Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Looking Through the Windows into Successful Leadership

While it seems like Microsoft has dominated the computer landscape for decades, I read a surprising article this week that should remind everyone that even giants don’t arrive fully formed. I was working on some material relating to one of Soundview’s great new summaries, when I ran across a TechFlash piece about the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 95 software. The TechFlash column  links to video clips of the commercials that were intended to introduce the software to the general public. A key component of the campaign was the use of the Rolling Stones’ song “Start Me Up.”

Some people might find it interesting to learn what Bill Gates went through to connect with Mick Jagger, but I was more fascinated with then-Chief Operating Officer Robert Herbold’s assertion that the campaign was Microsoft’s first foray into television advertising. It was also intended to launch the company’s name on a national level. According to the TechFlash article, surveys conducted at the time indicated that IBM was recognized as the dominant software manufacturer with Microsoft’s name barely creating a blip on the radar of public consciousness. It’s hard to think back that far, isn’t it?

Herbold, who previously served in an executive capacity at Procter & Gamble, was instrumental in the decisions that pushed Microsoft into the public spotlight. Decision-making is at the core of Herbold’s great book, recently summarized by Soundview, What’s Holding You Back: 10 Bold Steps that Define Gutsy Leaders. Anyone in a leadership position should check out this summary. It contains some excellent advice on how to power through the difficult, make-or-break moments that define every successful executive’s career.

To get your copy (in any of Soundview’s eight digital formats!) visit


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