This is an excerpt from my latest book, Getting Results the Agile Way. It's from the A Word from the Author section. One of my reader's tells me that this was the most impactful prose for them. I think because it answers the question, "Why did I write this guide?" This is yet another reminder to me how important it is to lead with your why. Here it is ...
“Results were the name of the game, and I didn’t have the playbook. When I first joined Microsoft more than 10 years ago, I was overwhelmed. It was a sink or swim environment. Every day I had to play catch up from the day before. I got more email than I could possibly read, more action items than I could possibly do, and challenges that were beyond my skills. Inside the team, we affectionately called this scenario, “trial by fire.” There were no boundaries to my days, each day bled into night, where I was consistently “burning the midnight oil.” It reminded me of the saying, “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
However, I hadn’t moved across the country, leaving everything and everyone I knew behind, to fail right off the bat. One of the first things I did to survive was study the best of the best. I found people in the company that got results and I learned from them. I learned everything I could about productivity from anybody who was willing to share their system with me.
...As I mentored people and teams around Microsoft to help them get results, I honed my system. It was one thing for me to get results, but it has been quite another to package it up for other people. Because I was continuously building new project teams, I needed a system for getting new people on each team up to speed quickly. As the saying goes, “necessity is the Mother of invention.” These challenges forced me to simplify my system, and lean it down to the most effective parts. The result is a tested system that’s scaled up to large teams, down to individuals, and is a system I can bet on time and again. The most important thing is simple, so if I fall off the horse, it’s easy to get back on.
This guide is my attempt to give you the playbook that I wish somebody had given me so many years ago for getting results.”
—Excerpt from “A Word from the Author”, J.D. Meier, Getting Results the Agile Way