What is Microsoft missing?

And just think of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG)! What is it that they have got that Microsoft doesn't? Businessweek offer some valid theories but the killer ingredient lacking in Microsoft is corporate soul. When Apple lost its soul, Steve Jobs returned as CEO to give it back its essence. When Google showed the first signs of losing its soul, Larry Page took back the CEO reins saying in January this year: "One of the primary goals I have is to get Google to be a big company that has the nimbleness and soul and passion and speed of a start-up." In January 2008 Howard Schultz returned as CEO of a Starbucks that was losing its soul. Steve, Larry and Howard were all founders. Without Bill Gates returning to the helm of Microsoft, can it recover its soul? What is corporate soul and where does it come from? How much does corporate soul cost and how much is it worth? Can only a founder give a company its corporate soul? Can leaders embed corporate soul into their company cultures in ways that will endure beyond their tenure?

Over the coming weeks I will be exploring key themes from my forthcoming book, Lead by Greatness, including the theme of corporate soul and answering these questions. Please stay tuned to this Blog, follow me on Twitter, join the conversation on our LinkedIn group or connect with us on our FaceBook fanpage, and share your insights as we lead up to the launch of the book.

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