For Friday Reflection, I took a look back through the project teams I’ve lead through some big challenges and even bolder ambitions. I listed out the people I worked on various projects to help remember some of my best inspiration, motivations, and lessons learned in this life.
A quote by Cas McCullough comes to mind:
“The road won’t always be easy but it will be worth it.”
And sometimes advice from Winston Churchill would often help me stay the course:
“When going through hell, keep going”.
It’s true what Maya Angelou said about how we remember people:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Our Stories are All We Have
Our life is our stories. The ones we tell others, and the ones we tell to ourselves.
Karen Fisher reminds us that every person we know is a chance to grow:
“Our stories are all we have. The only thing that can save us is to learn each other’s stories. From beginning to end….For every life we know, we are expanded.”
Maybe though, it’s Dr. Seuss that reminds us how to embrace the experiences in our life:
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Surround Yourself with the Dreamers (and the Ones Who Lift You)
Let’s start this off right and give a shout out to one of the best quotes ever on surrounding yourself with the right people.
Here is a quote by Simone Biles that really says it all:
“Surround yourself with the Dreamers. The Doers. The Believers. And Thinkers: But most of all, surround yourself with those who see Greatness within you even when you don’t see it in yourself.”
Jim Rohn put it well when he said, “You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with.” There is also a variation along the lines of “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
We really do mimick and mirror the people in our life, because we’re social creatures, creatures of habit, we have a lot of mirror cells, and it’s how we learn.
Pair Up to Change the World
There are some great quotes about dream teams, such as John Maxwell’s “Teamwork makes the dream work”.
I really like how Richie Norton puts it:
“If you can dream it up, you can team it up.”
Anytime I try to change the world, I remind myself that all things are created twice, first in the mind, and then in the world. And I always keep in mind what Einstein taught us:
“Imagine is more valuable than knowledge”
I love hacking big dreams down to size so teams can execute against the vision and make it happen and learn along the way. It’s a powerful way to turn dreamers into achievers, and remind achievers that all great things start with a dream.
Cherish the ones who dream big, it’s how we move mountains and they are the ones who remind us, “Oh, the places you’ll go.”
Now here is my fast tour of the people that I worked with to change the world…
The Microsoft Books of Dreams
I created the Microsoft Book of Dreams model as a framework to help leaders reimagine the future and explore the art of the possible. Peter Fisk shared a pretty good overview of the Microsoft Book of Dreams. This is literally where I got to build “Dream Teams” to change the world.
And if you worked on the Book of Dreams, you were known as a Dream Builder.
The big idea was to innovate around customer challenges and create new business breakthroughs using technology. This is why we would say, “Business because of technology.”
For each project, I would build a dream team and we would swarm around customer pains, needs, and desired outcomes while working through stories, scenarios, and insights. We built Books of Dreams for a number of areas :
- Industries: Automotive, banking, education, health, retail, media, telco, sports, the future of cities, and more.
- Personas / Business Function: Chief Digital Officer, the Chief Marketing Officer, the Chief Information Officer, the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Human Resources Officer, etc.
- Disruptive Technologies: Disruptive technologies included Mixed Reality, Blockchain, IoT, AI and more. The real beauty was lighting up new industry possibilities such as AI Book of Dreams for Retail or Blockchain Book of Dreams for Banking.
- Philanthropies: Our philanthropy team really liked the model and built Books of Dreams to help several philanthropy organizations share and scale their digital dreams to change the world.
