002 Think Better and Use Your Strengths to Improve Your Weaknesses: Axiology with Traci Duez

July 11, 2013

I’m glad to bring you episode 2 of the PM for the Masses Podcast!

Have you ever wondered what axiology is?  Me neither.  However, my guest today has convinced me that it is one the most powerful tools for one’s personal success.

Being the Project Manager for a small company, I often felt like I lacked something my fellow PMs working for big corporations had.  Because I didn’t have that experience, I subconsciously felt I wasn’t a “complete” PM.

What I didn’t know is that some of my friends who worked for big companies sometimes felt that way as well. It turns out that in Project Management, as well as in pretty much anything in life, we are never “complete.”  There are always areas in which we can grow, and other areas in which we are stronger.

While I may not have a lot of experience working at a large corporation, working for a small company allows me to have more responsibilities and my actions have greater repercussion on the results the company gets.

I may not have some of the experience that my fellow PMs have, but I certainly developed skills over the years that are unique to myself.


This fish is obviously working on her shortcomings.

Albert Einstein once said that “everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

As project managers, we are all unique in our natural abilities and strengths.  Also, the value we put on things is different for each one of us.

I honestly believe that the best way to achieve success is to understand ourselves.  Knowing where our strengths are, the things we value, the things we don’t value, and how we see the world allows you to focus your efforts in the right areas – which in turn will give you the best results.

My guest today is Traci Duez, from Break Free Consulting.

I met Traci a few months ago when she delivered a presentation at my local PMI chapter here in London, Ontario.

Traci uses the philosophy of axiology to help people think better and use their strengths to improve their weaknesses.  Her personal story is inspiring and my interview with her will give you lots to think about and apply to your own lives and careers.

Traci Duez

Traci_set1_headshotTraci Duez is a former high school and collegiate basketball coach. She is also one of the few women that umpires Little League Baseball. Traci is a chemist by degree which makes her a little nerdy and has 15 years of experience in IT that makes her a little geeky.

Her career has included positions as a chemist, medical technologist, laboratory automation specialist, computer validation consultant, project manager, and director for an IT consulting firm.

She has spoken to over 12,000 project managers in the last 5 years at over 70 different PMI chapters and 4 PMI Global Congresses.

Her picture has twice graced the cover of PMI Today magazine.

Today she owns her own business and is passionate about inspiring audiences to think better using the principles of neuro-axiology.

Not too bad for a girl who was afraid of public speaking until 2006.

Plug of the Week

My plug of this week is Elizabeth Harrin and her awesome website “A Girls Guide to Project Management.”  This may be an obvious choice for my first plug, but I wanted to share this anyway.  If you are not familiar with her blog, I really recommend you check her out.

She has won so many awards for her blog it would be too long to list here.  Just so you have an idea, her latest award was the November 2011 Winner of the IT Professional Blogger of the Year, by Computer Weekly Social Media Awards.

You can find Elizabeth Harrin’s blog here.

Thanks Elizabeth for your great work and for adding so much value to our profession.

This Week’s Call to Action

This week’s call to action is simple and free: Take Traci’s free VQ Profile First Steps Report.

I took it a couple of months ago and was astounded at how accurate it turned out to be.  Check it out and let me know how it turns out.

Leave me an iTunes Review

iTunes-11-iconThis is still a “baby” podcast, but I have dreams that it will reach and help many thousands of project managers.  In order to raise its visibility in iTunes, it would be really helpful if you left me a rating and a review there.  You can use this link to do so.

This is the best way to help out the show right now, so I really appreciate if you took the time!

And remember: in a few weeks I’ll select one of the reviewers to win a copy of Peter Taylor’s book “The Lazy Winner.”

What are you waiting for?  Here’s the link again.

I really hope you enjoyed this episode.  Leave me a comment below if you’d like to share your thoughts on what we discussed on this episode. I’d love to know.

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