead of the curve.

Dive headlong into the transformative world of artificial intelligence with a twist! Hear about my comical skirmishes with an AI and the eye-opening insights from the AI Made Simple course designed to revolutionize project management. We dissect how AI isn't just about efficiency, but creativity, as it aids in crafting content from social media to course outlines, and discuss the burgeoning technologies rapidly blurring the lines between reality and AI-generated content.

Finally, we underscore the crucial people skills that are the linchpin of any project manager's success. From stories highlighting the power of platforms like LinkedIn to forge genuine professional bonds to the art of influencing and negotiating, mastering the 'people side' of project management is paramount. Sprinkled with personal anecdotes and a guide to maintaining professional growth, this episode promises to be a treasure trove for new and veteran project managers.

Links:

A couple of my favorite PPP episodes:

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Intro/Outro:

Welcome to the PM Mastery podcast. This podcast is all about helping you master your project management skills by sharing tips, tricks, tools and training to get you to the next level, while sharing the stories of other project managers on their journey in project management. Now here's your host, Walt Sparling.

Walt Sparling:

Welcome everybody to the current edition of PM Mastery. I am honored to have with me today Mr Andy Kaufman from the People's and Projects podcast. Welcome, Andy.

Andy Kaufman:

Hey, walt, I've been looking forward to this. I'm so glad you reached out.

Walt Sparling:

Well, it is great. I was trying to think what could I do for the audience? That would just be a wow for the 50th episode, which now people will know. This is the 50th episode. So I took a chance and reached out to you and you said, yes, I will do it. So it's great to have you here.

Andy Kaufman:

You know, I don't think most people appreciate how hard it is to get to episode 50. There are so many people that start with good intentions and they get started, which is hard enough, but then to get to 50, that's congratulations maybe.

Walt Sparling:

Well, I appreciate it as someone who's on what, 400?

Andy Kaufman:

396, I think 398, maybe 400 will go out this weekend. Yeah.

Walt Sparling:

Okay, yeah, I was just listening to the one that was so fitting on stress and burnout, so that's been very high on the list lately with PMs.

Andy Kaufman:

Well, especially I mean for you as well. I mean, you've got this going on. You got so many different thins going on. Anybody listening to us is at risk of, whether we realize it or not, falling into unhealthy state.

Walt Sparling:

So yeah sure, there's always some time to do one more thing, right? So?

Andy Kaufman:

true, so true.

Walt Sparling:

So, for those that may not know you which I would find hard to believe, and especially in the PM community but tell us a little bit about what you do. What's your day job, what's you? All the different things you do, because you do a lot.

Andy Kaufman:

You know, most days from a work perspective, I'm in front of a group teaching project management or teaching leadership, and so that could be a workshop of 20 or 25 people or it could be a keynote where it's got many more people in it, but the topics are typically related to how do you deliver or how do you lead teams to deliver, and so that's the vast majority of it, and the podcast is part of that. I'd say, walt, to be perfectly honest and you know this, not that you're into episode 50, that you can learn so much from other people that you can kind of funnel that into other areas as well. So a lot of our workshops have been significantly impacted by hosting the podcast, and so that's definitely a labor of love. And we've been building e-learning courses and do a little bit of coaching. I've had over 300 executive coaching clients, but I find that my all those have the benefits Like. The benefits of a keynote is you can try to reach a lot of people, but you can only go so deep. The benefit of a workshop is it's kind of hard to run, because if someone asks a question, you know yeah, so it keeps things practical and humbling and one on one, you know, it really keeps me close to what's going on. So that combination of things helps me try to stay out of the realm of theory and in the realm of what are real people struggling with, on real problems, with real, you know, companies and clients and things like that. So I am convinced I have the best job in the world.

