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James Gray
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It was July 31, 1991 and as I got on a plane from San Francisco to Dallas I had no idea that this would be the day that changed my life forever. This would be the story that I told everyone or no one at all. Victory or defeat at the most personal level. Luckily this became "our story" and I share this with you and the life lessons from that day. Early in July 1991 I accepted a job with Chevron in San Francisco after a 14 month consulting assignment at Chevron in Baton Rouge, LA. It was the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2010 at James Gray
I downloaded Windows Live Essentials beta to checkout the new features and it's very cool to see all of my social media updates from Facebook and other sites right inside of Messenger. I also like the ability to make status updates and comments from Messenger. Photos from Facebook are also very visible including the ability to view an entire photo album in slide show mode. I usually have Messenger online all the time and I have to say I view Facebook content updates more often with this new feature. Also check out the photo editing tool updates that make it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2010 at James Gray
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Thirty years ago today - July 21, 1980 - it was an event of my teenage years that I will never forget. The evening that 14 teammates made me great as I pitched a no-hitter. The "no-hitter" ball from that evening rests in my home office as a reminder of how much fun I had playing ball as a teenager, the feeling of victory, and what is possible when you compete for success. I remember the game as if it was yesterday. My teammates played great defense for seven innings giving me the chance to accomplish a pitcher's dream. It... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2010 at James Gray
The Microsoft Outlook Social Connector Provider for Facebook is now available for download to enable Facebook updates within the Outlook client. Note you will need to first install the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector. Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2010 at James Gray
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Recently I had the privilege to lead a "Who's Got Your Back" book review at Microsoft for a talented group of high potential employees within Microsoft IT. The ultimate goal was to share the key points from Keith Ferrazzi's latest book which I highly recommend while also making the workshop actionable by sharing how many of these concepts can be applied to career planning and execution. Impact only happens when you apply these principles and place them into action everyday. The career planning framework that I have discussed on this blog does align well with a number of concepts discussed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2010 at James Gray
Each weekend my family and I take out time to renew our faith and today's homily was one that resonated on a personal and professional level. The homily included the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) and how men who spoke the same language began speaking in their native tongues and could not understand each other. The homily reinforced how the breakdown in communication destroys many things including relationships, marriages, families and what could be possible. The destruction of babel is devastating in many ways when we cannot truly hear what others are saying. As I reflected on... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2010 at James Gray
We all do it everyday. The constant multitasking to keep up with our fast paced world and the information overload. The Harvard Business Review article How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking outlines the ramifications of multitasking and why taking a break from that will bring better results. I think about the meetings I attend with everybody with a laptop open. Is anybody really listening? Could we do this meeting in half the time if everybody was focused and not multitasking? There is nothing more annoying and disrespectful when someone is facilitating a meeting when everybody is multitasking. I also think... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2010 at James Gray
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The Microsoft IT Solutions Delivery organization is looking for people to help us reach our potential. The role of a Senior Solution Manager is to become the CIO of our clients. By helping them shape their long-term strategy and build technology solutions to enable the business, we can achieve trusted advisor status and earn our seat at the table. We partner with groups such as Human Resources, Operations, Sales & Marketing, Legal, Services and OEM which gives us a great opportunity as an organization to see the landscape of Microsoft. In partnership with Engineering, our organization has built some exciting... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2010 at James Gray
TypePad,thanks for always being on the cutting edge and adding new features quickly. You Rock!
1 reply
James Gray added a favorite at Everything Typepad
May 20, 2010
Over the years I have always had this theory that a successful career strategy and plan was really part of a larger life plan. How could you plan and execute upon your career without defining what you want out of life and what drives true happiness? My recent experience working with friends and colleagues confirms the hypothesis that when you help people think deep about their careers they quickly expand to examining the most intimate parts of their life. This deep introspection is the foundation for establishing a great career strategy that "blends" with the other important aspects of your... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2010 at James Gray
Justin, I followed the instructions on the sharing area and logged into FB and did get the "Admin Page" link. I did not get any other instructions to "select my blog". I also do not see the "Facebook Like" module in the categories. I do see my existing FB page fine. Any suggestions?
