Re-Inspired

Microsoft Holiday_Divan_367

I needed MGX more than I knew. It’s amazing and sad at the same time — that we can forget what makes the people around us so special, and what makes the company we work for so unique and irreplaceable. This week, I have rediscovered my passion for Microsoft, its people, and our mission. It’s made me vow to be a better ambassador for Microsoft, and a better internal advocate for our programs and people.

We aim big, and we invest not only to win, but to transform the world. So many of the innovations I saw this week weren’t directly linked to license or service revenue, but instead were additional features to existing products that people will get for free. We add the stuff that makes people’s lives easier, and that makes businesses operate more efficiently…I saw numerous examples of how small businesses, health care, the US government, and consumers used Windows and Office and Bing and Surface and Windows Phone to make their lives easier and better and more well-connected.

But I’m not going to convince you of the value of Microsoft products and strategy if you’re not a believer…many more competent folks than me can speak to the innovations we release. I was more struck by the quality of the people, and how much they believe in our company.

Steve Ballmer cried in front of 15,000 people as he gave an award to Kurt DelBene today…because Kurt was his friend, and they had worked together for almost 20 years, and Steve was truly going to miss working with him. It was one of the most real and touching moments I’ve seen a CEO have on stage. I learned that a manager in my group flew to a team outing the day after his father died, because it was important for him to be with his team that week. I learned that one of the people in my group “took one for the team” by spending a huge part of the year working on an initiative that did not benefit her role at all, because it was the right thing for the company.

We have great people. No, not all of them. But even the ones I often curse as idiots when I’m frustrated are better than the average workers in sister companies. And I need to remember that I can’t take that for granted. I also need to remember to say thank you more often to the amazing people I work with…and to strive to also be one of the amazing people that *they* work with. We live in the reality that we create, and I need to get more “real” about my blessings.

Microsoft dreams big, which means that sometimes we fail big (hello, Vista and Zune). But at least we dream and we take the shot — living without taking risks is not the life I want for myself. And I’m glad I work for a company that feels the same way.

Here’s to not forgetting this year, and living every proud moment.

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