Walt Sparling:

Walt for sure that is. That's great and you're so accurate on the learning. So in the 50, I think probably 40, some of those were interviews and the other were some book reviews and things like that. Even in the book reviews talking the authors learning so much ideas that I've taken away from these interviews and tools that I've heard about and go. You know that's about the fourth time I've heard that. One or fifth time I'm going to go check it out.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah right, isn't that the truth? Actually, that's how I often pursue authors for the People and Projects podcast to be like what am I hearing people say, man, this really helped me, and go well, it's probably an author we ought to reach out to, because, you know, there's no shortage of books, right, there's no shortage of ideas, but which ones seem to be really helping people? And so, like you say, if somebody's like, yeah, this tool has really been helpful, it's like oh, we probably ought to investigate that tool. Yeah, yeah, so it's. I wouldn't say that it's totally taken any pressure off to come up with new ideas, but in some ways it has. Well, it's because there's so many good ideas out there. It's how can we find ways to package it so that people can use it? I mean I. It cracks me up sometimes when people in my line of work have a quote and then put their name under it or they want a trademark or phrase and like there is something to Solomon's idea. There's nothing new under the sun. I mean there's. There's a lot of these ideas that it doesn't need my name under it to be powerful. You know it's just how can we package it in such a way that people can can say now I know how to use that, because too much of what you and I do comes off as theory and people are like well, I just I've never worked here, so that's the fun thing, I think.

Walt Sparling:

Yet tools is a great example of that. One of my favorite things is to customize and optimize tools. So someone will write an Excel spreadsheet and then I'll spend years fine-tuning that thing to make it the best ever. But I've tried out a lot of project management software and some people swear by the one they use, but others will get in, and there's two things about that package I cannot stand. And it doesn't do this for me. You think, well, if they had that and added it, it'd be perfect. Well, then someone else said, well, it doesn't do this for me. So there are so many.

Andy Kaufman:

I always feel like if you don't hit your project management software at least a little bit, you don't know it well enough, and the reason is you're trying to model reality in a tool. And how do you truly model reality? It's really difficult to do so. You swear by it, I think you said, or you swear at it.

Walt Sparling:

That's kind of how people say it, say a little about it, yeah.

Andy Kaufman:

But my dad has a bricklayer as that's growing up, and one of the phrases would be a fool the tool is still a fool. The tool is not going to be the answer for project management. You could roll out a multi-million dollar enterprise-wide project management system and if people don't know how to use it, or if people don't use it, it's only going to be of so much value.

Walt Sparling:

That's probably the worst not using it.

Andy Kaufman:

The tool is rarely the answer.

Walt Sparling:

The good PM will figure out a way to make it work for them, if that's all they have.

Andy Kaufman:

That's right. That's a great way of saying it. Well, that's exactly it.

Walt Sparling:

So you do a lot of teaching, you do the podcast, you do coaching and you do a weekly lead 52 email, which I get and love, especially the Friday follow-up. A lot of times I'll wait and read the follow-up Friday follow-up for the original.

Andy Kaufman:

That's interesting. This started a couple of years ago, but the thought was people are just their inboxes are out of control, and so what's a way to, in a short message, get a leadership idea across, get people thinking about it over the week and I enjoy hearing back from people of what they're. Usually it's a question or two or three in the Monday, one and then Friday tries to include some comments from people, and it's another example of I learn from people that when they're responding to them or I think of the problem in a way that I hadn't thought about it before. So it's the idea of the lead 52. It's about leadership and there's 52 of them a year. Technically there's 104, like you said at the follow-up, but there's the 52 leadership lessons for free, so that's not a bad deal.

Walt Sparling:

No, it's not. I appreciate every penny I spend on it.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah, exactly, in fact I could double your price there in your studio, exactly.

Walt Sparling:

So obviously you've got some great podcast. I haven't listened to all 300 or 400 coming up now, but I've listened to quite a few and the one that stands out was a few months back and it was the AI, where you created an actual interview with an AI and I'm going to put a link to that specific episode in the show notes for people to listen to. But it's incredible, and I did notice that you have a course for PMs about AI. Can you tell us a little bit about what that is?

