Do Great Work. 

What does that really mean? 

Dr. Amanda Crowell calls it work that matters the most to you. 

I believe it is also about doing work that will matter to others.  


Crowell says it might involve building a business, inciting a movement, creating breathtaking art, writing world-changing books, or helping other people to heal and grow into their potential. 

She also says what matters most is to get YOUR Great Work out into the world, where it belongs.

It is vital you Show UP, but first you need to sign up and suit up.

You must have the right mindset and then you have to do the work needed!  


According to Amanda Crowell’s website, there are 3 steps we can all follow to do our Great Work:

  1. Read Great Work
    • “Great Work is 50% insight, 50% on-the-ground tactics. I’ll help you figure out what your Great Work is, and then help you do it without overwhelm or sacrifice.”
  2. Master the Strategies
    • “Nothing changes if nothing changes. But, change how you spend the days and moments of your life and watch your life transform.”
  3. Leave a Legacy
    • “Great Work isn’t about productivity hacking. It’s a way of life.  From your commitment to Great Work, you will leave the world a little better than you found it. And you’ll love doing it.”

Dr. Crowell was on #ShowUP with GailNow LIVE recently and we definitely agreed on the power of showing up to do … Great Work! 


Crowell is a cognitive psychologist.  “I study and think about how people learn. So how do we go from people who don’t know things …to people who do know how to do those things? Like what is required? How do you have to change? Who do you need to know? What are the skills? So that’s been my area of expertise for a very long time, decades.”

And I became a coach about 10 years ago, when I realized that a lot of these cognitive skills, particularly the kind that we use in schools, could be applied to help people do what they most wanted to do. So depending on the person that could start a business, it could finally begin to write their book or start painting again, or, get into a different kind of career. “

And it doesn’t mean diving into “hustle culture”. 

“The problem comes when hustle is the rule instead of the exception to the rule. Great work is usually work that involves creativity, innovation, problem-solving, collaboration.  All of those skills are 21st century skills, those are the skills of the innovation economy.  If you don’t have them, you will struggle. If you have them, though, you can be wildly successful.”

Crowell says the undercurrent of all of those skills is resilience. You can’t be successful  when you’re exhausted and burned out, she says. 

“I think we have enough mediocrity in the world because everyone’s exhausted. So instead, what I really want is for people to be strategic about their lives, and create an environment where rest and recovery is built in. And I know that first of all, you’ll just be happier.

 But I have found that people have a very difficult time kind of prioritizing their happiness over their success. So what I’m here to tell you is you will be more successful. It  is more efficient to give yourself a chance to recover so that you can actually bring the juice to your great work and be the one with the new ideas.  Be the one who sparks innovation, be the one people  can hand off big problems to and you can make it happen. “

In manufacturing, change and stress are inevitable – so it is vital to protect your greatest resource (people) and also take time to reflect, assess and review that question: What is your great work? 

Great Work also requires a process! 

Crowell references “accessible aspiration” which is where others have done it before and can kind of tell you how to do it. There’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed, but you are familiar with it enough to take it on. 

Then you start to map out 90 day plans, monthly plans, daily and then eventually even hourly plans.

“Not everybody’s great work involves inventing the iPhone, but everybody’s great work can make you feel better about your own life. You will also be more innovative and resilient,” Crowell says. 

Manufacturers often work behind the scenes on great projects – making tools and parts for the cars we drive, the phones we rely on, the planes we step into, the medical devices that save lives. In moldmaking and automation, we often say we are the people who make things that make things.  

And yet, even with all this great work, too many are not talking about it! 

They are not celebrating their wins or even just explaining what it takes for us to have so many products so necessary to our lives. 

Crowell says Great Work is often already close at hand.

“It really isn’t about letting me teach you how to do this Great Work. It’s more about letting me help you realize that it’s in you already: you have the skills and the interest; you have the curiosity. All you need to do is just turn the lens and look at your work differently. And then it is getting that action plan.”

The Action Plan

That is also vital to bringing great work to life!


I met Amanda at Heroic Public Speaking – and we have continued to stay in touch and even attended an event in Toronto in 2019.

As you can see doing Great Work also requires having fun too!! 


TRANSCRIPT –  From Otter.AI   

(Direct transcription – non-edited version) 


work, people, book, hustle, talk, amanda, life, story, manufacturing, skills, podcast, great, idea, curiosity, important, world, year, person, helped, find


Hello, Happy Wednesday, and welcome to show up with GailNow Live.  As you know, we talk a lot about stories, the power of stories, and today we’re going to be getting into the power of stories to help you do your great work. My name is Gail Robertson and I am Chief curiosity officer with GailNow, I help manufacturers tell and share their story. Often they find this difficult because they sometimes don’t even recognize their great stories. So I use a three step process signup, suit up and show up. And the tool to help you work through those steps, curiosity. 

And each week on my show, I like to have guests that come on that can help not just manufacturers but others as well, to be able to find ways to celebrate their stories and own their power and show up. Because when you show up, that’s where the magic can happen. I want to welcome our next guest who I have known and met through something called heroic public speaking. We’re going to talk a little bit about this because attending that was really more than just learning about public speaking, it was also doing a deep dive into so many issues.

 And I’m sure our next guests will talk about what impact that had on her life. And she certainly has had a tremendous impact on my life and the work that I’m doing. And interestingly, the topic that we’re going to be talking about is great work.

 Dr. Amanda is someone who can help others find and celebrate and pull out their great work and find ways to do it. I would like to welcome to the stage duncton Anna, Dr. Amanda Crowell is in the house. Amanda, let’s start with you are a newly minted new book out you have a new book out. I love the title. And I’m going to put this up because I have it here and then you can show us the book to just find it with that. Let’s see. We got what I did. 