Here are some of the Dream Teams that helped create and shape the future…
|Airlines Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson. Ravish KumarContributors and Reviewers
Alan Hakimi, Bill Hubbell, Blessing Sibanyoni, Cassandra St. Louis, David Spinelli, Deepak Mani, Greg Jones, J.D. Marymee, Jolly Kaur, Linda Chapman, Noohu Mohamed, Ron Lamb, Tareq Ayub
|Banking Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, Indu SasikumarContributors and Reviewers
Albert Kolb, Alberto Manuel Fernandes Dias, Alexandre Nardi, Alma Cardenas, Antonio Ruggiero, Anya Minbiole, Blessing Sibanyoni, Cassandra Whobrey, Chrysa Mataragka, Colm O’Halloran, Eric Perkins, Fernando Machado Piriz, Franck Goron, Jan-Willem Ophof, Jenny Fridheim, Joerg Heier, Johan Klut, Michael Mueller, Nikos Makris, Ofir Tessel, Pervaiz Gul, Reinier Schut, Steffen Futterer, Steve Leigh, Willman Garzon, Yousef El-Foudeh
|Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Salim NaimContributors and Reviewers
|Chief Information Officer (CIO) Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Jim DuBois, Andy Eunson
Contributors and Reviewers
|Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson,Contributors and Reviewers
Ali Krichene, Alik Levin (Caradigm), Bill Hubbell, Bret Arsenault,
Bryan McMillan, Jason Taylor, Jolly Kaur, Joseph Lindstrom,
Kelly File, Patrick O’Rourke, Tracey Ferriss
|Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Jeff Marcoux, Andy EunsonContributors and Reviewers
Al Sheehan, Alessandro Balzarelli, Anya Minbiole, Bill Hubbell, Blessing Sibanyoni, Brad Clayton, Caroline Atelius, CAT Susch, Frederic Caillieret, Gil Pettegrew, Gini Ekstein, Holly Kelly, Jolly Kaur, Kelly File, Kevin Urie, Kirk Carver, Manik Sarkar, Melissa Roy, Peter Deane, Marcia Engel, Michael Harris, Marcia Engel, Mark Croft, Philippe Brissaud, Puneet Gupta, Rathi Ranjan Dasgupta, Sarah Steiger, Steve Sweetman, Valerie Vogt, Vijay Musuvathy
|Chief Human Resources Office (CHRO) Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, Rachita GhosalContributors and Reviewers
Kathleen Hogan, Andreas Kopp, Anya Minbiole, Arno Harteveld, Bill Hubbell, Brad Clayton, Chris Gideon, Chris Nouveau, Deepak Mani, Erin Lowe, Frederic Caillieret, Gary Fung, Gerardo Amaya, Irada Sadykhova, Jay Clem, Jeff Shih, Jolly Kaur, Kannan Venkatraman, Kim Leader, Lucy Hur, Marc Ashbrook, Mark Bestauros, Mazen Fayad, Michael Minnie, Nathan Barnett, Oksana Nigaychuk, Patricio Molina Vargas, Paul Lidbetter, Prerna Ajmera, Phil Eng, Richard Tso, Sarah Mocke, Saumil Gandhi, Sjors Dignum, Stacy Elliott, Steve Sweetman, Theresa Dahl, Tuan Jean Tee, Yalle Elehu, Y-Nhi Dang
|Citizen Services Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Cigdem Cimen Aygun, Mandeep Bhatti, Rachita Ghosal, Valentina IonContributors and Reviewers
Aldis Vilums; Andrea Battaglia; Andrew Hawkins; Ben Saville; Bora Kivrak; David Russell; Eve Machol; Iain Hogg; Jose Antonio Ondiviela Garcia; Kelly Johnson; Prajakt Deotale; Priya Bhargavi Bayyapu; Robert Hernady; Rusya Kalikhman; Sally Nofte; Simon Hakim; Shaaz Nasir; Susie Kalousis; Umit Tiric
|CityNext Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy EunsonContributors and Reviewers