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah, let me give you a little bit of the backstory first, and that is that, generally speaking and this isn't just other people, it's me too it's easy to be about. It's easier to be afraid about things we don't know as well, right, and so I think AI is one of those disruptive things that it's very easy for people to feel like is this going to replace me, is this going to make me less relevant? And everyone listening to us knows that the hardest part of project management is not the gantt chart, it's the people interaction, the stakeholder management and our two D2s not going to be doing that anytime soon. So we've got a runway here, but I personally wanted to go all in, and so in 2023, I just went all in. It's like I want to learn this, so to the point where I'm using it on a daily basis and not just in a generic way. How does it relate to project managers? Because you know what I see? Well, I see see this on LinkedIn 35 prompts for project managers, and if you actually tried those prompts as is in a tool like chat, gpt or barred, or Microsoft co-pilot or Claude, if you actually tried those prompts you'd get, it would be meaningless because it doesn't have the context of the organization, it doesn't have the context of the project, and so I wanted to go into a lot more detail, and my friend, karen Bondale, just recently went through this. Ai made simple that's the name of the course, and he goes. I took PMI's free class in general AI, which, by the way, I recommend people do it. I am in the process of taking that. Yeah, and he goes, he goes. It was good because that's just an appetizer. Ai, made simple, is the meal for project managers. So that that that made me feel very happy because I, I think it's one thing to know about AI, but the whole goal of this course is hands-on experimentation. Uh, here, you know, there's, there's exercises and there's discussions, like you know, somebody will do an exercise and they'll leave a discussion point. I respond back. So it's, it's almost like we go through it together and you know, I, I, it's, to me it's ridiculously cheap because of of the teaching you get out of it. But I didn't want price to be the issue. I didn't want price to be the you know why they, somebody doesn't do it and it's a rare student that goes through it who doesn't say something like Now I get it, now I see, now I've got a vision, now I feel more confident. One guy said I Was the team skeptic about AI goes. Now it would be the go-to person AI, which made me very happy. So to me, it's not the brilliance of the course, it is when we're willing to actually open our mind to try something and experiment with it. And then you know, then, all of a sudden you know you're not following my instruction. You're like, oh, here's how it would work. At my god, here's how, like, you use it for some for your social media. So right, so now I see how I can use it for that. So it's it can. It can be applied regardless what someone's title is, but there is A lot of focus on people who are leading teams and projects around the class and that's where I want to kind of really focus on it, because that's kind of what that's my job, that's mine, my passion.

Walt Sparling:

And I have a friend of mine who's a software developer and he has a couple apps on his phone and he was showing me some of the stuff that he does with his and I'm just like, wow, that is incredible. So Sunday this actually Sunday I sat down cup of coffee on the couch, yeah, and I'm taking an AI course for blog writing, yeah, yeah, and I'm watching. I watched a few videos on YouTube and then I installed an app and started playing with the app and in the course of I don't know two hours and the final result took me about 20 minutes to create ideas for social media posts, a Course outline, that are for something I've been thinking about doing. I mean just amazing stuff, and I'm like I've been beating my head against the wall for so long in here and it just motivated me. So now 2024 is gonna be a whole new year, so I'm definitely gonna get this class.

Andy Kaufman:

I'm so happy for you because it it lit. What you just said. There is literally it. You got to sit down at the cup of coffee and you just got to say I'm just gonna just experiment. And you know, stay open minded to it. And you know, in the course we actually we don't take a stand on you know is, you know predicting what the future is gonna look like. You know, because anybody who says they know what's gonna happen in the future with this, they're just making up stories. No one really knows. Things have moved so fast but you don't really know what something's good at and what it's not good at if you don't experiment. So you've done enough experiment. You know there's some stuff that comes back from you like well, that's not my voice, so that's not how we would do it. But then you know how to tailor it and so it's, you know it's. I know a guy who, when you're not recording this, it would have been the equivalent of yesterday. He had to put together a proposal of a major international Standing up, a new international sales organization for a company, and he goes what do you think I should do? I'm like, I gave him some background on it and he's he's able to present a proposal tomorrow that looks like he spent weeks on it and he doesn't take it exactly out of system. It's just a way to generate ideas and to give them, you know, to keep refining, refining. So the the, the model that this particular course it's called AI made simple. The model that it uses, or the metaphor, is this is your assistant. It's not your replacements, not a project manager, it's your. It's your assistant. You just got a free assistant. Or if you pay the $20 a month for some premium version, but you know you want to hire an assistant for $20 a month, good luck, right, but but man, you know it's. It's, truly is an assistant to help you get more done in less time.

