Getting Results the Agile Way: A Word from the Author


Getting Results the Agile Way - A Word from the Author

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 readers 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

Photo by lululemon athletica.


  1. Hi J.D.,

    I have been following this blog for a while and decided to comment when I realized that you had also written a book. Someone from our mentorship group frequently refers to your work and “insights.”

    I appreciate your approach of first being the learner before doing teaching and mentoring. I feel like many people are so consumed with being “self-made” that the concept of self takes over and people become closed to learning. The way you are led is the way others will follow you when you lead them.

    I also appreciate “leading with your why.” It speaks to motivation and if your motivation is self-serving the results are temporary at best.

    Please be encouraged and blessed with your passion to provide wisdom and insight to others. As I have scanned many blogs, the content here does stand out. I look forward to more insights and browsing your book. I am sure I will have questions as I explore.

    Thanks again,

    Ed Kang

  2. Very well said. My favorite part about the book is its simplicity. These concepts can be used for personal growth or career growth. My favorite section is about the Hot Spots. I find that afternoons are best for me to be creative, so I’ve been applying this to my work day.

  3. J.D., “A Word from the Author” was & remains amongst your most impactful prose.

    I’ve just taken on a new role. Had I not initiated my implementation of Getting Results the Agile Way last December, today I’d feel over my head, overwhelmed, struggling with tasks instead of outcomes, wondering how I was going to make it, whether I’d finally ascended to a role in which the tried-&-true formula of throwing more time at the problems wouldn’t be enough.

    Instead, I have no doubts of success in my new role. Getting Results the Agile Way has shown me the way.

    You’ve painted moving, compelling picture. There’s no better way to evangelize Getting Results than through your personal success which you’ve so powerfully documented here.

  4. JD
    This is just exactly what I am doing right now…getting everything down to the simplest steps. If I fail now it will kill me – so I can only make myself stronger and stronger…

    I am going to prove them wrong….maybe I should start planning for my 90th birthday party now? What designs for the invitation.

    I must squeeze out time to read your new book…I surely need to adapt it to my healing….progress….because I too did not move clear across the country to fail ….
    thank you …

  5. Hello J.D. –

    This is profound. The key to success lies in why, determination, confidence and passion. Thanks for sharing the playbook.

    Bye for now,

  6. @ Ed — Thanks for stopping by. Having a bigger mission than myself definitely keeps me going. I think that being in the game and living the lessons helps me share with more empathy and relevancy.

    @ Karl — Thank you. I like that it comes across as simple. That was the real challenge — simplifying the system so that it could be easily adopted. It sounds like you’re putting it to great use.

    @ Jimmy — Thank you. Agile Results really just helps you better leverage the sum of your mind, body, and emotions to make impact in work and life. I think it’s the mindful part that helps the most and the fact that everyday is a fresh start.

    @ Patricia — I think you’ll enjoy it. If nothing else, check out the motivation and mindset chapters. Those will give you tools for finding your strength whenever you need it.

    @ Cheryl — Thank you. A little *why* goes a long way 😉

  7. Hi JD .. it’s determination that makes you .. you weren’t going to let yourself down, nor anyone else. I hope to read your book before long .. just at the moment life is tricky & I need to deal with the now .. but I’m really looking forward to taking your insights on board .. and learning from your experiences. Thanks – this is great – Hilary

  8. @ Hilary — You’re absolutely right — I decided, and by will or by skill, or ideally by both, I was determined to thrive. Thank you.

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