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Fearlessness requires more than just the right mindset — it calls for bold action and follow-through on words and ideas.
For Microsoft Canada’s Judy D’Souza, fearlessness has meant leading by example and understanding the importance of culture and of a growth mindset in an organization focused on achieving the highest level of customer and partner satisfaction.
“Any business today that wants to distinguish itself must have the customer in mind from start to finish,” she told CDN recently. “And there is no real completion of this mission — it is a job that by its very nature never ends. And this is as it should be.”
Judy, who holds a Bachelor of Science from Mysore University in Mysore, Karnataka, India, and has worked for several leading technology and telecom companies across the Middle East, joined Microsoft 27 years ago in Dubai as Office Manager, helping to open the Microsoft Middle East office. In 1998, Judy became Sr. Executive Assistant to the President of Microsoft Canada. While many say she has become the heart of Microsoft Canada, Judy maintains a team-first mindset.
“While naturally I am proud of the work I have done over the years, I don’t seek personal accolades,” she said. “In my mind, the team is everything. Being excellent in what I do may make me a strong link in the chain, but the key for me is that I help keep Microsoft strong.”
Judy’s knowledge of Microsoft’s business with partners and customers is enormous, and she is widely considered an invaluable resource to the Canadian leadership team. Since joining Microsoft, Judy has supported 12 presidents, with several going on record as saying she is the best executive assistant they have had the pleasure of working with in their career.
Aside from managing speaking engagements, customer visits, executive visits, and compliance for the Office of the President, Judy also plays a vital role in helping to serve Microsoft Canada’s Partner Network.
“I try to be that first line of defense for our partners,” she said. “These are exceptional individuals, true professionals — and I’ve always done my best to bring the highest level of professionalism to what I do. Our partners and customers deserve nothing less.”
Beyond the work Judy does in support of Microsoft’s Canadian leadership team, she is also a key driver of culture at the company, and is noted in all quarters as an exemplary model of leading with a growth mindset.
Judy was instrumental in the adoption of Microsoft’s own technology at Microsoft Canada. Due largely to her efforts, the office is now virtually paperless.
“I actually don’t see anything groundbreaking in this initiative,” she told CDN. “To my mind it is a natural progression in an organization that is one of the leading lights of the digital era. Going deeper into digital has allowed us to serve our partners and customers better. This has always been, and will always be, our top priority.”