A few weeks ago, I decided to go to the Microsoft company store to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office for my new notebook, which is currently running a trial version. After getting the software along with a portal Microsoft mouse, I casually walked to my car and looked up to see Steve Balmer, CEO of Microsoft, talking to a man in the parking lot. I had to look twice to confirm it was really him.
I was astonished to see such an important man not only hanging out in the parking lot, but not rushing off to an important meeting or being surrounded by assistants or being driven in a limo. In the four years that I was at Dell, I only saw Michael Dell twice, both speaking before a large audience.
On another occasion, our group was informed that they had to straighten up the area (which was opposite the Dell Enterprise Command Center), dress appropriately, and avoid loud conversations because Michael was going to be touring the Command Center. The expectation was also that we stay out of sight.
After seeing Steve Balmer, I rushed to my car and immediately called Rich. After talking for a few minutes, I purposely circled back to see whether Steve Balmer was still in the parking lot. Not only was he there, standing by his Ranger Rover, but he was shaking hands with several employees!
Hopefully, the next time I see him, I won’t be so bashful about walking up and voicing my admiration for Microsoft.