Here we are, the title of your book is great work. Do what matters most. without sacrificing everything counts. That’s right. Okay. Now there’s a lot to talk about Amanda with what you do you hear the dog barking dogs sitting right now. So Willie is here. Oh, there we are. He wants to do great work for you. Does he? Oh, yeah, there we go. There we go. He’s got the Do you know what I’ve been dogs in a couple days. And I just think he never bought here early. I’m a barks. Except when you go live. That’s what. So let’s talk about what you do. Let’s give a little synopsis about who you are your introduction in your words.


Yeah. So I’m a cognitive psychologist, which is not a therapist, although lots of people think I’m a therapist. I really study and think about how people learn. So how do we go from people who don’t know things like how to do things, in particular, to people who do know how to do those things? Like what is required? How do you have to change? Who do you need to know? What are the skills? So that’s been my area of expertise for a very long time, decades. And I became a coach about 10 years ago, when I realized that a lot of these cognitive skills, particularly the kind that we use in schools, could be applied to help people do what they most wanted to do. 

So depending on the person that could start a business, it could finally begin to write their book or start painting again, or can be like, you know, get into a different kind of career. Often, it’s helping people build an expert services practice, like how to serve clients? Like how do we get into that kind of stuff?

 And in the last two years, I’ve been focusing on bringing kind of those two things together, how do what are the skills and the insights that make it possible for people to do what they’ve always wanted to do, which is the phenomenon I call great work, the work that’s calling you from the inside, that might feel like your purpose, your passion, your reason for being lots and lots and lots of people have silenced that voice pushed that work to the side, don’t give themselves the time or the space to do it. 

And for many, many, many of them, it feels like they had no choice in the matter. And so this book is here to sort of incite the revolution, that smaller changes than you think can actually get you into your great work and how truly sort of illuminating and invigorating it can be when you start to


As I mentioned at the start, we met at heroic public speaking and I remember some early discussions when you said about curiosity and and sometimes you know, other people see things that we don’t see about ourselves as well. And one of the things I’ve always found really amazing about you is your ability to get in there and like this, you can zero in and help pull out for people what the great work is. And you’re also very direct which I love. I love that about you that you know you have a lot of power and you spoke about this I know in I think it was in a podcast where you said not everybody will like your style as well. Right? And so in terms of some of the bumps along the way, do you want to talk about anything that as you were doing this because you talk about you know, we live in a hustle culture. How dare you say people shouldn’t maybe hustle because you know, it’s about drive do more work harder, you know? And we celebrate almost like Oh, I’m busy and it’s like this busy get the PGA


Oh,  I’m busier than you are. Well, I am the busiest No, I am a bit Yes, yeah, it’s like this badge of honor. Yeah. Yeah, I, I do speak out against that. And I get a lot of pushback, because there’s a lot of evidence in the world, a lot of the most successful people, when you ask them, How did you get here? What they say is I worked harder than anyone I showed up earlier, I stayed later. And I don’t deny, as a, you know, recovering perfectionist and overworking myself that that is a way that you can be successful. It is. But my question is, at what cost? So, and when we move out depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish. Because if what you’re hoping to accomplish is doing a lot, then hustle is a successful strategy, like you’re dead on the side of the road, but your To Do lists are all checked off. But is that what we really want, because if you’re really seeking to do great work, which is the work that matters the most to you, that’s calling you from the inside, it’s a different set of skills that are required. And sometimes hustling needs to be brought off the bench, right? Like, I’m going to be on Shark Tank next week. That’s not I’m not, I’m just saying, 

I can’t imagine that you’re gonna be on Shark Tank next week. And you need to prepare. And like you just, you’re just, you just need to, okay, hustle, if you must, right, I got you to give my stamp of approval. But the problem becomes one hustle is the rule instead of the exception to the rule. And that’s a spirits hustle as a way of life is especially detrimental to great work, because great work is usually work that involves creativity, innovation, problem solving, collaboration. And those skills are, first of all, ask, like any researcher or anybody on the National Chamber of Commerce, those are the 21st century skills, those are the skills of the innovation economy, you don’t have them, you will struggle. If you have them, though, you can be wildly successful. But the undercurrent of all of those skills is resilience. You can’t like when you’re exhausted and burned out. And just trying to finish your brain physiologically is not even going to give you a chance to be innovative or creative because it is taking the path of least resistance to be done. And then that means that the work that you do is tap of least resistance work, which sometimes is okay. But often at the heart of your great work, you want to different kinds of contribution, you want to be the one with the new ideas, you want to be the one who sees the connection, nobody else sees you want to be the one who’s got the new idea that’s going to change the Syrah that change the focus of things. And that requires that you not be utterly exhausted. So really, the truth is, people are like, you are just this. Maybe my favorite people get mad at about this one all the time. My favorite accusation was that I was a champion of the mediocre. You just want people to be mediocre, balanced, right? I’m like, oh, no, no, I think we have enough mediocre in the world because everyone’s exhausted. So instead, what I really want is for people to be strategic about their lives, and create an environment where rest and recovery is built in. And I know that first of all, you’ll just be happier. But I have found that people have a very difficult time kind of prioritizing their happiness over their success. So what I’m here to tell you is you will be more successful, it is more efficient, your ideas will be


all of this to say the most efficient, most effective, most like strategic thing you can do the secret is to give yourself a chance to recover so that you can actually bring the juice to your great work and be the one with the new ideas be the one who sparks innovation be the one you can hand off big problems to and you can make it happen.


