Zen how to succeed at microsoft - ahmad mahdi

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Zen - How to succeed at Microsoft is a presentation I developed geared towards new hires or anyone really looking to get some insight into where they are in their career. It's meant to be delivered …

Zen - How to succeed at Microsoft is a presentation I developed geared towards new hires or anyone really looking to get some insight into where they are in their career. It's meant to be delivered not necessarily read, so some items may not be readily apparent but feel free to reach me if you have questions. Ahmad

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Transcript

  • 1. career zen at microsoft
    Ahmad Mahdi – CISSP, CISM
    Information Security & Risk Mgmt
    ACE Infrastructure Services Team
  • 2. Introduction
    • What I’ve learned
    • 3. Insight I can contribute as a manager at Microsoft for the last 5 years
    2
  • 4. About me
    • Worked under three different managers in the past five years
    • 5. Managed four different teams
    • 6. Results
    3
  • 7. What’s the secret to success?(at Microsoft ANYWAY…)
    4
  • 8. Rate yourself…
    5
  • 9. Agenda
    6
    The Academic Scale
    D = Less than Average
    C = Average
    B = A bit better than some
    A = Better than most
    A+ = The best (aka Superstar)
    Credit: Mario Pipkin
  • 10. Agenda
    7
    The “Real Life” Scale
    B+ = Less than average
    A- = Average (AKA Achieved)
    A = A bit better than some
    A+ = Better than most (AKA Exceeded)
    A+ and extra credit = The Superstar
    Credit: Mario Pipkin
  • 11. Remember this…. PLEASE:
    • Doing what you’re told… is average
    8
    Credit: Mario Pipkin
  • 12. Moving Beyond “Achieved”
    9
    Credit: Mario Pipkin
  • 13. Agenda
    10
    Understand Team Direction (Alignment)
    • Make it a priority
    • 14. Align your desires with business direction
    • 15. Communicate in terms of business benefit
    • 16. Watch for trends and sudden changes in direction
    • 17. Understand the “command” structure
    • 18. Star gazing… (what are the “stars” on the team doing?)
    Credit: Mario Pipkin
  • 19. Where does your passion come from?
    11
    • Are you doing what you love?
    • 20. Why is Microsoft obsessed with “passion”?
    • 21. BRING YOUR “A” GAME.
  • What do you expect from others and what is expected from you?
    12
    • Consistency of excellent execution – is expected
    • 22. Helping others on the team – is expected
    • 23. Continuous self improvement – is expected
    • 24. Recognizing problems and solving them – is expected
    • 25. Showing leadership – is expected
    Let’s discuss…
  • 26. Consistency of execution
    13
    • Average response time
    • 27. Does your manager check your work?
    • 28. What do you do when you make a mistake?
    Let’s discuss…
  • 29. What are you owed?
    14
  • 30. The realities at Microsoft
    15
    • Leadership skills are essential in every role
    • 31. Technical skills are important, but not enough by themselves any longer
    • 32. Assess your interpersonal skills, leadership skills, organizational “agility” skills just as often
    • 33. You must be “coachable”
    • 34. You must be trustworthy, in big ways and small
    • 35. Calculated risk taking is rewarded – acceptable failures are just that… acceptable.
    • 36. Few managers like “surprises”, get ahead of things before they blow up
  • Supervision, Management & Leadership
    16
    • Understand the difference between supervision, management & leadership
    • 37. Even if you’re not in a “management” role, you can still manage tasks and projects, to demonstrate leadership continuously
    • 38. Also understand the different styles of leadership
    • 39. Understand your manager’s likes & dislikes
    • 40. What's their default “go to” strategy?
  • Thought leadership
    17
    • Think… in the past 12 months, what “new” innovation have you introduced to the team/peers/org?
    • 41. Tie thought leadership to the organization’s objectives
  • Self improvement
    18
    • There is no standing still
    • 42. If you are, you’re moving backwards… while everyone else is passing you by
    • 43. Think… what new skills do you possess today that you didn’t possess six months ago? How about twelve months ago?
    • 44. Are those skills transferable, useful, critical?
    • 45. Who’s responsibility is your self improvement?
  • Your manager and you
    19
    • Learn signs of the “manager tap dance”
    • 46. Technical leaders used to be promoted to people managers… however:
    • 47. #1 reason people used to leave Microsoft was because of poor managers
    • 48. Now, much more likely people are promoted on their ability to manage, the company has invested in managers through extensive training… still an ongoing process
    • 49. Watch and learn, what is your manager concerned about?
    • 50. Don’t ask “how am I performing in relation to person X”… ask “in your opinion, what are the characteristics of a blah” (where blah is level, commitment ranking, contribution ranking or other differentiator)
    • 51. Solve problems and make things happen
  • Your manager and you (cont’d)
    20
    • How best to use your manager?
    • 52. Build advocacy
    • 53. Your biggest fan
    • 54. Gives you the feedback you need when you ask for it
    • 55. Looks for opportunities for you
  • Your manager and you (cont’d)
    21
    • What “levers” does a manager have?
    • 56. Answer:… not many
    • 57. Bonuses & awards
    • 58. Stock
    • 59. Merit increases (maybe this year?)
    • 60. Interesting work & challenges
    • 61. Great team… great work environment… making your life easier
    • 62. And one more…
    • 63. Trust… that your manager has got your back
  • Charting your own course
    22
    • No one will build your career path for you, you own that responsibility
    • 64. Understand what you want, observe what others who have what you want do, than incorporate it into your plan
    • 65. Tell others about what you want to do and how you’re doing it
  • Successful Personal Behavior
    23
    • Vigorous debate is ‘okay’
    • 66. Be respectful
    • 67. Disagree with their position, not with them
    • 68. Base your argument on facts
    • 69. However, this is not a democracy… understand what that means
    • 70. Support the organization’s decisions once the debate has closed…
    • 71. if you can’t – its time to move on
  • Successful Personal Behavior (cont’d)
    24
    • No one likes complainers who complain for just the sake of it
    • 72. Wrap your complaint in terms that make it relevant…AND
    • 73. Ensure you always bring your own proposals for solutions to the table when you do it
  • Successful Personal Behavior (cont’d)
    • Trust is hard won, and easily lost…
    • 74. Who don’t you trust?
    • 75. Why?
  • Successful Personal Behavior (cont’d)
    26
    • People are 3 dimensional, not black & white
    • 76. Understand what motivates them…
    • 77. Just because something is an “A+” priority for you, doesn’t mean it is for them
    • 78. Be likeable.
    • 79. Listen more than you talk
    • 80. Building relationships is just as important as any other task you do
  • Impact & Influence
    27
    • Why is the ability to persuade so important?
    • 81. The lowest common denominator is an argument…
    • 82. Even if you win… you’ve probably lost
    • 83. Allow others to feel as invested as you are
    • 84. Understand that… different things motivate different people
  • Commitments
    28
    • Commitments matter… are they accurate, concise and measurable?
    • 85. Do you have a clear idea of what is expected?
    • 86. Figure out how to tie your commitments to your personal goals… align them with the organization’s goals
    • 87. How many of your commitments are HARD and CHALLENGING?
  • Promotions
    29
    • Microsoft’s philosophy is not “lets give this to someone and see if they can do it…”
    • 88. Its “s/he is already doing it, lets recognize that formally”
    The three things they tell you… and one that goes unsaid:
    • Budget
    • 89. Business justification
    • 90. Employee readiness
    • 91. What’s in it for the organization?
  • Microsoft’s review process
    30
    • Understand who your advocates are… how many do you have?
    • 92. What would those advocates say about you?
    • 93. Are you thinking: “I’m not interested in a popularity contest”?
    • 94. If you’re not your own biggest cheerleader, do you expect someone else to be?
    • 95. Are you clear on what your role’s expectations are?
    • 96. Would you win the “Titanic life boat game”?
  • Building your network
    • Use the tools you have:
    • 97. Mentorship
    • 98. Strategic initiatives
    • 99. Social groups
    31
  • 100. 32
    Contribution Rankings
    Intellectual Horsepower
    Problem Solver
    Initiative
    20%
    Leadership
    Ambition
    70%
    “Topped out”
    Not a team player
    Poor job “fit”
    10%
    Weak Business Partnering
    Negative Attitude
  • 101. Life’s too short…
    33
    Enjoy what you do!!
    If you want to chat… drop me a line: ahmadm