Aldis Vilums, Alessandro Balzarelli, Alexandre Nardi, Amir Kareem, Amos Miller, Anant Daylan, Anya Minbiole, Barbara Perry, Bill Hubbell, Bill Mitchell, Blessing Sibanyoni, Brad Clayton, Brant Zwiefel, Carrie Griffiths, Chris Harries, Dave Coplin, Daniel Sumner, David Anderson, Deepak Mani, Detlef Kaiser, Evan Diamond, Fred Chong, Ha Cole, Ian Webster, Itisha Basu, Iveta Topalova, Jacob Bang, James McGregor, Jarnail Chudge, Jim Burns, Jolly Kaur, Joneil M Sampana, Kathryn Willson, Keith Hill, Keith Weinzerl, Kim Nelson, Kurt Allebach, Larry Cochrane, Laudon Williams, Lesly Goh, Lina Mongrand, Linda Chandler, Manojkumar Ganesamoorthy, Mark Bestauros, Philippe Brissaud, Rahul Sharma, Ray Stephenson, Rimes Mortimer, Rob Bernard, Rob van der Ende, Robert Alders, Ron Zahavi, Sook Huey Wong, Steve Sweetman, Terry Chapman, Thuy Lev, Tim Gregson, Tim Lehew, Ty Moore, Tyson Storch, Vernon Lee, Yasser Abdel Kader
|Consumer Electronics Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, Juhi Talesara, Mark BestaurosContributors and Reviewers
Bill Hubbell, Chris Harries, Conan Thomas, Dewain Robinson, Enrique Andaluz, Greg Todd, Helder Alexandre, Indranil Sircar, Jolly Kaur, Kelly File, Mark Hoffman, Matthew Brennan, Pratap Ladhani, Puneet Gupta
|Consumer Goods Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, William HeurdierContributors and Reviewers
Andrew Quinn, Doug Caywood, Ilia Fortunov, Jolly Kaur, Laurent Foret, Steve Sweetman
|Education Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, Celso AvelarContributors and Reviewers
Aditya Srirama Venkata Naga Darbha, Barbara Perry, Daniel Rubiolo, David Middleton, David Spinelli, Ha Cole, Kathleen Sheeha, Kurt Allebach, S Srinivas Sivakuma, Shelly Bird, Yousef El-Foudeh
|Healthcare Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, Varanasi Srinivasa Surya SasankaContributors and Reviewers
Andrew Tran, Andy Pedack, Bill Hubbell, Blessing Sibanyoni, Bob Davidson, Bob Yates, Brook Karen, Bryan Ong, Chris Polk, Christopher Regan, Clifford Goldsmith, Daniel Carchedi, David Heckerman, David Spinelli, Dennis Schmuland, Dewain Robinson, Dick Mandemaker, Ellen Campbell, Eric Perkins, Erik Mlincek, Ernie Perez, Evan Diamond, Gareth Hall, Ghazni Ahmed, Greg Todd, Ian Erridge, Jason Peterson, Jeanne O’Kelley, Jerry Yang, John Barto, Jolly Kaur, Kelly File, Laudon Williams, Leslie Sistla, Lesly Go, Mark Hoffman, Matt Valentine, Matthew Slavin, Naveen Dhar, Neil Jordan, Paul Thomas, Phillip Eng, Raj Rajendran, Ravi Mundhe,
Roger Chappé de Léonval, Sandro D’Aviera, Srinivasa Sivakumar, Steve Sweetman, Sumedha Chakraborty, Tom Lawry
|Manufacturing Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, Rachita GhosalContributors and Reviewers
Akansha Gawade, Alessandro Balzarelli, Allen Brokken, Andrew Quinn, Anya Minbiole, Bill Hubbell, Barry O’Reilly, Blessing Sibanyoni, Brent Sinclair, Brian Loomis, Chandra Kariyappa Raju, Dave Morehouse, Dottie Shaw, Egbert Schroeer, Enrique Andaluz, Grant Peters, Jolly Kaur, Kelly File, Mark Benyovszky, Raman Johar, Rinaldo Coccia, Rudy Dillenseger, Sanjay Ravi, Shrishail Pathani, Simone Banchieri, Stefan Krinke, Steve Kosted, Steve Sweetman, Susan Jackson, William Heurdier
|Media Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Jen Cooper, Nick KatsivelosContributors and Reviewers
Bill Hubbell, Carlos de Huerta Mezquita, Chrysa Mataragka, Katharine English, Jeff Saper, John Cosley, Lionel Gourvitch, Mary Wayte Bradburne, Paul Lunden, Tina Damaskou, Vittorio Centurione