You know that is? It’s interesting because just today  I tagged you in a text and there’s Dan Bigger who I know through manufacturing.  He’s been in sales and he is someone who is driven he’s on socially he would show up    But he posted today something that I think was very telling about maybe this tide shifting and I thought it was interesting that we’d be talking to you about this how out of find that more of that balance, because if you’re driven all the time, that’s when health issues come up. And I remember my last job that I worked at, as a marketing manager.  My boss said, I want you to just take time to think … don’t always be going. When I do take time,  go for a bike ride,  stop, do something that’s not work related. That’s when the most ideas come in. And yet, we fight against that often, we are just, I’ll spend one more hour, one more hour doing it. So do you think there is something like this book coming out? Now? Do you think this is like, there is a tide turning that people are like this? Do you think it’s anything to do with the pandemic? Do you think people have had an awakening or having one? It’s a


good question. I think that awakening began as the sort of way of life of not to be too like, I don’t know scholarly about it. But sort of what’s as the tide of the Industrial Revolution kind of went back out, right, where the needs in the workforce shifted, and the resources shifted with it, right. So there weren’t as many jobs very few, in fact, jobs where you were really just required to be a cog in the wheel, right, like that kind of contribution wasn’t as needed. And I think that that was when hustle and productivity in the idea of being sort of a, the next big thing became the pathway to prosperity and, and success and freedom. And so that was sort of the upturn. And then I think we reached the point where we realized a few things like this are actually interesting, because it sort of parallels my own personal story, which is okay. Should I just maybe tell that because it might help? Yeah,


Yeah, let’s get that because we met, I think, like, when you were going through a lot.  So I’ve seen this, like, wow, I’m seeing like, a change that, which is why I wanted you on the show, because I think a lot of people may be going through something, especially around health issues. I think people are so driven that they then start having Yes, mic issues, neck issues, headache,


And autoimmune problems. I had a sort of two stage awakening to this whole thing. The first was that I got into a job that just require a lot of hustle, it was a or at least I thought at the time, I thought the only way through this hustle, the only way that I can be the kind of perfectionist and contributor that I want it to be meant that I needed to work every night and every weekend period.

 So that was my first sort of introduction to how, you know, hustle gone wrong, because previously, I was just maybe in positions where the workload was just distributed differently or something, I was still working really hard. But I didn’t feel this like attack on my wellness that I felt when I was in consulting. 

And so anyways, while I was in consulting, I was in that role for like, I think three and a half years and the first like 767 months, I was just getting my feet underneath me. And then there was like a year where I was just trying to do it perfectly. And by the end of that year, I was super stressed out like it was spring in this was a consulting company that worked with schools and schools are famous for taking on a project in the fall, not doing anything on it until January and then freaking out until it has to be done by the end of the school year. So this is  April, May, right. And every single project was just hitting on all cylinders. 

And I was just really maxed to the max. I hadn’t taken a weekend or a night off for months, and I woke up one Saturday morning, and I was like, My chest hurts. I have a headache, I’m stressed. And I ended up actually going to the hospital because I thought it was having a heart attack. And I was like, I think I was 37 at the time, something like that. 

So it’s processed very quickly, as happens if you think you’re having a heart attack that young and they said no, it’s not a heart attack. It’s a panic attack. And I remember like, I just remember like yesterday walking outside and realizing Wait a second. It’s a beautiful day. And my kids were there singing Spongebob Squarepants theme songs and my husband was worried about me and it’s like I woke back up from a terrible dream in my life. I was like what is yes, dog that’s right really

So I kind of woke back up to my life, which was the first kind of wake up call. So what happened then is I did what people do in the world of productivity, I went and got things done, which, of course, is David Allen’s famous book, which was very helpful. And I became the most efficient person I knew, I was suddenly much less stressed, I knew how to manage my workflow, I had systems, structures, processes, everything, like I was so efficient. And I was getting things done. And my boss was happy, and my clients were happy, and I thought I was happy to. And then when you’re efficient, you create a little space in your life. 

And you think that like, as a normal person, I will use that time to like, rest. And I don’t know, do macrame projects on this? No, what I did was start a business. I then built this coaching practice, on the side of consulting that I changed my job to move into another one. And built this business alongside having a full time job. And I got extremely efficient, like, I use those skills, man, I rocked those skills. I was like, nonetheless, there comes a point where no matter how efficient you are, you run out of time. 

And that’s what happened to me.

 When we met. Actually. What had happened was, not only was I working full time and doing he wrote public speaking, which is an amazing, very intense program. I also had been offered a book deal. So I was coaching, working, doing my own public speaking and trying to write what I wrote, I did in fact, write a book proposal. And you were there you actually I think, you know, copy edited was one two weeks. …


So I will actually take this time while Amanda is getting some water. I’m going to share a couple of photos here. I have one photo here. Let me just find it so.

 So Amanda and I made it her public speaking which was so much more than public speaking and when a man is telling her story. 

For those of you in manufacturing, what this really means is that I want to win a man because back to we’ll talk more about that, how does this apply in your world? 

So for manufacturers, sometimes we get so busy doing so many things that we don’t really start to focus on the most important projects … our great work. 

So whether it’s Amanda’s story is more individual. But this applies to you could be working in a new role at a company, whether a sales role, a marketing role, or even an operations role, and you get into trying to do so many things. And I know I’m in it. That’s what I do when I was in a role …  felt so weird to not be working all the time. 