Walt Sparling:

Yeah, the brainstorming aspect of it. It's like I can feed it some information, give it some context and then, boom, it throws back all this data at me. You know, wow now I have all these ideas, I can start building on.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah, refine it, and sometimes I'll use it for like podcast episode titles. You know that. You know you don't want to make it sound clickbaity, but you also want it to sound like, oh, that might be an interesting episode to listen to, but it has to be honest to what the episode is, you know. And and so it's For grammar checking, although there's maybe tools that are better for that, but there's. There's all kinds of ways. On the focus of a I made simple is everyday use cases. So not not like a lot of stuff you read about in project management I'm like, oh, it's gonna do all this and maybe someday, but it's not doing that today. It's not doing that today, but what it can help us do are these things. So one of my favorite from project managers use cases is risk identification. So I mean, with all kinds of techniques we can use for risk identification, but what if you gave it the context on your project and said, by the way, identify based on this information? In fact, typically the way I write the prompt, without going into all the details of it, is I'll give it as much background about the project as I think is possible, reasonable, and then just say I want you to identify 20 risks and, for each risk, identify what the risk is and what a potential consequence is, and take your best guess at what the probability is and the impact. Go one to 10, where 10 is the highest, and then multiply those two together to give me a score, sort of descending in a table, and ask before you do this, ask me any questions about the project, wait for me to respond and then do the analysis. Right, so that is clearly not something you type into Google, right?

Intro/Outro:

No.

Andy Kaufman:

I mean that is like paragraphs and paragraphs, but I never take it as is. But usually what people tell me when they do that exercise is it came up with some risks that they're like huh, I don't know if I would have thought of that, or at least we hadn't thought of that yet. And also, by the way, I'll say in that one, include a column in the table for potential mitigation strategies. Yes, and there's only so much that it knows. So you don't just take it as is, but, like you were saying, it's a sounding board, it's a first draft, you know.

Walt Sparling:

So that's a super practical. That is a fantastic example, because if there's one thing I see PM struggle with is risk creating a risk register, and there's the five or six that are common to every project and it's like, okay, well, what other things are going on in here? This is a renovation or this is a ground up? You're gonna have different risks associated with that, and that, right there, I think, would really expand someone's thoughts. Wow, I didn't even think about that. Like you said, that's a great one to add on there. Yeah, yeah, minimize the surprises that you get.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah, and there's gonna be a day when databases of our past projects and other planning information or the current project can all be included in that. It's not there. There's only one tool I know that is trying to do that and I'm interviewing them in about two weeks and they're pretty far down the path. But it's gonna be more and more where it's that. But for now these tools only know what you give them, right, and so you gotta give them a lot, and if they do, the more you give it, it is literally the garbage in, garbage out. The more generic you give it, the more generic the answer you're gonna get out of it. So it's been fun.

Walt Sparling:

There's so many videos out there now. That is on prompting, the perfect prompt. Like you said, they give you these 30 prompts, but there's a whole process to it. You give them the, you tell them about what you're looking for, you give them some details of it, some background and, like you said, when I was doing stuff the other day, I looked for SEO keywords and then I went down and I started. I had like five other questions and then I said, oh, and based on, I said it create a game for project managers. So it did that, and then, like five or six questions later, I go and go back to the game that I asked about earlier and give me some, and I forgot what it was. Another oh, give me a series of blog posts based on that game. And it did it just went right back up and boom. This is fantastic.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah, it's like an assistant that is never lazy, never has a bad morning and always in a good mood for the most part, although this is early in. On Bing chat, before his more rebranded Microsoft co-pilot, I asked it to summarize an article and include some key quotes from it. And I double checked it and the quotes weren't in the article. I mean, the quotes were related to the article but they weren't in the article. So I confronted Bing chat and I said those quotes aren't in the article and they're like oh, I'm so sorry, I hear the actual quotes. I double check those. Those weren't in the article so I'm like those aren't either. They go, yes, they are, and I'm like no, they're not. It wasn't willing to back down and so I just thought that was kind of funny. I first argument with AI, so, but I don't know.

