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Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children Paperback – Sep 4 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 Reprint edition (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061121088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061121081
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #361,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. It's a rare business book that not only provides savvy insights for better business practices but transcends the category altogether, to rank as an infectiously inspiring read. Wood takes the reader on an engaging journey from his life as a rather ordinary marketing director at Microsoft through the transformative decision to launch the nonprofit organization Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org), which has created more than 2,000 schools and libraries for children across Asia. From his first trip to Nepal, where he was struck by the country's 70% illiteracy rate, through his courageous decision to leave Microsoft, to the logistics of growing and expanding the Room to Read initiative, Wood endears himself to the reader with his introspection and honesty. Crediting his former employer with giving him the business skills and drive to aim high, he outlines the concrete steps he took to make his vision a reality. Marked by sincerity and savvy, this is the kind of book that business colleagues will discuss with their acquaintances, spouses and friends. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—As much about business practices as about personal discovery, this book lives up to its name as it details how the author traded in the executive lifestyle to champion his own nonprofit organization, Room to Read. Wood describes his life at Microsoft as a marketing director for Australia and, later, China. Young business enthusiasts familiar with Steve Ballmer and Bill and Melinda Gates will be entertained by the glimpse into their respective management styles and by the author's efforts to pattern himself in their likeness. He also describes his lack of personal fulfillment and his eventual redirection, brought on by a visit to the mountains of Nepal. With vignettes from profitable fundraising activities for Room to Read, he documents how to successfully start up a nonprofit organization and how to sustain it. Originally named Books for Nepal, Wood's organization focused initially on providing books to the disadvantaged schools of Nepal, but eventually he expanded its scope (and renamed it) so as to include the building of schools, Tsunami relief, and educational programs for the children of Asia. Corporate-minded adolescents interested in giving back to society will enjoy this title and glean practical advice from it.—Brigeen Radoicich, Fresno County Office of Education, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Wood's "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World" is absolutely incredible! It's an inspirational story of how one man came to decide he wanted to make a positive difference in our world, and outlines how he proceeded to do so by founding "Room to Read", an international organization dedicated to providing schools, libraries, educational scholarships for girls, and books to communities who need them.

John's obvious passion for what he's doing comes through loud and clear in the book; his refreshing honesty and informal writing style makes "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World" less like a book and more like a conversation with a close friend.

The author does a wonderful job of evoking various emotions in the reader; some of his witty observations and social commentary found throughout the book will force you to laugh out loud! And some of his heart-warming recollections of the people he has encountered on his journey thus far will simply warm your heart.

If you've ever asked yourself "how does what I do matter?" or "how can I make the world a better place?", you'll definitely want to pick up a copy of "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World". The book shows us not only how one person can make a difference, but also how even those who don't decide to take the dramatic step of leaving their careers to become full-time fundraisers can help change the world, one book at a time.

Full disclosure: I had the privilege of meeting John three weeks ago when he was brought in as a guest speaker for a corporate conference I attended; the speech he gave to our group was both inspirational and motivational, and it made me quite excited to begin reading the advance copy of the book each conference delegate was given. As a result of John's terrific prose, I finished the book quickly and have since lent it to two of my friends!
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Format: Hardcover
It is a rare find to have top-tier business skills, a fierce compassion for people and a successful track-record of reaching for the stars, and pulling them in; John Wood is such a find, and his book, "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World" gives us the opportunity to find it as well.

John's heroic odyssey is so captivating and honest, that it's enjoyment factor almost masks the plethora of lessons and insights coming through page after page. This is a must read for anyone wanting to up-the-ante on their own expectations for life, leadership or impact in the world.

Not only does John's story inspire the heart to aim higher, it pinpoints the rigor and awareness required to get there. It is impossible to read this book and see your own potential in the same way ever again. John Wood has us believe there's more -- lots more -- and he provides the hope, and means, to pursue it!
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Format: Hardcover
John Wood's chronicle of his personal and professional transformation from Microsoft executive to "Micro-Charity" founder is a must read for any aspiring entrepreneur, global traveler, teacher, volunteer and philanthropist.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you so much! The book is great and helped save me a lot of money on my books this semester for school.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. Took too long to arrive though
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