Andwhile you’re drinking water and catching up. I want to show something. Hold on This is a little flashback and then we’ll come back to your story. Let me just find Ah, did here. Here we go. This lets me find it. Okay. Remember this? Yes. And there is Miss Melissa at the far right now Melissa has gone on to have a child and reason I wanted to bring this up is she’s I’ve been following her journey and as a new mom and how that has changed her perspective on the world because as you know, to she was there it still is driven but now has been able to see life a little differently. 

And I just think that picture of the three of us is you know a lot. There’s our snapshot in time where we were at. And then let’s do one other. 

Let’s show this just a little fun interlude here Toronto member that I do have air so this is about finding time to have fun in the midst of all chaos. Okay, so now you’ve had some water, we come back and take a little commercial break. Wait, before we go on. There’s a couple. Let me see if there’s any new comments, please. We mostly have some back. Oh, we do have Valerie that’s joined in? Well, we have a couple of new people. So Valerie is from Faulkner, New York. Do you know where that is? Is that you? Do you know? Do you know Valerie? She’s in New York.

Welcome Valerie and then James Kugel, also though we know each other through networking and manufacturing. And what’s really interesting with this show is the diversity of have people that come out and you know, because at the end of the day, we all have some interest in, you know, a lot of people that come out, as you can find, are really interested in how they can, you know, do things differently, look at the world differently. They’re very, they’re, they’re, I think, fellow curiosity seekers as well. So, back to your story, where do we leave off? You’ve got one.


Let me set the stage… I was working, writing my speech. And then I was writing this book proposal. And when I, after it, like, it was almost immediate, as soon as I sent the book proposal off, and it was like with the publishers or whatever, my knee swelled up. And I was like, well, that’s weird. I had, I was like, Oh, I must have banged it. But then the other ones swelled up, and then my shoulders got really sore. And then my ankles got really sore. And then my elbow got really, really sore. And I was like, what is happening? And what was happening was my body was retaliating against this craziness. So I think there are no stages to it, there’s like, you’re working too hard. And then you get like, you know, and then you lose way back here, way, way back here. You lose innovation, creativity, the ability to collaborate, well, your resilience, your happiness, right? All those things that don’t matter, you lose those ways back here. And then somewhere around here, you start getting headaches and back pains. And you know, we’re all like not paying attention to it. Weaknesses for the dead or whatever. And then eventually, my experience has been, in my experience talking to many other people is that eventually you, it’s your body, that will just take you down, just No, no more of this. 

And that’s what happened to me. I had a, no one was able to name it. 

Unfortunately, I was able to beat it back by really stopping him dead in my tracks and saying, What have I done? And what am I? This was the most important part, because Preet my previous realization was about, here’s what I have to do, how can I do it? And I learned a lot. Right? productivity tips can take you a long way. 

This was the moment where I really learned the value of stopping and saying, What do I want to do? Why am I here? What am I? What am I really after? And what am I willing to let go of, so that I can have that instead. And it was a process of and that’s really where great work kind of came in as a concept in my life where I was like, I know for sure like you’re only on this planet for a while. The other thing that happens when you have an autoimmune freak out, is you realize like, oh, you know how everyone says that humans die? They were talking about me like I am going today? Not? Yeah, my grandmother, you know, likes it, but literally me? And if that’s true, which sadly, it seems like it might be? What am I going to do with my one wild and precious life? And it was probably what I realized was I was giving all of myself over to meetings, and emails and other people’s priorities and other people’s expectations and that I needed a massive restructuring of my thoughts. Now did it require that I massively restructure my life? Actually, what it required was that I massively restructure my thoughts, and then make different choices.


Okay, I’m gonna stop there, because that is so key. 

And in my three step process, which is sign up, suit up and show up, the first step is sign up. And it’s all about mindset, because you can’t do the other two until you get your mind and your thoughts and this is something that people skip over. And they don’t often realize how powerful the voices in our head are that what we tell ourselves and how it can have such an impact on you know, and going back to the theme here, which is great work.

 And I do want to skip over Nancy, because your story is really powerful. The reason I want you to tell it is because I’m sure there’s people including Catherine Joining us now. I don’t know if Katherine says I was joining this to speak to me, thank you for sharing that. Kathy. I think it’s really good when people can just like what happened sharing what Dan Biggar shared is that you know, to be able to say, yeah, that is me and and what’s key is sometimes your justice before it gets worse as well. Right? That’s really, really key and going back again. So because we want to get into some tips for especially for those in manufacturing, that may be maybe they’re not writing a book, maybe they’re not looking at starting as side business, but they may be managing a team, they may be wanting to to start a new project, they may be coming into a new job. And great work for everybody listening, one of the things I’ve learned from Amanda is that great work can depend on your situation. So your great work may be about writing a book, your great work could be that you want to go paint, your great work could be launching a new product in your plant, like great work can be whatever, that also gives you joy in it. Like for me, I find great work when I went out and talked to women in aerospace. And the week before though, I was having tremendous doubts like, Oh, my God, what have I done? What have I set up for this?” And then I did a rehearsal. And it was, everything fell apart, I missed apart everything. And it’s almost like the dress rehearsal right for the theater. Yeah. And I went out there. And I realized how many people, men and women that came up to me, and were, were holding back on doing their great work and on showing up. And I think that’s where what you’re doing, what I’m doing is showing up the great work, and when I talked about too, is that you have a duty to yourself and to others to show up. So let’s talk about now your book and your journal, because I’d like to switch over a little bit to okay, we know that if you’re for people that are listening, they’re going, Ah, okay, I’m either there, or I’m on the road to my body, you know, not working as well. And that’s both physically, spiritually mentally. There’s so many aspects of what happens when your body starts. Yeah, it gives you signs. Oh, yeah. Let’s get into some more tangible tips, recommendations, obviously, by your book by the journal, but you had to pick a couple of things. And I do, I would like you to drop them, because I think there’s people that may be interested. And so we’ll drop that into the comments. But what are some things if they do nothing else, but they tuned in right now? And they’re like, where do I start? It’s all well and good. Amanda’s told her story, but she’s like a rock star. So she knows what she was doing. What do you tell people that are sitting there going? I don’t know where to begin?

