At Box of Crayons our goal is to help organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. So our focus is on the people and teams within these organizations. But sometimes, Great Work isn’t to be found for you with the walls of a company. If you’re one of those people, if you need to get out – then Pam Slim is the woman for you. Her book Escape from Cubicle Nation had its roots in an impassioned plea to organizations to let people do Great Work – or let them go free. Guy Kawasaki liked it so much he re-blogged it, and Pam’s path became clear. In our interview we talk about: What Jack Welch sees as the biggest trend in corporations now – and why that matters The story of John the baseball player (and his parents), and how his journey is one we can all learn from The role of evangelism in finding your Great Work Why prototyping can be the difference between success and failure
Here’s a confession. I want to be able to think like Merlin Mann.
He’s really smart on the topic of productivity, and in fact some part of his success comes from 43Folders.com which is a reference to David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. But his work is not just about productivity. It’s about creativity and purpose and striving to stay human and sane in a busy and distracting world and doing work that matters, doing Great Work. And he does all of this in funny, provocative, iconoclastic way.
In fact, writing this introduction and listening to the interview again has already provoked me to shift some of my own commitments in an effort to, as he puts it, “identify and destroy small return bullshit. Shut off anything that’s noisier than it is useful.” Great stuff indeed, and this is a wise and funny interview.
In our conversation we talk about:
* How the present is a “remedial course for the future” – and the pros and cons of those ‘creation myth’ stories of where people find clues for their Great Work * The importance of an open heart and just where that might lead you * The connection between productivity and creativity * The two levels of prioritization (and how freeing it is to know that) * And quite a bit more
You can follow Merlin on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hotdogsladies
The interviews are all between 25 and 30 minutes long. You can either download them here as mp3s, or go to iTunes, type in “Great Work Interviews” and you’ll see them all there.
Gretchen Rubin’s new book, ‘The Happiness Project‘, has been out for just two weeks and is already making a splash. It tells her story of spending a year testing strategies to be happier. It’s not that her life was bad beforehand – it wasn’t, and she was living a perfectly fine life in New York with her husband and young child. But she was curious about what it really took to be happy, and spend a year experimenting and blogging and writing about her journey. In this interview we discuss: How to convert the theory of happiness to the practices of happiness. Whether novelty and challenge adds – or reduces – happiness. The paradox of why things that increase your happiness don’t always make you happy. The happiness strategy that Gretchen was most skeptical about – and what she ended up discovering.