J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: Time is The Great Equalizer

    Time really is the great equalizer. I was reading an article by Dr. Donald E. Wemore, a time management specialist, and here’s what he had to say: "Time is the great equalizer for all of us. We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, yielding 168 hours per week. Take out 56 hours for sleep (we...
  • Blog Post: Simplicity is the Ultimate Enabler

    “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein Simplicity is among the ultimate of pursuits.  It’s one of your most efficient and effective tools in your toolbox.  I used simplicity as the basis for my personal results system, Agile Results , and it’s...
  • Blog Post: Engineer Your Own Luck

    “Chance favors the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur Are you feeling lucky? If you’re an engineer or a developer, you’ll appreciate the idea that you can design for luck , or stack the deck in your favor. How do you do this? As Harry Golden said, "The only thing that...
  • Blog Post: High-Performance Patterns: Find Your Personal High-Performance Pattern

    At Microsoft, it’s a high-performance culture.  There are high-expectations as well as regular one-on-ones, ongoing feedback, training and development opportunities, mentoring, performance reviews, and more. To keep up with the game, you need a combination of learning proven practices for personal...
  • Blog Post: High-Performance Mode for Outstanding Personal Performance

    One of the best books I’ve been reading on personal high-performance is Patterns of High Performance: Discovering the Ways People Work Best, by Jerry L. Fletcher. In the book, Fletcher explains the difference between getting results through grind-it-out mode vs. high-performance mode . The gist is this...
  • Blog Post: Physical Intelligence and How To Live Longer with Skill

    I’ve added another category to Sources of Insight: Physical Intelligence I think it’s a good way to consolidate, integrate, and synthesize all of the body, health, fitness, and mind-body connection stuff.   I’m also increasingly appreciative of the power of intelligence .   ...
  • Blog Post: 10 Big Ideas from Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

    My parents taught me early on to focus on growth over greatness. The idea was that while natural ability can take you only so far, it’s things like curiosity, challenges, continuous learning, the power of persistence, taking risks, etc. that would take you further. They also taught me that if I worried...
  • Blog Post: Social Intelligence and 95 Articles to Give You an Unfair Advantage

    Social Intelligence is hot. I added a new category at Sources of Insight to put the power of Social Intelligence at your fingertips: Social Intelligence (Note that you can get to Social Intelligence from the menu under “More Topics …”) I wanted a simple category to capture and consolidate the wealth...
  • Blog Post: 10 Big Ideas from XYZ

    I’m trying out a new way to do book reviews, to share more value in a better, faster, and easier way, with a predictable experience.   My new approach is to focus on 10 big ideas. Here’s an example: 10 Big Ideas from BRIEF Side note – BRIEF is a powerful book with hard-core techniques for getting...
  • Blog Post: How To Have Your Best Year Ever

    There’s a little trick I learned about how to have your best year ever: Commit to Your Best Year Ever That’s it. And, it actually works. When you decide to have your best year ever, and you make it a mission, you find a way to make it happen. You embrace the challenges and the changes that come you way...
  • Blog Post: Declaration of Interdependence

    You might already know the Agile Manifesto : Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan But do you know the Declaration of Interdependence : We increase...
  • Blog Post: The Power of Annual Reviews for Personal Development

    Talk about taking some things for granted.  Especially when it’s a love-hate relationship.  I’m talking about Annual Reviews.  I didn’t realize how valuable they can be when you own the process and you line them up with your bigger goal setting for life.  I’ve done them for so long...
  • Blog Post: 25 Holiday Classic Movies and a Lesson Learned

    A few years back, I put together a roundup of 25 holiday classic movies to help people find their holiday spirit: What 25 Holiday Classics Teach Us About Life and Fun The post was pretty broken in terms of formatting, but the content is evergreen, so I took the time to revamp it.  It should be 1000...
  • Blog Post: Personal Development Articles Free and At Your Fingertips

    Browse free personal development articles that will elevate your game in work and life.   If you have a passion for personal development, then you’ll enjoy this knowledge base of personal development articles on Sources of Insight: Personal Development Articles There are more than a 1,000 personal...
  • Blog Post: Lists at a Glance

    Lists are your friend when it comes to productivity, focus, and personal effectiveness.   If you’re  a Program Manager, you already know the value of lists, whether it’s a list of scenarios, a list of features, a list of bugs, a list of milestones, a list of open work, etc. I use lists...
  • Blog Post: 10 Emotional Intelligence Articles for Improving Your Effectiveness in Work and Life

    Emotional intelligence is one of the most important tools to add to your tool belt, whether you are a leader, a manager, a manager of managers, or an individual contributor that needs to influence without authority. Emotional intelligence is “the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions...
  • Blog Post: Nelson Mandela Quotes

    As a tribute to Nelson Mandela, I put together a comprehensive collection of the best Nelson Mandela quotes: Nelson Mandela Quotes It’s a pretty extreme collection, organized by key themes like compassion, courage and conviction, and humility. One of the things that surprised me is how much Mandela was...
  • Blog Post: Shareholder Value is a Result, Not a Strategy

    In Motley Fool Stock Advisor, David Gardner writes about a idea from 1970 that changed the business culture at large: “In 1970, Noble Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman wrote a famous article for The New York Times Magazine, decrying the idea that businesses should have any sense of social responsibility...
  • Blog Post: The Greatest Personal Development Gifts

    I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best personal development gifts: The Greatest Personal Development Gifts Ever I wanted to put together a profound catalog of the best personal development programs that the world has ever known.   At Microsoft, I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing...
  • Blog Post: Life Hacks on Sources of Insight

    I now have a life hacks category on Sources of Insight .   It includes strategies and tactics for hacking life and how to live a little better.  It includes posts on life, life quotes, lessons learned in life, and what is the meaning of life. My latest addition to my life hacks bucket...
  • Blog Post: Strategic Talent Acquisition

    "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." -- Michael Jordan I've been asked recently about competitive talent acquisition strategies.  I'm not a recruiter and I don't play one on T.V., but I thought I would share what I've seen work in the real world. People...
  • Blog Post: The Recipe of Great Leaders: WHY, HOW, WHAT

    “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates Seasoned leaders focus on WHAT, and then HOW. Smart leaders start with WHY. So the obvious conclusion is that the right recipe is WHY, WHAT, HOW. But that’s the surprise. The most effective leaders know the...
  • Blog Post: The Exponential Results Formula

    It’s time for another take.  Here it is: The Exponential Results Formula I made a mistake when I first named it.  I called it, The Way of Success (sort of Bruce Lee style.) While it certainly is the way of success, it really is more of a specific technique for getting exponential results ....
  • Blog Post: The Collaboration Economy

    Is collaboration the new competitive advantage?  Possibly.   I do know that those at work that pair up on things, and combine their capabilities can outshine those that go it alone.  And, I do see how people with better networks tend to have an easier time making their ideas happen...
  • Blog Post: Now Available: Trends Page at Sources of Insight

    One of the most important things I learned long ago is the power of trends, and how they can help you anticipate.  Now, each year, as a habit, I put together a serious and significant roundup of trends.   Here are my trends collections at your fingertips: Trends (If you read nothing else...
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