Walt Sparling:

Yeah, ai is just, oh, it's everywhere and I, just with Friday night I think, I watched a movie the Creator.

Andy Kaufman:

And it's based on I've not seen that, but I've heard about it, yeah.

Walt Sparling:

It's based on AI.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah, I thought that looked like a interesting thing. So when I interviewed Pamela so Pamela, pm for project management, a small E, capital, l for leadership and an A I didn't have that movie in mind because I but what I wanted to do was say, could I have a conversation with an AI? That would actually be reasonably interesting. So what kind of questions would I want to ask, or what I want to ask it and without me knowing what the answers were, could I follow up and have it respond and just see what it would be like and then take the text of the interview and put it into a voice generator and start to personify an AI called Pamela that specializes in project management, leadership. So it was definitely a fun experiment. And then a couple of episodes later gave her we'll call it a her the reigns to interview another AI. That was there. I just thought who's a leader from the past that we won't insult or anything like that, and so I just said she's gonna interview Abraham Lincoln, and then the entire interview was automated AI. I did not intervene at all. She asked the question, he responded, she followed up on that, he responded and it was all. Ai, it was, it was.

Walt Sparling:

That one I have not listened to yet. I remember the ads for it but I have not. I gotta go back and listen to that Because now what I know, what I've seen, and I love the voice part of it, it just being able to ask questions and have it talk back it just seems so much more real when it actually speaks to you.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah yeah, which maybe it's creepy to some people, you know, and I don't know, you know, but I just wanted to experiment with it. So we've got a lot of experimenting going on with some video stuff right now and I just audio for sure. I added a audio lesson to the class two days ago and it sounds like me, but it's not me. I modeled my voice in 11 labs and if somebody knows me really well, like if they just listened to this interview, they would know it's not me. But it's close enough that if they don't know better. So at the end of the short video it goes by the way, this audio is all AI generated, could you tell? Yeah, something like that. So it's fun to experiment.

Walt Sparling:

Yeah, I saw. I know the deep fakes and all that that's out there. I saw an ad today on it was a spoof but on YouTube With a famous TV actress doing a car ad for a Mercedes that was all powered by AA batteries and everything about it was fake, but you can tell it was fake but it looked so close to being real.

Andy Kaufman:

And it's just gonna get better. Here's why I think this is still not a terrible thing is, we should always be skeptical of what we see in here, and so it'll just be more important than ever to just be well. I know that sounds like that's what they said, but let's just, let's just have a good skeptical eye. I think that's probably a good, healthy thing.

Walt Sparling:

Now I don't remember any copyright notices on your Pamela podcast because, trust me, I'm interested in trying something like that. I think that would be cool to throw some questions. That kind of create a normal like a co-host.

Andy Kaufman:

Well, here's the deal. If you want to interview Pamela for an upcoming episode, you just let me know, and what we'll do is we will make that happen. Oh, I love that too, absolutely, yeah, yeah, that'd be fun, that would be a great thing, absolutely.

Walt Sparling:

All right. So AI was definitely a big topic, which is good, because that's what's in the news and on LinkedIn and on YouTube like crazy right now. Yeah, let's see Trying to think of some other things. What if you have some advice for PMs for 2024, maybe one nugget, two? If you got it, what would be your advice?

Andy Kaufman:

