J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: Who's Managing Your Company?

    One of the best books I’m reading lately is The Future of Management , by Gary Hamel. It’s all about how management innovation is the best competitive advantage, whether you look through the history of great businesses or the history of great militaries.  Hamel makes a great case that strategic...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on How the Key To Longevity is To Be a Learning Organization

    Everything should be a startup. Unless you’re a learning organization that actually uses what you learn to leapfrog ahead. But the paradox is you can’t hold on too tightly to what you’ve learned in the past.  You have to be able to let things go.  Quickly.  And, you have to learn new things...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on How Success is a Mental Game

    As technology and software change our world at a faster rate than ever before, we need to play a better game. How do we play a better game? By recognizing our conceptual blocks and removing them. Here is how Satya Nadella told us to think about our mental game and conceptual blocks: “It's really a mental...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on Live and Work a Meaningful Life

    There's a quote in Ferris Bueller's Day Off : ”Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” It’s true. Satya gets it. Sayta reminds us to individually think about our broader impact, our deeper meaning, and the significance of everything we do, even the...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on Everyone Has to Be a Leader

    Satya Nadella, the new CEO for Microsoft, is all about employee engagement and employee empowerment. Here is how Satya reminded us that we all need to be a leader: “We express that core identity, being the company that allows every individual to be more empowered and get more out of every moment of their...
  • 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: 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: High-Performance Teams Happen When It All Hangs Together

    “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” -- Patrick Lencioni To create high-performance teams, you don't need the best people in the world.  But you do need people at their best. To bring...
  • Blog Post: 7 Metaphors for Leadership Transformation

    “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” — Publilius Syrus Change is tough.  Especially leading it. Whether you are leading yourself, others, or organizations through a change, it helps to have tools on your side. Recently, I read Leadership Transformed , by Dr. Peter Fuda.  It uses...
  • Blog Post: Generalists vs. Specialists

    When you build teams, one of the issues that comes up is whether to build a team of generalists or specialists. On the Microsoft patterns & practices team, because I was doing project-based work, I was effectively building new project teams roughly every six months (it varied – in the earlier days...
  • Blog Post: Improve Your Execution Excellence with Roadmaps at a Glance

    One of the ways to be awesome at work is to create roadmaps that lay out the big “projects” or “initiatives” for your team.  This helps you easily plan in a visual way, get your team on the same page, and communicate to other teams, both your impact and what’s going on. Roadmaps smash the perception...
  • Blog Post: What Keeps Leaders Up at Night

    One of the best books I’ve read lately is, What Keeps Leaders Up at Night, by Nicole Lipkin.  I wrote my review at: What Keeps Leaders Up at Night The book is all about how to be at your best, when things are at their worst. By learning a core set of leadership skills and psychology tools, you equip...
  • Blog Post: Elizabeth Edersheim on Management Lessons of a Lifelong Student

    I’m always on the lookout for the best insight and action you can use for work and life.  I especially enjoy when I find somebody who is truly a thought leader, a giant in their space. After all, I’m a big fan of helping everyone “stand on the shoulders of giants.” Elizabeth is a giant (actually...
  • Blog Post: Leadership Development in a Box

    “Managers help people see themselves as they are; Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are.” — Jim Rohn Actually, it's leadership development in a book .  The book is, Intelligent Leadership: What You Need to Know to Unlock Your Full Potential , by John Mattone. Intelligent Leadership...
  • Blog Post: 5 of the Best Books I’ve Read Recently on Getting Jobs, Doing Leadership, and Presenting with Skill

    I read a lot.  I read fast.  I go through a lot of books each month.  Books help give me new ideas and ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper.   Books are one of the best ways I get the edge in work and life. Here are the 5 of the best books I’ve read recently, along with...
  • Blog Post: Trends for 2013 at a Glance

    Is your city smarter than a 5th grader?   This is a serious and significant post everything from Smart Cities to the top 4 mega-trends shaping technology for the next 10 years.  It’s the key trends for 2013 at your fingertips: Trends for 2013 – The Rise of the Entrepreneur If you’ve ever...
  • Blog Post: Best Leadership Books

    My Best Leadership Books list is now ready for action.   I’ve revised the Top 10 Best Leadership Books section, added a Getting Started section and an A-Z List of the Best Leadership Books to help you quickly scan the full collection.  I hope you find it to be one of the most useful lists...
  • Blog Post: Change Patterns: Strategies for Influence and Impact

    The Change Patterns are a very fundamental set of strategies you can add to your Change Leadership toolkit. I’m a fan of patterns.  In their simplest form, they are a great way to build a shared vocabulary and rapidly transfer knowledge and experience.  It’s a great thing when a single word...
  • Blog Post: 25 Books the Most Successful Microsoft Leaders Read and Do

    This is a list of 25 of some of the best books that the most effective Microsoft leaders read and do.   They don’t just read the books.  They actually learn the material.  And more importantly, they actually do what’s inside.  I mentor a lot of people, and I have a lot of mentors...
  • Blog Post: Project Management, Productivity, and Leadership for Unstoppable You

    What do you get when you combine the power of project management with proven practices for productivity and leadership ? You get an extremely productive leadership … the kind that takes your execution capability to new heights and makes your competition jealous (or at least take notice.) I’ve put together...
  • Blog Post: Team of Leaders

    I have a very special guest post about leadership and how to build a team of leaders.    It’s by Bob and Gregg Vanourek, the authors of Triple Crown Leadership . It’s special because it reminds me of the leadership culture we created in the early days of the Microsoft patterns & practices...
  • Blog Post: Decision Making Article Roundup

    Decision making is a skill we get to practice every day.  The surprise is that it's the key to either accelerate or limit your career.  It's the backbone of judgment.  Leaders need the ability to make decisions and take decisive action.  Effective decision making is an art and science...
  • Blog Post: Personal Development Resources at Sources of Insight

    If you follow my blog, you know that Sources of Insight is my blog dedicated to personal effectiveness .   It includes almost 900 articles on happiness , leadership , personal development , productivity , and more. Sources of Insight also features special guest stars, including best-selling...
  • Blog Post: Leadership is Who You Are

    I'm honored to have a guest post by Alan Shelton.  It's Leadership is Who You Are .  Alan is the author of Awakened Leadership, and his guest post is about how the key to effective leadership is to be more of who you already are. It's a powerful idea.  Instead of changing who you are to...
  • Blog Post: Kanban: The Secret of High-Performing Teams at Microsoft

    If you are a project manager or a program manager, or aspiring to be, one of the best project management tools you can add to your toolbox is the Kanban. In fact, if somebody were to ask me, what’s the single best way to exponentially improve project execution, I would probably say, the answer is Kanban...
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