John Poelstra

Bringing order to chaos and clarity to confusion

Wanna Get That Boat Back in the Water?

Would you help me move my professional coaching certification forward by meeting with me one time?

All you need is a situation or a problem in your life you’d like to make better. We’ll talk about it and discover new possibilities and solutions.

Are You Looking for a Coach?

I’m expanding my coaching practice and taking new clients. If you, or someone you know is looking for a way to move past the things that are holding them back and to reach the things they really want, I’d love… Continue Reading →

Feeling Motivated in Your Work

This section from from page 24 of So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport is spot on: SDT (Self-Determination Theory) tells us that motivation, in the workplace or elsewhere, requires that you fulfill three basic psychological needs–factors described… Continue Reading →

Volunteering and Getting Involved in Portland

I was talking to a friend the other day about ways to get more involved in the local Portland scene for networking and volunteering.  Here are several avenues I’m aware of. Most I’ve tried in one form or the other…. Continue Reading →

Why I Love Facilitating Meetings

I recently told Mike Vardy over at the Productivityist how much I love facilitating project meetings and he told me I had a to write a blog post about it. It hadn’t occurred to me how unusual I might be… Continue Reading →

Don’t Honor My Time by Talking About It

One phrase I want to drop from my vocabulary is the trite and over-used term often thrown around at the beginning of meetings by a host or facilitator who says they “want to honor everyone’s time.” One big way to… Continue Reading →

More Timer Power

I heard a great interview with Jim Woods over on the Rap With Nic podcast several weeks ago. In addition to some great productivity ideas I was reminded of the power of the timer. I use them from time to,… Continue Reading →

It Must be Someone’s Fault

Blame is just as prevalent in relationships as it on product teams and projects. I had a good laugh with my wife while watching this video. I’m always amazed how much insight Brene Brown draws from a simple concept or… Continue Reading →

44 Best Bodyweight Exercises

I’m a huge fan of bodyweight exercises. I can do some of these, but nearly as many as I would like. I’m always amazed at the variety and simplicity of these exercises. Well, they might be hard to execute, but… Continue Reading →

What’s the Different Between a Program or Project?

A common quesiton I’m often asked is “What’s the difference between a program and a project?” or “What’s the difference between a program manager and a project manager?” And although nobody has ever asked the question here on this blog… Continue Reading →

Meetings Aren’t For Collecting Status

One of the compliments I received a few weeks ago was an appreciation for my efficient meetings. I was never sure if anyone noticed or cared. In this spirit, when I kicked off my first program meeting with the Red… Continue Reading →

Say Thank You and Make it Personal

I recently changed positions at Red Hat, more on that in my February goals post. After sending a short email to the teams I’d been working with announcing this change, I received a few personal emails back. I was really… Continue Reading →

February 2015 Goals

January 2015 was supposed to be all about restarting. It felt more of like a month of “re-failing.” I suppose the good news is that I was more active towards completing my goals than I was in December, but I… Continue Reading →

Tell Me How Much You Value My Feedback by Responding

The online marketing space is interesting to say the least. Today I’m particularly thinking of people with podcasts and to a lesser extent blogs. In a time when authenticity and trust are key to building relationships I’m surprised at the… Continue Reading →

Have You Experienced This Corrosive Disease That Ruins Teams?

One insidious way to undermine an entire group or product team is to allow or participate in gossip about other people–conversations focused around other people who “don’t do anything” or aren’t “busy enough.” It’s even more damaging when a leader… Continue Reading →

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