Microsoft COO: Key Lessons from FY09

Microsoft COO: Key Lessons from FY09

On March 5, 2010, Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft, gave a speech at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. In the speech, KT discussed how Microsoft’s board of directors asked him to provide the key lessons that he learned from FY09. Below are the seven lessons that he outlined.

1. Execution is strategic. People like to work on strategy, plans and the future. However, what makes the difference is execution, which is the ability to get things done. Results matter, not intention.

2. Growth hides mediocrity. When the tide goes out, performance rocks are revealed. Use economic downturns and resets to focus on new opportunities and solve problems.

3. Make government relations a core competency. You have to embrace local laws and ensure compliance. You have to adapt to them. Otherwise, serious problems can occur.

4. Market share is the key. If the market is declining, you can only grow the business by increasing your share of the pie. Ensure strong market share analytics and optics for targeted focus.

5. Moments of truth. Every person experiences negative circumstances that are out of their control. Tough times do not make us who we are, they show us who we are.

6. Never add things in good times that you have to remove in bad times. If you need to add something, be able to sustain it through bad times. If you do not need something, do not add it.

7. Personal and professional growth is critical. Constantly learn. Have mentors. Read a lot. Study a lot. The most important thing you learn in school is to learn how to learn.

KT’s ability to simplify and summarize a highly unique year like FY09 into seven concise, easy to understand bullet points is impressive. Simplification and summarization are areas to continually work to improve, both in speaking and writing. These are skills that increase in importance with every step up the corporate ladder.

All contents copyright © 2010, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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