A Conversation With Author Patti Johnson

We are pleased to present Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life by Patti Johnson, CEO and founder of PeopleResults.

Patti JohnsonWe are pleased to present Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life by Patti Johnson, CEO and founder of PeopleResults. In the book, Patti shows that initiating change in our work and lives is the key to success and happiness. Her research provides tips and encouragement to help readers step up and instill “wave making” behaviors. Below, Patti explains her influence and inspiration for the book. Congratulations!

What inspired you to write Make Waves?

Three thoughts came together for me. First, in business, most discussions about change were dominated by the project plan or the implementation plan. The human and individual impact on change was not only being downplayed, but often completely forgotten.

Second, the way we communicate and collaborate is wildly different than it was even five years ago. Social media, crowd sourcing, crowd funding and creative ways to share our assets have elevated the influence of individuals. So much can be accomplished without dependence upon one person in charge or a filter on information. You can see that this mindset will absolutely carry over into the workplace.

Lastly, a personal situation affected my thinking. My mother-in-law, Helen Johnson, passed away last year. As we told stories about her life, the way she thought and her actions had astounding ripple effects. She started so many waves by what seemed like small decisions initially. She always asked “What can I do?” And, she did it.

All of these thoughts started to merge in the same timeframe and I developed a point of view I wanted to share.

What was your favorite part of the writing and publishing process?

My favorite part was interviewing the Wave Makers who were nominated by friends and trusted colleagues, in addition to my own list. It was fascinating to talk through their waves and learn about their thoughts and actions that started momentum. Interestingly, the group I interviewed was an eclectic mix of individuals – CEOs, entrepreneurs, students, community service leaders, recent graduates and a Major League Baseball manager. I was inspired by them and reminded that just when you think you have it all figured out – you don’t!

I also enjoyed the creative process of writing. It was hard at times, yet it stretched me in new ways and I learned so much about change that I never understood in spite of my experience in business.

It was really fun t this point in my career to be in total learning mode and be dropped into the world of publishing which I knew almost nothing about.

make-wavesWho do hope reads your book? What do you want them to get from it?

I hope that anyone who has an idea or change they want to see in their organization, community, or market will read it. I think this book has practical actions with a dose of inspiration. I spoke at a conference last week and some of the attendees came up afterward and told me that the message in the book had given them the encouragement to get started on their wave. That is as good as it gets.

Who was your #1 influencer for your work?

I had several influencers – some I spoke with and others whose work influenced me. Brene Brown influenced me because I love her straight talk and how she makes research feel real and personal. Kristi Erickson, a friend and business colleague, was a wonderful sounding board and encourager as I was writing. I also received wonderful wisdom from other authors in the business arena but with an eye on the individual, such as Whitney Johnson, Allison Rimm and Alexandra Levit.

What are you reading right now?

I have a stack of books on my nightstand until I have more time to read! Right now, I am reading Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, and have plans to next read Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. Both are fascinating reads on the stock market and I realize now how little I know about how it really works today. I have many more on my list once my book is officially launched and I have some cushion in my schedule.

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