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career zen at microsoft<br />Ahmad Mahdi – CISSP, CISM<br />Information Security & Risk Mgmt<br />ACE Infrastructure Servi...
Introduction<br /><ul><li>What I’ve learned
Insight I can contribute as a manager at Microsoft for the last 5 years</li></ul>2<br />
About me<br /><ul><li>Worked under three different managers in the past five years
Managed four different teams
Results</li></ul>3<br />
What’s the secret to success?(at Microsoft ANYWAY…)<br />4<br />
Rate yourself…<br />5<br />
Agenda<br />6<br />The Academic Scale<br />D   =   Less than Average<br />C   =   Average<br />B   =   A bit better than s...
Agenda<br />7<br />The “Real Life” Scale<br />B+  =  Less than average<br />A-   =  Average (AKA Achieved)<br />A    =  A ...
Remember this…. PLEASE:<br /><ul><li>Doing what you’re told… is average</li></ul>8<br />Credit: Mario Pipkin<br />
Moving Beyond “Achieved”<br />9<br />Credit: Mario Pipkin<br />
Agenda<br />10<br />Understand Team Direction (Alignment)<br /><ul><li>Make it a priority
Align your desires with business direction
Communicate in terms of business benefit
Watch for trends and sudden changes in direction
Understand the “command” structure
Star gazing… (what are the “stars” on the team doing?)</li></ul>Credit: Mario Pipkin<br />
Where does your passion come from?<br />11<br /><ul><li>Are you doing what you love?
Why is Microsoft obsessed with “passion”?
BRING YOUR “A” GAME.</li></li></ul><li>What do you expect from others and what is expected from you?<br />12<br /><ul><li>...
Helping others on the team – is expected
Continuous self improvement – is expected
Recognizing problems and solving them – is expected
Showing leadership – is expected</li></ul>Let’s discuss…<br />
Consistency of execution<br />13<br /><ul><li>Average response time
Does your manager check your work?
What do you do when you make a mistake?</li></ul>Let’s discuss…<br />
What are you owed?<br />14<br />
The realities at Microsoft<br />15<br /><ul><li>Leadership skills are essential in every role
Technical skills are important, but not enough by themselves any longer
Assess your interpersonal skills, leadership skills, organizational “agility” skills just as often
You must be “coachable”
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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 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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Zen how to succeed at microsoft - ahmad mahdi

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

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