|Mining Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Joseph Starwood, Andy EunsonContributors and Reviewers
Alkis Flemetakis, Anna Baynon, Anya Minbiole, Avraham Shechter, Brian Loomis, David Epp, David Spinelli, Denis Chalifour, Egbert Schroeer, Erick Jansson, George Earl, George Katergaris, Ian Hoyle, Johnathan Clarke, Jolly Kaur, Jorge Diaz-Zapater, Kadri Umay, Karen Mitchell, Kim Schulze, Mark Bestauros, Matt Burke, Mazen Fayad, Michael Wilmot, Miles Gustafson, Nives Stanfelj, Raj Kumar, Salim Naim, Stan Kotlyar, Steve Sweetman, Susan McLaws, Susan Woodell, Tim Litton, Tony Gonzalez, Vartan Karapetyan
|Modern Work Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Chris Gideon, Andy Eunson, Kim Leader, Rachita GhosalContributors and Reviewers
Andreas Kopp, Anya Minbiole, Bart Bischoff, Bill Hubbell, Brad Clayton, Deb Bannon, Deepak Mani, Daniel Rubiolo, Darron Inman, Drew Gude, Erin Lowe, Frederic Caillieret, Gary Fung, Gerardo Amaya, James Petrosky, Jay Clem, Jeff Shih, Jesse Howard, Jolly Kaur, Kannan Venkatraman, Marc Ashbrook, Mazen Fayad , Michael Minnie, Nate Williams (LinkedIn), Nathan Barnett, Nindy Hunter, Oksana Nigaychuk, Patricio Molina Vargas, Paul Lidbetter, Prerna Ajmera, Phil Eng, Richard Smith, Richard Tso, Sarah Mocke, Saumil Gandhi, Steve Sweetman, Theresa Dahl, Tracey Fountain, Tuan Jean Tee, Vaibhav Agarwal, Yalle Elehu, Y-Nhi Dang
|Oil & Gas Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andy Eunson, Abhinay YadavContributors and Reviewers
Abdallah Fateen, Adil Soofi, Alan Hakimi, Alberto Manuel Fernandez Dias, Bill Hubbell, Blessing Sibanyoni, Claudia Roessler, Dania Kodeih, Danny Venables, Egbert Schroeer, Fabian Sirach, Greg Todd, Jean-Claude Monney, Jeff Fryling, Jennifer Marsman, Jolly Kaur, Kadri Umay, Kelly File, Keven Markham, Kirk Carver, Luia Pulkka, Maneesha Lall, Mark Benyovszky, Muge Wood, Nidal Al-Basha,
Nives Stanfelj, Omar Saleh, Rachita Ghosal, Raman Johar, Randy Hoppe, Sam Hammami, Vijay Oberoi, Wael Ahmed, Yasser Abdel Kader
|Professional Services Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Ted Kempf, Andy EunsonContributors and Reviewers
Albert Kolb, Bill Hubbell, Brent Sinclair, Carr Phillips, Christine Burtin-Le Mezo, Dean Abrams, Eiko Ermold, Elliott Ichimura, Frederic Caillieret, Geraint Thomas, Ian Crow, Jolly Kaur, J.P. DeCuire, Kelly File, Martin Beyer, Nichola Pelot, Philippe Brissaud, Phillip Joe, Salim Naim, Sree Sundaram, Steve Sweetman
|Retail Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Ravish KumarContributors and Reviewers
Anya Minbiole, Blessing Sibanyoni, Casey Hanson, César Del Barrio Aguado, Deepak Mani, Hemant Anand, Hugo Martorelli, Ilan Ostfeld, Jan-Willem Ophof, Jolly Kaur, Marc-André Morisset, Marty Ramos, Michael Hoisek, Praveen Gururaja, ShiSh Shridhar, Steve Sweetman, Susan Jackson, Vladimir Mahnev, Yatty Wu, Zeta Tsatsani
|Sports Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Sebastian Lancestremere, Andy EunsonContributors and Reviewers
Alessandro Balzarelli, Alessandro Lombardi, Alexander Strauss, Bill Hubbell, Christina Klein, Guillermo Morales Sanchez, Jeff Hansen, Jesus Serrano Castro, Jim DeMarco, Jolly Kaur, Karen Hollander, Kelly File, Marina Boter Vidal, Mercedes Blanco Garcia, Mike Downy, Monica Robbins, Nuria Gonzales Florez, Orlando Ayala, Salim Naim, Steve Fox, Stewart Mison, Samara Donald, Stephanie Reitz, Sudarshan Gopaladesikan, Tracye Foy
