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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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Our Very Own Bill Gates?
 
Search the name Muckleston and almost certainly the rankings on the first page will invariably bring up the name Paul Muckleston who works for Microsoft.
 
He joined Microsoft in 1996 and from 2012 - 2015 was Managing Director in New Zealand but has now moved to HO in Seattle to become Worldwide General Manager of Channel Sales for the Microsoft Surface Tablet.
 
The following article is taken from CEOs uncovered dated Tuesday October 23rd 2012 and was written by Carroll du Chateau.
 
 
Paul Muckleston wasn't ready to trade life at Microsoft in Europe for his old job as its New Zealand marketing manager. But the gamble's paid off with promotion to the top job and comfort in the Kiwi way of work
 
Work’s no longer somewhere you go, but something you do,” says Microsoft New Zealand managing director Paul Muckleston. He sits there in his jeans with cool white stitching, looking every millimeter the modern CEO and talking “the new world of work”.

At 44, Muckleston has been with Microsoft for 14 years, five of them in Europe and the last two in Paris where he was responsible for 500 staff in 33 countries. The Mucklestons came back to Auckland 14 months ago because his doctor wife wanted to finish her specialist training and for “family stuff”.

One of the upsides is giving Zara, five, and Jackson, eight, the chance to run wild on Piha beach on Auckland's west coast, where he and Maritza have bought a Kiwi bach built in 1910. It’s also a great place for Muckleston to train for his passions of trail running and adventure racing.

“I probably wasn’t quite ready to come home,” he says. Because the only job available was his old marketing role, he had to “eat humble pie".

"It was a bit of a demotion. But it was worth taking a risk and seeing what happened.”

The gamble paid off. A few months later the country manager role came up and Muckleston stepped into Microsoft’s version of a chief executive position, responsible for 200 staff in three offices.

Microsoft is big on professional development. Muckleston joined a company 'learning circle' where CEOs from similar-sized countries swap information. “We were in a cluster with Ireland, Finland, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic,” he says. “We met three times a year. It’s a peer-driven learning circle, offering coaching and development. You get a lot of learning out of that.”

Muckleston also found a mentor. “He’s 10 years older than me, has just finished six years running Microsoft in Denmark [and has] moved into global strategy. Basically he’s done my job successfully.” With his mentor's help, Muckleston wants to focus on “the hard that your staff won’t call you on".

“A really good mentor gets fingers into your sore spot, doesn’t let you believe your own bullshit. To get value out of a mentor relationship you’ve got to be honest. I want him to push me because I really want to get better.” What’s it like leading a multinational at the highest level? “I love it. Sometimes I find it hard to believe I get paid,” he says. “The culture of the organisation fits well for me. What I enjoy is the complexity and stimulation of how New Zealand business works. Plus I get to work with really smart people." He runs an 11-strong leadership team. "Most are direct reports to me and as well as discussing day to day problems, the group has structured time to generate ideas. We go offsite for a couple of days — last time to a ski lodge in Ohakune.”

One of the upsides of moving home is the Kiwi work ethic. “Compared to other parts of the world we have less sense of hierarchy and status. People are more confident about offering an opinion. Also Kiwis are articulate, will try their hands at anything and are generally pretty hardworking — and it’s even more so with generation Y. They’re even more forthright. They want to make a difference.” Muckleston looks for employees with self-awareness and insight.

“If they haven’t got that, they’re not coachable and they don’t play nicely with their team mates”; the ability to “get stuff done ”; conviction in their own ideas, plus the ability to work collaboratively.

“When I do performance reviews I do a 'mini 360' from people who work with them. Usually people get 10 to 12 things they’re doing really well and another 10 to12 things others wish they’d stop doing, or do differently. Which is much more powerful feedback.”

He considers himself a highly accountable, consistent and transparent leader and that builds trust and respect. “You have to know enough about technology to be dangerous, but you also need EQ [emotional intelligence], self-awareness.”

He believes in praise and celebration of good work. “If you don’t do that you drive people into the ground” and tries to minimise politics and gossip in the workplace. “There’s no back stabbing, no third party feedback.

“I’m big into giving people opportunities to move laterally in the company. I’ve benefitted from that in my own career. You need to take bets on people, give them time to land and thrive [when they arrive], give them the space to be a rock star. “As a CEO it’s not about you, it’s about the organisation — you don’t need to be in the limelight. If you relax a little bit, people will trust you. You’ve also got to check yourself. It’s too easy to play favourites with people who you connect with personally. You also need to be able to make mistakes. I’m trying to bring the best of Microsoft to New Zealand and the best of New Zealand to Microsoft.”