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The TDWI Wayne’s World post on “Evolving Your BI Team from a Data Provider to a Solutions Provider” provided a nice summary on some of the reasons why IT serves as just a data provider and how to evolve into a solutions provider. This topic is near and dear to my heart so I thought I would share some additional insights as a practitioner delivering BI solutions inside Microsoft. In my view, IT must serve the business as a trusted advisor by delivering end-to-end information-enabled solutions while also providing a secure, scalable, and reliable BI platform for the business to... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2010 at James Gray
Great feature! I configured this in settings but I don't see the widget on my sidebar on www.infotechleader.com. Any suggestions?
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If you are looking for a great opportunity to own investment plans, product management, delivery and adoption of enterprise scale IT platforms and solutions that run Microsoft then the Solution Delivery organization inside of Microsoft IT may be a great fit for you. Please send an email to james.gray@microsoft.com if you are interested to discuss and explore career opportunities in Microsoft IT. You may also connect with me on Linkedin. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2010 at James Gray
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The "Mojo Moment" - that euphoria when your energy level, enthusiasm, confidence and impact skyrockets. Have you felt it lately? Would you even know what this rush means? Over the last few weeks I felt this strong emotional rush and after reflecting on these moments it became clear to me how my career plan provided the essential ingredients for creating the Mojo in the first place. My first rush hit when a colleague remarked that he found my Career Planning Lifecycle posts insightful and planned to share them with some of his colleagues. I then began talking about how I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2010 at James Gray
Claire - this is perfect, just what I was looking for! Thanks for being proactive - TypePad is awesome....
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is there a way to adjust the width? I would like it to be consistent with the width of my sidebar on http://www.infotechleader.com
1 reply
James Gray added a favorite at Everything Typepad
Apr 9, 2010
As a IT practitioner delivering enterprise information and analytical solutions inside of Microsoft, I am very impressed by our business intelligence product strategy including the upcoming releases of SQL Server 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010 and Excel 2010. The opportunity to put BI capabilities in the hands of information workers could not be greater as recently outlined in the InformationWeek article Global CIO: Microsoft Pushes BI For The Masses: 500 Million Prospects -- InformationWeek. I see the role of IT as both an infrastructure provider as described in the article but also a trusted advisor that serves as a change agent... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2010 at James Gray
I use Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 every day and one of my favorite features is co-authoring. This feature enables multiple authors to simultaneously edit the same PowerPoint file and collaborate in real-time. This time saving feature eliminates the need for one author to check-out the file and resort to serial updates when there are multiple colleagues that are required to contribute content. Your PowerPoint 2010 view shows the author names and a visual icon on each slide that others are updating. You can simply refresh your view to see the new updates made by these authors. PowerPoint 2010 integrates other collaboration... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2010 at James Gray
The Information Management post Why Business Executives Should Care about a High-Level Data Model provides a good reminder why business stakeholder involvement is critical to an information strategy. Strong business engagement from the executive level and down is required to ensure the data represents the business and this shared representation is consistent across the organization. Data models are clearly the foundational prerequisite to transforming towards an analytical culture. A key point from an execution view is the trap that companies fall into by taking a "project" or "line of business" approach to their information strategy and data modeling. The result... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2010 at James Gray
Selling yourself every day is an essential part of career strategy execution. Many career planning frameworks fall short by not outlining what is required to effectively promote your brand promise in the eyes of potential customers. All successful products and services have a marketing plan and so should you. Your marketing plan should describe what you intend to message, who is the audience and the vehicle that will be used to deliver the message. Here are a few selling methods I have found useful: Blogs - blogs are great vehicles for showing thought leadership and collaborating with a broad network... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2010 at James Gray
This post is the fifth of a six-part series dedicated to career planning. Step 4 of the career planning lifecycle is focused on learning - the lifeblood of your brand value. A balanced career development plan outlines the opportunities to learn on the job, learn from others, and learn through training. Most people typically associate a development plan with "training" although the majority of learning happens on the job. I encourage people to be explicit on what they want to learn on the job so as a manager I can be sure to align work opportunities with the career plans... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2010 at James Gray
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This post is the fourth of a six-part series dedicated to career planning. In the first post I outlined the five steps of the career planning process. Step 1 outlined the self reflection required to define who your are and your personal brand promise. Step 2 then described the strategic framework to properly assess potential markets for your services and target a defined market. This post outlines the best practices to document your career aspirations and roadmap. Documenting your career aspirations and the roadmap of roles throughout your career must align with your personal brand profile and the target market.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2010 at James Gray