Staying ahead and Work/Life Balance

A quick entry as this came across my IM while on a conference call: of interest from Fortune, an article on “How I Work” in which “a dozen super-achievers tell how they stay ahead in the fast lane.” (note 20110126: the article also available here as the original link appears to be broken.)

…the following 12 interviews are by no means a litany of complaints. These people, ranging from jazz maestro Wynton Marsalis to jurist Richard Posner to Goldman’s CEO, Hank Paulson, love what they do.

The challenge is to continue to do it well, when the responsibilities and complexities keep increasing. One common answer is to get up early — real early. Note to MBA students: If you can’t rise at dawn, you might just reconsider your goal of making it as a CEO.

At the office, we spend cycles on thinking about how to enable work/life balance, important when you consider we generally spend more waking hours at work and with other employees at the office than with our own familes. There’s a good aggregation article on the work essentials for work/life balance.

For me, I find that Snarf from MS Research is a good way to deal with the flow of emails I get on a daily basis (after rules process out all the mail lists): on a good/bad day (you pick), I see 200+ mails in my in box.

Of note: one manager I know is so serious about work/life balance that he all but forbids his team from sending emails late into the night (sure, there are exceptions to the rule). But he is able to live within the boundaries by responding to mail ofline after the family goes to bed and then sync’ing mail the next morning at the office.

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About me…

I’m M3 Sweatt, at Microsoft since 2001, lured to the shiny object that was previously known as the Entertainment and Devices division in Mountain View, CA. I then moved to Redmond in 2003 to join the Windows group. In 2015, I took on my current role full time as Partner Director, Program Management for Customer & Partner Experience, working with our product and services engineering and marketing groups across the company to improve customer and partner experiences and satisfaction.

I spent nearly 20 years in Silicon Valley in executive and senior management roles in product management, development and business operations roles at several media and entertainment technology companies. Prior to joining Microsoft I was Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Replay TV, and previously in senior management roles at Digidesign/Avid, 3DO, Autodesk, and Pinnacle Systems/Avid.

After the primary importance of my family, I believe strongly in personal relationships, the benefits of mentoring, innovative technology and helping to grow people and companies. An avid maker, I enjoy spending time with my wife (thank heavens she tolerates our maker labs) and our kids, particularly important as our boys now ride bikes without training wheels.

And yes, on the name… it’s really my name.  Truly you didn’t think that I would make up such a thing, did you?  (My grandfather and father are Millard Sr. and Jr. repectively, and my father named me “MIII” — I take creative license with the Arabic ‘3’ 😉

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