32:24 AMANDA 

Yeah, it’s a good question. And it depends a little bit on what the person is struggling with. Right. So some, I find that people sort of show up at my doorstep struggling with one of two things. One is like, I don’t know what my great work is. Or, I do know what my great work is. And I cannot get to it, because I have a family and a sick mother and three kids. And, and and and. And so if the problem is that you’re not sure what your great work is, or you feel like some people have great work, but I’m just not one of those people, I think there’s, I would say that the real solution to that. One is to believe in your great work, that there is something inside of you that you are being called to do like not necessarily called by an outside person, but called from inside of you the thing that captivates you, and it isn’t what you were pointing out like, it doesn’t have to be a creative work, it doesn’t have to be a I don’t know, like a massive accomplishment doesn’t have to be a New York Times bestseller, or a Broadway show that sells out or even at the corner office for the CEO. Instead, it’s about what lights you up, and makes you feel excited and makes you feel like, Oh, this is cool. I could do this, this is for me. So believe in that. Because I know for sure that it’s there. I’ve never had a conversation. I’ve had many people tell me they don’t have it. And then we have some conversations and there might be crying. And then they’re like, yes, you’re right I do. Now, just because you know what your great work is doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to do it. So in doing great work, I think that here’s what I think is like a starting point for anybody thinking about doing great work. It’s a little bit about understanding the levels of the ideas that you might have. So let’s say like if you’re in manufacturing, and you want to I actually don’t know enough about manufacturing to think of a good example, like,


it could be launching a new product, like if you have a new product, and you’re really excited that you think you have a solution to a problem in the industry. That could be


right and you want your company to greenlight your project, right?


Okay, you have an idea and you’re bringing it to the senior executive say, okay,

34:43 AMANDA 

so, in your mind when you’re like in the shower, going on that run or I can whatever, you have these sort of images of like you at the company, you know, annual meeting, getting the award for best idea of the year or whatever, right and that is valuable, because that fits at the level that I would call and lots of everybody calls really vision. So if you think of ideas as sort of this upside down, triangle, the very top level of it is vision. And vision is like, what gets you out of bed, right? It’s like it’s the, it’s the gap between where you are and where you want to be, it gets you excited. And the only thing that you need to do with vision is to amp it up, like really go all in and imagine what you would say in your speech. Imagine the look on your wife’s face, whatever, there you are vision, but don’t try to work towards a vision all by itself. This is one of the things that I think makes people feel the most like they have failed at their goals. Because they’re like, I have an hour, you know, done all the rest of my work, I do have this hour at the end of my workday, like how do I get to have the best idea of the year in an hour. So there’s all this space in between the vision that gets you excited and gets you out of bed and what you can do in an hour. So that’s the space we need to fill in. So in the next, you know, year, let’s say you want somebody to greenlight your project, I don’t know what the timelines are in manufacturing, but let’s just say like somebody said, it’ll take about a year to get some approval or whatever. Okay. So that’s what I would call the accessible aspiration, people have done it before people can kind of tell you how to do it, there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed. But you kind of know what it is you’re doing right? Now we’re in a more concrete like goal related space. Underneath that is what can I do in the next 90 days? Right? So we’re like, Okay, once a month to approve it, and about a year. So what can I do in the next 90 days is probably something like a combination of I need to find out what the process is, find out who the people are, and get my hands on a couple sample proposals. That’s right. So if that’s what we’re gonna do in the next 90 days, and we’ve got 490 day cycles, you can imagine how the next cycle is, like you’re putting together your proposal, the one after that you’re getting feedback and fixing it, and the one after that someone approves it, right? I don’t know if that sounds reasonable. So that’s the 90 day goal. And we want that 90 Day goal to feel like in the literal next three months, what could I make the space for? Then this week? How can I get a little closer to my 90 Day goal? So I am going to talk to the one person I know who has gotten one of these projects approved. And so what am I going to do today, I’m gonna go remember what I know about that guy, I’m gonna like, go look at his LinkedIn, see what kind of jobs he’s had before talk to a few people prepare for the, for the outreach, because maybe he’s an important person, right? Like, if you’ve got one of these projects approved, you probably need to know who he is, and what he’s up to his history a little bit. So you want to do a little research. So now you have an hour to somehow get closer to having the number one idea of the year, you know what to do with it. And that is how you start to feel both calm enough to get started like I am not asking man to curl is not asking you to quit your job and immerse yourself in an intensive program. And like no, you don’t have to pivot, you don’t have to go crazy. All you have to do is really understand where you’re at, and then start chipping away at it. How do you chip away at it? So a 90 Day goal that makes some sense to somebody doesn’t have to be right, just get started and set something I can do this week. And the great news is that the guy you talk to this week, assuming he says yes, he either says yes. Or he says no talk to Joe instead, right? Like you’re on the path, you’re in the flow. And now all the rest of the work all the rest of the skills that have great work, of which there are a few and nobody has my birth. Now you can learn them. Because the truth is you can’t learn how to do great work until you’re doing it. So you can’t succeed in advance. You have to get it and then ride the wave of it.