You know, I mean certainly I'd be remiss if I didn't mention AI. As far as make it a year, if you didn't make 2023 of the year that you dove in, make 2024 of the year that you dive in, just because it's not simply to reduce any fear. Yeah, because I don't think people are. I don't think most project managers are sitting around and losing sleep over it yet, but it's one of those things where there's just so much help that's available to you. But I think the thing that I see I mean I teach organizations as big as like we run project management courses for the United Nations, so as big as the UN and as small as 15 people companies so we get to see it all. We get to see cross industries and organizational cultures and the one common pattern that we see across all of them and it's not gonna be different in 2024, I'll go on a limb and I think it's maybe always been that way is it's usually not the technical aspects of project management that is the struggle. It's the people side of project management that is the struggle. So I would say that increasingly it would be helpful for all of us, like here's, I think it's fair to say most people listening to us will understand that project management is not a title. Project manager is not a title. Everyone's a project manager. Now, everyone's a project manager. It doesn't matter your title is we have to hit due dates. What I think is less obvious to people sometimes is we're all salespeople, we're all consultants. And I grew up as a software developer, walt, so if you had told me I was a salesperson, I would have to go take a shower. You know, like I don't wanna be a salesperson. They're the people that make promises you can't keep. But consultants there was just the people that were charging too much, and you know, you know there's that. But if I think increasingly understanding that it's not just your technical project management skills, I keep getting better at that. But how do you develop your influencing skills? How do you really get better at influencing and negotiating and dealing with conflict, and those are the things that automation and AI and robotics. It's gonna take a lot longer for them to be able to get convincingly good at. And the truth is, even if this wasn't a subject area like what we just spent most of our time talking about, it's still something we need to focus on. I think too many people don't think of themselves as a salesperson, and what I mean mostly by that is because I think sometimes our mental model of what a salesperson is is slimy, slippery, trying to get people to buy stuff that, like a car dealer or Mercedes car dealer, it's that's the right. Salespeople are like what's the need and can we help meet the need? And if not, then it doesn't make sense or it's. And if we can get better at trying to understand what are the elements of influence and what are the elements of a true? The best consultants, the best consultants understand, try to get a good understanding of what is the problem and how can we put together a plan to address those problems and to work with you and collaborate. And so I don't think that's new in 2024. And I don't think that was new maybe in 2014.

Walt Sparling:

You know, I don't know, I think that's just, and I think it's.

Andy Kaufman:

If you look at a lot of textbooks on project management, they're getting into the subtleties of estimating techniques that no one's really using in the real world and no one's not a true statement. It's very few you know. They're talking about techniques that maybe if you're a defense contractor, you're doing those things. But for most of us, where we are spending most of our day to day, there's some basic project management stuff we need to get to know and then from there it's developing our people skills, our stakeholder management skills, the relationship building skills I suppose related to some of that might be like. You seem to be a lot more active on LinkedIn, for example, and I think project managers would benefit from that, from a relationship building. I'm amazed at how much learning is available you know through the discussions on LinkedIn. You know, I think crazy, and I'm not talking about LinkedIn learning, which is fine, that's a whole other thing, right there. Yeah, but just the interaction of like oh man, walt's comment was very insightful, or you know, just the give and take. It is free learning, although it's time, and so that's something we have to balance.

Walt Sparling:

Yeah, but the networking aspect of that and the information that's shared is sometimes there's some fantastic nuggets out there and I follow a lot of. I think last year, probably towards the middle of the previous year is when I started really getting up and I've been on LinkedIn for 20 years and it was just recently that I started following more and getting connected and putting myself out there and amazing the number of the connections that I've made. I have a trainer I don't know if you may have heard of him, joseph Phillips. He's a phenomenal guy and I took one of his classes when I went for my PMP and then I joined one of his Facebook groups and we were chatting one day about something in messaging and found out we're both into bourbon and cigars. And last week I've been talking to him now for two years. Always we're gonna get together. Always we're gonna get together. Earlier this year he was playing golf with a guy who happens to be a super good friend of mine, didn't even know it, they were talking and he said oh yeah, I know a guy who's got a PMP up in Tampa, walt Sparling, and he goes, walt Sparling. And so the three of us got together last week for cigars and whiskey and dinner and it was fantastic. After two years, you never know the relationships that you're gonna build through, starting out with social media.

Andy Kaufman:

Yeah, yeah it's. I mean, there's so many stories we could talk about. But it's one of those things where I think, if I was listening to us, an earlier version of me would just say it's neat idea, I totally get it, guys, but I don't have time to take lunch, or so it feels, and so you can come up with whatever your strategy is. But there's all that time people go, you go from stalker to follower to liker to commenter. So even if you just start just kind of checking people out and start liking some things and start adding some comments, you don't need it to be a poster yet, you just look to develop it. I had longer ago stopped worrying about follower accounts and stuff like that or the typical social media metrics, because to me it just doesn't really matter. That's not my job. Most of what we do is just the workshops and the keynotes and that's. But I will say it certainly has led the business, but it's more like how do we start discussions? Like how do we start discussions and join discussions and then you can start discussions. That's, that'd be a good focus.

