Ready to Inspire, Inspired to be Ready
by Aaron Cova and Emily Catan | August 27, 2018
A Desire to Inspire
Disembarking at T-Mobile arena, lining up to get into our seats, and looking around at the 20,000 strong crowd of friends and colleagues as we awaited the first CoreNote of the morning at Microsoft Inspire was breathtaking.
Inspire brings together partners from around the world to learn, connect, and reconnect. What struck me at this year’s event was the feeling of community. As CEO Amy Hood took the stage, from the beginning of her CoreNote through to closing, it was clear that she is not just a finance leader, but a member of our extended community.
I was left with a sense that Amy cares about more than just the number at Microsoft. This is a leader who lives for the impact we can all make for our customers and partners. Her appreciation of the positive difference we are bringing to customers with our partners in lockstep with us was clearly evident, not only as a proud CFO but also on a personal level. I left inspired, knowing that my efforts, drive, and dedication to do what I can for Microsoft and for our customers is truly appreciated by leaderes like Amy.
A Meeting Point Across Oceans
Throughout my time at Microsoft, I have taken it upon myself to reach out to my counterparts on the other side of the world and build relationships.
Though our immediate duties do not cross pollinate day to day, the talent, wisdom, and stories we share helps us to be better professionals and more importantly, more enlightened individuals.
Having the opportunity to finally meet the colleagues who I had only spoken to or whose inspirational emails I leverage to build myself in my career was the biggest highlight of Microsoft Ready, the company’s annual sales conference. For me, it was as much a new pleasure to share space with these individuals as it was familiar and comforting.
As an opportunity to meet in person, Ready brought me a feeling of belonging and acceptance from inspiring people seas around the globe, leaving me with the certainty that I am in the right place both in my career at Microsoft, and in life.
Coming Together to Celebrate
Microsoft truly embraces a global mindset and lives the concept of “OneMicrosoft” down to its core. At MS Ready 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to connect with fellow Inside Sales team members across the globe to celebrate, learn and share. The first event I attended was our Inside Sales Celebration, where we had an opportunity mingle with sellers from our Global Inside Sales teams. As I am based out of our Fargo campus, it was so wonderful to meet with colleagues that come from a variety of countries and cultures and speak different languages. It was so impactful to really see our team’s diversity- both diversity of background and diversity of thought- and share our stories. I am inspired and excited to work with sellers across our centers to increase our collaboration through sharing best practices, virtual community calls and cross-team selling.
I am so appreciative that we had the chance to meet with our Sydney, Dublin, Tokyo, and Costa Rica colleagues as I listened and learned from them. Opportunities like Ready help build a sense of family and belonging for each of us as we continue on our own career journeys.
Empowering others and serving our customers is Microsoft’s key mission and I am proud to be part of a team that works towards this goal. One of my favorite CoreNotes from MS Ready came from our Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossella. Chris spoke about the importance of inclusive marketing to truly embody and understand our outside world. Microsoft is doing such amazing things to be inclusive to all by offering products that enable and empower everyone.
I reflected on his CoreNote and thought about the role of Inside Sales in this mission. Every day we get to speak to our customers to understand them, to understand their businesses and to understand their worlds. We are fortunate to be able to touch our customers’ lives daily through our roles and help them through their journey of digital transformation. Knowing that our leaders truly embrace both diversity and inclusion is rewarding and inspiring. Inside Sales has such a unique opportunity to make a difference and serve others and I could not be more excited to carry this energy forward.