39:07 GAIL 

Now you also have a podcast so I think I’ve been listening to your podcasts and I would highly recommend let’s put a link in there because if you know a podcast you can also listen to instead of you know take an hour out of your Netflix watching time listen to podcasts when I find podcasts now I do sometimes when I’m doing dishes because I need to order new dishwasher lots of stories so I thought washing the distance you know what people say oh, it’s gonna be very you know, like, you can visualize do this and I do not find it that way. I do not find this piece that comes with washing my dishes. So I’m  okay, because I wanted to see how long can I get away without now I need a dishwasher. But right now when I do actually this is I listen to a podcast and when I’m making dinner, listen to a podcast. So check out Amanda’s podcast because I know you have some guests. And there’s so many people I could mention. I know we just talked about Darcy Webb. Darcy is amazing. Darcy is a voice coach but DARS She’s also a how do we describe Garza? She’s like, she inspires her, she helps you use your voice. But again, it’s more than just that. It’s yeah. It’s about how, like a lot of voice coaches, you just talk about your voice right here and here. And she is whole. It’s a transformational experience. Yes, yes. Great. I have to say Darcy is one of those people you meet in life that you just, you just want to. She sparkles like there’s a guy who is just kind of being around or all these like, I’m always in awe, because she will. She will work with someone and you just watch just by their, how they move their shoulders or their back and how all of a sudden their voice and their empowerment changes. So that’s Darcy, another person, AJ Harper, let’s talk about AJ because, yeah. AJ is also someone who’s doing great work out front, but also behind the scenes, she works with so many people. So let’s do a little bit of a shout out to AJ and why it’s important to have people like that in your life to help you do great work.

41:09 AMANDA 

Yeah. Well, that’s, well, AJ is amazing. She’s actually the person who gave me the structure in the process to finally get the book written. The truth is that that book that I got sick of doing, went to a publishing house, and then that whole thing fell apart. And I was like, a tragedy. And then I was like, how now I’ve got this book idea, like, what am I going to do with it, so I will write it myself. And that is about as far as I got, because I didn’t know how to write a book. So AJ is actually the person I would credit with giving me a structure and a system away from writing the book. And if she did do a developmental edit on my book as well, and helped it go from like, pretty good to like, I think really, really good. So it is amazing. And you know, AJ, Mike, good. Nino Darcy Webb, you, you’ve been on podcast, everybody who’s been on my podcast is there because they’ve done great work. And it’s not something it’s a little counterculture, actually, to say that everybody has great work in them, more than one person has sent me a sort of out of the side of their mouth email informing me that, yeah, some people have great work. And it’s, I’m glad that you do, but not everyone does. And I’m like, I just disagree with you. And not everybody’s great work involves inventing the iPhone, but everybody’s great work, you can feel better about your life, by just doing the work that makes you feel good. And, you’ll be more innovative and resilient. And whatever, like that kind of stuff happens to make you happier, you’re better, you get more money, you get more more promotions, like that is just the truth. And you need people around you that can inspire you and remind you and not drag you back down into the way that the world kind of holds, you know, the coal mines version of working where you just sort of trudged through it. And when you’re talking about it, you complain. And we’re not all doing that. And if you can find the people who are even doing, maybe not the job they want to do, but if you hold it in a different way, it can feel so much better. And that really is also the pathway to the work that does feel better is doing the work you have now in a more, you know, whatever, like better collaboration, better communication, more innovation, more insight, more creativity.

43:37 GAIL 

And, you know, interesting what you said about the reason I wanted to bring up people like Doris in ages that it’s also important to reach out and get help and ask for help. And a lot of people are very reluctant to do that. I guess, because I was a reporter for so many years, like, my job was to go find other people that had answers. So I would call up people’s ahead. And so I carried that’s a transferable skill that I carried over because I can’t do this alone. And I think some people think it’s almost like that hustle and resilience that I’ll just, you know, power through by myself. And it’s really important that you go because AJ also helped me when I was doing my speaker reel on narrowing. She could you know, when you get stuck, because I always say, just like you talked about great work. I talked about the power of story and sharing books and telling your story. So I do a lot of social media, digital and, and in manufacturing, so many people in manufacturing, they’re doing great work. But they’re not talking about it. They’re not sharing it. They’re not telling their story. And then what happens is it looks like Oh, only a few people have asked us to do that instead of like, No, you can have that as well. But you’re going to have to do what you need to plan and I think that’s what your journal talks about too. Right? Is that you We’re breaking it down into bite sized pieces, as opposed to saying, I want to create this item. And then because you can spend a whole year thinking about it, and


end up in the same place that you started


it up in the same place. So I also want to just do that. What is the importance of doing that you still need to hustle, you’re not saying not do it, it’s just, well, 12 months a year, like if you’re always on?

