Leadership is a team sport

Microsoft develops leaders at all levels


Today we have an opportunity to focus on leadership – because Microsoft just got recognized by our peers as one of the top global companies for leadership. When we envision leadership, it’s usually in a conversation about what happens “at the top.” But at a company with the breadth and depth of Microsoft, leadership happens at all levels, across all parts of the business.

Technically speaking, leadership is a noun. Lead is a verb. When I look around Microsoft, I see people of all ages leading! I talk to millennials just a few years out of college who are leading projects and teams – and I see people with 30 years of entrepreneurial experience who are joining Microsoft to lead new businesses.

In fact, The Seattle Times featured a few of these leaders in a recent story, Startup culture stirring at Microsoft. For instance, Ben Gilbert is not that far out of college, and he is now leading The Garage! Why? Because a leader recognized his talent – and gave him an opportunity.

Leadership is something most people aspire to and companies work hard to foster. So, imagine our delight, when we learned Microsoft is ranked as one of the top companies for leadership. Just yesterday, the consulting firm Hay Group released its Best Companies for Leadership study results. Microsoft is #2 on their global list and the only technology company in the top five.

It’s important to note that this study is based on the opinions from a survey Hay Group sent to contacts and followers around the globe. Our peers nominated companies they considered the best at developing and nurturing leaders. Of the 18,000 people who participated, more than 14 percent of our peers (2,656 people) picked Microsoft.

To everyone who nominated us, thank you!

Scott Pitasky, Corporate Vice President, Talent & Organizational Capability, shared his point of view on the topic: Leadership is a team sport at Microsoft.”

Scott emphasizes that it’s our people who make us successful and that leadership comes from many different parts of the company, not necessarily at the top.  A leader’s role, he says, is to recognize potential and nurture it.

In his view, “Nine out of ten times, individual brilliance emerges from a collective brilliance.”

Hay Group also identified some trends. For example, organizations are now focusing on developing leaders in ‘the middle,’ knowing the business environment of tomorrow will be much different than today.

When we hire today, we’re hiring the leaders of tomorrow. Passion and communication are two of the most important qualities we seek in a leader.

As you approach graduation from college or chart the trajectory of your professional career path, where do you want to build a future? If you see yourself at a company that’s evolving, experimenting and collaborating – for impact – Microsoft might be the right fit for you.


Be a leader at Microsoft:

Apply for jobs here.

Related links:

Check out the Best Companies for Leadership study results.

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