|Telco Book of Dreams||Authors
J.D. Meier, David Meltzer, Andre Truter, Rick Lievano, Zeta TsatsaniContributors
Anna Minbiole, Bill Hubbell, Daniel Zini, Drew Gude, Jolly Kaur, Lunga Mvinjelwa, Mark Lamb, Raghavendra Rao, Rita Arrigo, Roberto Garcia, Simon Ripley, Stefanie Meister, Tuan Jean Tee, Yasuyuki Tsuchiya
The First “Blue Books” of Microsoft (the Microsoft Architecture Guides)
I remember when Eric Rudder, a former technical assistant for Bill Gates, first held one of his books in his hand. He said: “Congratulations, you created a Blue Book, and it’s seriously good.”
The purpose of the “Blue Books” at Microsoft was to help architects and teams build better solutions on the Microsoft platform (or at I would say to my aunt, “We show customers how to put our Legos together”).
We used these guides and prescriptive guidance to share and scale expertise.
For customers, the impact was huge. Instantly, we saw customers accelerate success, positively change their confidence in the platform, increase adoption and drive satisfaction with the platform. Oh yeah, and these award-winning guide would help us win competitive platform assessments every time.
Here are some of the dream teams I worked with…
|Book / Project||People|
|Application Architecture Guide||Authors
J.D. Meier, Alex Homer, David Hill, Jason Taylor, Prashant Bansode. Lonnie Wall,
Rob Boucher Jr.. Akshay BogawatContributors and Reviewers
|Building Secure ASP.NET Apps||Authors
J.D. Meier, Alex Mackman, Srinath Vasireddy, Michael DunnerContributors and Reviewers
|Cloud Engagement Notes||Authors
J.D. Meier, Alex Mackman, Jason Taylor, Paul EnfieldContributors and Reviewers
|Improving .NET Application Performance Scalability||Authors
J.D. Meier, Srinath Vasireddy, poration Ashish Babbar, Alex MackmanContributors / Reviewers
|Improving Web Services Security||Authors
J.D. Meier Carlos Farre Jason Taylor Prashant Bansode Steve Gregersen Madhu Sundararajan Rob BoucherContributors and Reviewers
|Performance Testing Guidance||Authors
J.D. Meier, Carlos Farre, Prashant Bansodem, Scott Barber, Dennis ReaContributors and Reviewers
|Security Engineering Explained||Authors
J.D. Meier, Alex Mackman, Blaine Wastell, Prashant Bansode, Jason Taylor, Rudolph AraujoContributors and Reviewers
|Team Foundation Server Guide||Authors
J.D. Meier, Jason Taylor, Alex Mackman, Prashant Bansode, Kevin JonesContributors and Reviewers
|Threats and Countermeasures: Improving Web Application Security||Authors
J.D. Meier, Alex Mackman, Srinath Vasireddy, Michael Dunner, Ray Escamilla, Anandha MurukanContributors and Reviewers
|The Value Realization Framework How To Guide||Authors
J.D. Meier, Paul Enfield, Jason Taylor, Alex Mackman
Every ending is a new beginning. Just like when one project ends, another beings, or when one door closes, another opens.
To build and hold that sense of urgency for embracing life, I remember how Seth Godin put it:
“Life is like skiing. Just like skiing, the goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill. It’s to have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets.”
Your dreams are waiting for you.
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