45:24 AMANDA 

Well, and maybe I find Gail, like, I’m shocked to report this, me from five years ago would be shocked to hear me today saying this, I actually don’t think you have to hustle very much at all. And I know that that sounds, I’ll get all kinds of emails about this, like the truth, like I find that if you’re strategic about your life, and you are making good choices, and you’re organizing yourself so that you know you’re making progress on things. Still, some things will happen because other people aren’t great at managing themselves and they have a crisis. And then you get pulled into their crisis. Because as part of that kind of stuff, so happens, of course, but you can actually if you know how to do this, you can be a grounding force, even on that project. So that now it becomes more like processing more systems, like, here’s what we need to do, here’s how we can do it, maybe push that timeline back that voice of, you know, there’s a way to do what we want to do, let’s make strategic choices about it, which is really what I kind of in general advocate for whether you’re the manager of a team, be that voice for your team, we can do this much. And I will protect you from having the maelstrom of downward pressure. That’s what ‘s really in literature and in my experience is what makes a great manager: they sort of protect their people like an umbrella, right? And then they give you that if you’re able to do that your team loves you. And if you’re able to do that, you are quickly moved up the ranks and corporate because there’s not a lot of people who can pull back and see the bigger sort of forces of what’s happening and the bigger strategy and like, actually force the conversation about what are we really hoping to accomplish? What are our priorities? Here’s how I see this impacting the timeline. People who are able to surface those kinds of conversations and navigate them well, are quickly moved up in organizations and get bigger and bigger teams because it’s such a rare skill. So yes, yes, you will, you need to keep that hustle ability, sort of in your back pocket for when you need it. But really, this has a massive calming effect on your organization, on your life, on your family, on your health. It really impacts every part of your life. And of course, it’s different for as you mentioned, I think it’s the beginning. It’s different for different people, what’s going to work for you depends on who you are. And in the book, my favorite chapter, actually is chapter five, which is discovering how you specifically do great work. It was one of my nemesis or Nemesis Nemesis is MSI is like this dogmatic commitment to high performance productivity tips. Because it gives you like, not just one, but hundreds of ways to fail. You’re like, well, I didn’t, I didn’t. How can you eat the frog and ease into your day? Like, how can you do great work? And to be a good networker is so deep work and to be a good networker. Yeah. And I have taken to seeing all of these great people with their wonderful ideas. I really love all the people with the ideas as my research and development arm for my own productivity. Tell me what has worked for you. And I will try it. And I will put together my own magic elixir of what works for me. And then I’ll share with others about what works for me. And then if we all hold it a little more loosely, we can land in a place where we can do amazing things. People will be looking at you with amazement in their eyes. How do you do so much, which is the way they look at me? Right? And I say by doing that by being clear about what I’m doing. So a lot of things, getting busy staying in action, accepting that failure is part of it. Always. You and I share a love for the growth mindset. And really the core of the growth mindset is effort over time with help, what does it take to learn something effort over time with help? So if you just rock those three things, I’ll just keep working on it. I’ll give it the time required for me to get better over time and I will ask for help when I need it. You can do things that people will tell you all day long. You don’t have time for that. That’s not a good thing to innovate. If you don’t know how to do it, you should just give up. No, just do it differently. That’s what I say.

49:41 Gail 

I love that. I’m just but I’ve run out of time. I need to redo some of my banners because I have so many that it says oh you’ve reached I really want to put this one though. Let me see I’ve managed over time with Help. Yes. Those are the three here for overtime with help. That is so key and that with help. I cannot say enough about how important that is. And that. I mean, I think we get into this whole lone wolf idea too. It’s like, Yeah, but they’ve usually still often there’s a pack, like, have the bigger picture at times. So I do want to go back. There was a comment here that I think is really important. She says, You can’t do great work until you do the work.


Yes, exactly. The difference between people who want to be doing great work, and the people who are doing great work. Isn’t the people who are doing great work, are doing great work.

50:39 GAIL

Yeah. And you said something, you know, important too, because I know what you’ve said, Me, oh, you know, you’re everywhere. You do so many things. But I’m doing things I love. An interesting sort of today I just and I’m doing a shout out to Electrozad, , which is a company here in Windsor, let me just take this down here. And they haven’t barbecued today. So I was getting ready. I actually rode my bike for an early morning meeting today. And then I did a few things that I thought I should prepare for the show. But I thought, well, I’m talking Oh, man, I’ve already done my preparation. So I was like, I really wanted to go to this, you know, barbecue, and that. So I decided, You know what, I’m okay to go. Because I can give myself that grace, do it. And you know what it was the best thing. I ended up seeing three people. I knew it was a great experience, made a couple of more connections and still made it back home to do the show. And it’s all about finding that you know what works for you. Because some people don’t like doing that. And if they could get out of going to that event they wouldn’t. Whereas I’m like, I love that that’s and it’s just Sure enough, you know what, it gives me energy to do that. And as long as I can still get my other work done. And it’s and I think that’s a really good lesson from what I’ve picked up from, what you’re doing. And what great work is that? Number one, we’re all different. Number two, we all have great work, we all have that in us. And then number three is finding a way to get to do that, to take care of yourself and your health. And I guess when I said hustle and I think it’s how you describe it because there’s at times you gotta you know, pull it all the stops. And of course, and get her to like you have to just dive in and do that hard work. So whether you call him hustle or hurt or whatever you want to call that. Yeah, like we’re not saying just sit back on your lounge chair all the time. It’s just, I mean, sometimes only so magic. No, and you need to do that. Yeah, the magic fairies are gonna come in, I have to say this. The magic fairies don’t come in at night and check your Google Analytics. You got to do that.


Yes, they’ve never checked my Google Analytics.

52:55 GAIL

Well, okay, so we’ve talked about transferable skills. Certainly you have used many transferable skills, I think in your life to bring you to this book and have an impact on the world. I know that from listen to your podcast, it is having an impact because even just being on your show to that you ask great questions. So thank you for that. Thanks for being curious. You’re definitely someone who is that’s what we always have really liked about each other, too, is that, you know, we want to dig deep. Showing up you are showing up on a podcast and a book and sharing your story. I would also recommend I mentioned on LinkedIn that you have done a TEDx. Yeah. Or another one.


I don’t know. I’m Yes, I’m getting ready to do one on great work. Yeah.


Okay. So I do recommend that you have over a million views on your TEDx. That’s like, that’s a big flippin deal. Thank you. That is not that’s like, wow.

