Hi-Po Training in London

So I feel very lucky to have spent the last three days with some brilliant folks across Europe in Microsoft’s High Potential Program.  It is an interesting program where Microsoft selects a certain number of individuals across the company world-wide that they think are the future leaders of the company.  Then these folks go through some leadership training, peer coaching, networking and on the job experiential leadership training.  All in all it has been one of the best trainings I have attended.  As part of the training we did 360 reviews where your manager, co-workers and direct reports rate you in five major leadership areas: Modeling the way, Inspring a Vision, Challenging the Process, Enabling Others and Encouraging the Heart.  It is always humbling to read how other perceive you and to understand the areas in which you need to develop more.  One of the best areas of this training is the learning circle we created in which 6 other future leaders help coach you through challenges you are currently facing.  It was a very intense three days, jammed packing and in the end quite draining but invigorating. 
We did get to have some fun in the evenings (of-course we were in London with Brits!) and enjoy some British pubs and a few good laughs.  I do love that British dry humor.  I look forward to my future meetings with my new British, Irish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch and Middle Eastern/African friends.  A few photos below and in the album to the right. 

Not all work there is play

So its not all work, I do love to play.  When I was working in Barcelona my husband did join me for a nice weekend.  We had the opportunity to catch up with our dear friend Fela and learn to eat at 11pm and have drinks and good times at the late hours for us Americans.  We then got to attend a futbol match except Barcelona killed there competition 6-0.  Was great to be with 120,000 of our closest friends.  Some pictures below of one of our favorite cities in Europe.  maybe someday we can live there!

Working with Amazing People

It has been a very busy H1 for me at Microsoft.  I have visited my teams in Slovakia, Greece, Hungary, and Poland.  Additionally, attended Leads meetings in Zurich and Barcelona.  Then I head to Ukraine and Russia before the year ends.  The thing I find so amazing is how much folks accomplish with so few people.  I think in my career the folks I work with now are more creative, think out of the box, push the limits and challenge me to think differently.  To learn the historic stories of these countries, to see where they are today and in many cases their technology adoption and implementation is light years ahead of many of my American customers I use to work with.  The understanding of the needs of the IT Professional and IT Manager and to ensure we don’t do the marketing BS but provide value and deep technical information to make them successful is very refreshing.  I hope our customers see the dedication and passion of these great folks!  From great viral digital marketing ideas to the best technical trainings, support of community activities and students to have the necessary training and skills to be competitive today. 


First, I headed to Slovakia to spend time with Peter.  He has a great pulse on his business and love what he is doing to launch a new training Portal where Peter from Hungary shared all his code for the original site.  Peter and his girlfriend (very beautiful) took me to this amazing restaurant on the top of a bridge over the Danube.


Next, I visited Martha in Greece.  I know how lucky I am to have Greece as a country I support.  You wouldn’t believe how she built no community to a busting community over 2000.  To see the passion of folks for the Microsoft Platform who aren’t even Microsoft employees is remarkable- GREAT JOB MARTHA!


I also had the opportunity to spend time with my counterparts around the world and I am amazed to hear the stories and the different approaches that we can all learn from.  Instead of working so hard, the need to work smart and share the great ideas with each other.  I think I found my long lost sister Jacqueline from Singapore, never thought two people could think so much alike.  Thanks to my Western Europe buddy Marcel who kept echoing the same challenges I face in Central Eastern Europe to our support teams in Redmond. 


Next, I headed to Poland.   Maggie is a brand new lead and has got off the ground at a running pace!  Her understanding of what IT Pros and IT Managers expect in Poland is great!  She is tweaking the programs and working with our different internal teams to show how much Microsoft cares and the value of our platform as no other company offers all the free training, free deployment guides, free whitepapers to help IT Pros and IT Managers to be successful in their jobs and try to make their jobs easier.  Right after Poland I got to visit Peter.  Peter is one of the veterans on the team and his insight and ideas have really helped me be more of a support for the team.  I appreciate him willing to share his ideas and now we have scaled several of his projects across the region!


I then headed off to TechEd in Barcelona, what a huge event all focused on deep technical content for IT Professionals and IT Managers.  So many sessions, so many topics, so many people.  It was also a time I got to meet with my team to tackle our hard issues and figure out how to solve them.  I love how Renat, Anton, Peter, Volo, Martha, Peter and Loredana keep pushing me to think differently and to take off my American lens.  (Sorry Radim and Maggie you do this too but you missed the meeting!)


See pictures of my amazing team and amazing colleagues below.  I feel very lucky to work for a great company that has such amazing teams, people who are passionate about the success of our customers and people!  Keep up the great work team!