Walt Sparling:

Love it. So you're a busy guy and I know you're probably trying to enjoy your holiday week. So I have one more question for you, and I hope you're prepared for this, because you can't leave until you answer Every episode. We do it. Did you know some fact that you can throw out that someone may or may not know about, but is you find interesting and maybe some of the audience would so? Do you have it? Did you know?

Andy Kaufman:

You know, I suppose my everyone is a salesperson was the my did you know? But you know, I would say that, when it comes to being effective from a project, major perspective, man, we've talked about LinkedIn, that's something. How about this? Let's go with this one. I make a living where I'm in front of audiences 150 to 200 times a year. Now, okay, and that may sound like a lot, that may sound like a little, but here's what you don't know Is there was a point in my career that if I had to stand in front of a group of 10 people that I would have been so freaked out that I would have had trouble sleeping the night before. And so how do I go from that guy who would melt and be freaked out and wanna puke before speaking to now thinking he has the best job in the world, like we talked about before, and it wasn't overnight for sure. But here's the did you know? I'd like you to consider is I think a lot of times we tell ourselves I'm just not good at presentations, or I'm just not good at negotiating, or I'm bad at math, or I'm, you know, fill in the blank. And there are probably cases where those are genuinely true in certain circumstances, but so many of them end up being self-limiting beliefs and, at the risk of making it sound woo, woo, I'm not well. All I would say is, if somebody in the year had really wants to get better at something, most of it is skill-based. You know, most of it is skill-based, and if you're willing to do the work, it could be that the thing that you'd really like to be able to do. You know there's a lot of people that feel like they have the golden handcuffs at work, like I can't well, I could never, you know, start my own podcast, right? You thought that for a while, probably. You know, there's probably all kinds of things you're toying with for the new year. Like, ah, I could do that, but you've learned that, well, wait a minute, I can spend the time sitting with a cup of coffee and learning this. And what I think a lot of people don't realize is this is gonna sound way too much like a cheesy motivational speech, so forgive me that if you really want it, all you have to do is kind of figure out where can I learn about it? And the opportunities to learn have never been greater now. And so I think, regardless of what it is. You know it's saying all right, who does this? How can I follow? How can I learn more from them? You know it's, I'm telling you from the guy who couldn't sleep the night before a presentation to. I'm doing it almost every day now. It's totally possible. It is totally possible.

Walt Sparling:

One of the things that's on my list. Speaking of that is, I feel pretty comfortable talking to audiences. Obviously, here I talk to a lot of people, but in front of so one of my goals this year I've already set it up with a friend is joining Toastmasters so that I can get even better at speaking to large groups of people. Ah yeah, it's a great program. You gotta put yourself out there.

Andy Kaufman:

It's one of the best programs because it's a totally psychologically safe environment. Everyone else is in the same boat. For a while, I was in a Toastmasters group that everyone in the group was a professional speaker as well, and that really set the bar in pretty unique ways. But I took stuff away from that. That. I mean, that was more than 15 years ago and I'm still using those ideas now today, so it's a great program.

Walt Sparling:

Well, andy, I just wanna thank you again for coming on. This was an honor to have you on here and I'll put together some show notes, put some links to some of your podcasts, your services, your classes, definitely going to press that AI and get signed up for that one myself, the AI class. So I look forward to having more conversations with you down the road and I will reach out to you about that interview with Pamela. Absolutely, yeah, that sounds exciting.

Andy Kaufman:

I bet she's pretty darn excited about it too.

Walt Sparling:

Oh, I'm sure You'll have to ask her about if she's heard of the PM Mastery podcast.

Andy Kaufman:

I'll have to, although with hallucinations you never know. Is she just flattery or does she really know? Yeah, so that's funny, yeah.

Walt Sparling:

All right well, and I wanna thank everyone else for listening to the current episode of PM Mastery. Thanks, andy.

Intro/Outro:

Thank you all. Thanks for listening to the PM Mastery podcast at wwwpm-masterycom. Be sure to subscribe in your podcast there. Until next time, keep working on your products.

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