53:58 AMANDA 

Well, and I think the reason is because people really struggle with procrastination and they make it about them. They’re like, what’s wrong with me? Why do I suck so much? And it’s like, I think this idea that oh, you can you could do something about it and and really do what you say you will do and rebuild trust with yourself is so it’s so basic to my like DNA. And yet I find that people are like, it’s through the very first person who’s given me permission to like, like myself while I’m figuring this out. And I think yeah, this had it resonated a lot. And you know, Gail, I don’t know if you know, this next week, your episode is

54:36 GAIL

oh, I didn’t know that. You heard it here first. Okay. Well, this is a lot to watch for. You’ll be hearing more from Amanda nine next week. So well, you know, I’ll push that out on social media because I do also want more people to come in and really dig into doing that great work. I think it’s so valuable and it ties it exactly to, you know, the keynote talks I do about showing up. And yeah, I didn’t think I thought much. I think you’ve talked about this in the podcast like, well, people know how to do this, right? You know how to do this like, and no, they don’t and that’s where for me the signups suit up and show up. And I, when I broke that down for people, they were like, oh, Willie agrees they were in. They came up to me afterwards to talk about each of the stories and how they were going to show up going forward.

55:25 AMANDA 

Yeah, really, what I like, show up is it and great work, like what I like about the synergy of our work is that it isn’t really about like, let me teach you how to do it’s more like let me help you realize that it’s in you already, you have the skills that you have the interest, you have the curiosity that, all you need to do is just turn the lens like you’re at the eye doctor, like better with and better to turn the lens, look at it differently, and then get into action. And you will be one of the remarkable ones before you know and


and you will fail. I asked that when I gave this talk. I said how many people here have failed all the hands?


And I said, well, one who didn’t have his hand? It was a liar.


Yeah. Because everybody else is right. Yeah. To wrap up, I usually like to ask everybody, how do you exercise your curious mind? Is there a way to stimulate? Or to encourage it or maintain it? And?

56:24 AMANDA 

Yeah, that’s such a good question. I love to do things I’ve never done before. So like, you know, I hadn’t written a book. So I wrote a book and I, there’s nothing There’s no place I found in the world with more rabbit holes to fall down into than the book writing publishing industry. And, you know, I never had a podcast.

 And you know, I wanted to figure that out. So I actually self produced my own podcast for the first few episodes before I took on a company. So I really like to figure things out, it makes me feel what I like to figure things out. And it helps me understand how things are done in the world. 

And I think that part of my work is helping other people demystify, like, how are amazing things done? Oh, every single time. There is no, what did you call them, like leprechauns, or whatever, come in and bury them. No, magic fairies are magical, doing things like different things across industries, but always like, there’s so much commonality in them. So anything you want to do is doable. A

and sometimes we sort of get in a weird headspace where we’re like, those people must be superheroes. They’re not. And so I really like to prove to myself again and again, by doing things that I’ve never done before. 

Currently, I’m working on a graphic novel, which is totally unexpected, because it’s like, I don’t have to draw, thank goodness. But you know, writing fiction is really different from writing in the middle grades. It was a return to my education roots. But, you know, that’s my current situation. Next Big Thing that I’m excited about.

57:57 GAIL

That is great. I love to hear that. Because, again, it’s you know, it’s about exploring, being curious can mean different things and it can be trying. Yeah, things that are new to us. I often say I don’t like heights. So what I did was I decided to go do Yeah, I did the ziplining. But let me show you a photo from I have a photo of this was also from let me just put this on, I think remember this, we were up at the CN Tower, the one on the left. And then the young man in the middle who we connected a link out of the blue sent me a message on LinkedIn. Both of us were afraid to walk on that glass floor thing. And I remember you took a video and we both went on it and jumped on it. And we just had so many laughs and he was visiting. He was visiting from India. Yep. 

And yeah, it was. It was quite fun ever since then, I went to the Grand Canyon and walked on the skywalk thing so and you know what, each time I’ve done that now the sky walk I was like this. I just tell them because I said Oh, when I was in the CN Tower I was so each time you try something new, it does get easier. 

And I’m, I know we both know about that. So well. Thank you so much Willie says thank you as well. He’s in the background. I think he probably is like okay, are we going for a walk man?

59:28 GAIL

Thank you. If you can, you have a few minutes to wait one minute. And I’ll see you in the greenroom and thank you again, Amanda. And we’ll put some links in LinkedIn so people can find all your stuff. Great. All right. Thank you. Thanks, everyone, for coming out. I want to thank Willie, who I’m dog sitting with. You may have heard a few dog barks in the background. So you know, Amanda is someone that while doesn’t specialize necessarily manufacturing, I think there’s so much in The manufacturing world we can learn when we’re talking about how to maybe look at the world differently, how to use a growth mindset, how to get curious, and how to meet people that are, you know, doing things that can help. Those of us in manufacturing also do great work. But not just do the great work, but then tell and share the stories. It’s so vital that we get out there and we share with the world the great things that we’re doing that we own our power, and that we sign up, suit up and show up. If you would like to reach out to me, you can find me here on LinkedIn. I’m also on Twitter as Gail Now Instagram as Gail now one and on tick tock as Gail now and we’re actually starting a manufacturing tic tock group. So stay tuned. And what’s interesting is that we’re all doing something a bit different. And that’s what makes it exciting is that we can start sharing whatever stories we can introduce ourselves as a keynote speaker, you know, people that may want to book me to come in and provide some motivation around how to both tell and share stories, and talk about how it might help your team sign up, suit up and show up. 

Because that’s where the magic happens.

May 2024
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Prioritizing happiness over success allows Great Work to be way of life

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