On a Jetplane

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It’s been a good year, work-wise. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve had two different positions in different parts of Microsoft. I passed my five year mark with the company, and I won an award for customer satisfaction. I got a promotion. I’ve competed with Google and won every time. I’ve competed with Cisco, Dell, IBM, Oracle and others and won. I closed a deal with Yammer. I brought a last-minute bluebird deal in during June. And I had my best year ever from a goal attainment and compensation standpoint.

I know my business and I understand the Microsoft sales process very well. I know my customers and I have established relationships. I generally am pretty decent at doing my job. The new frontier is to work differently — get more efficient at leveraging Microsoft resources for my customers, have new ideas, be more creative, and learn more. As the “hockey stick” of my learning has slowed down, I need to find new ways to keep myself fresh and engaged and challenged in my role.

What will I commit to doing in the new year to keep me fresh? Here’s my commitment list: Join a Board of a non-profit to improve my networking and outreach. Mentor at least two new employees or group members. Take on an extended/strategic assignment that I’ll negotiate with my manager. And read: a new business book every month, and subscribe to the key tech blogs and read the key weekly news. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

I’m on the plane to Atlanta right now, to go to our national sales conference. This week is about celebration and networking and renewal. The first week of August will be about being back in the saddle. Learning more, working differently, and growing as a professional. Here’s to Fiscal year 2014!

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