Satya Nadella did an excellent job as CEO of Microsoft

Satya Nadella

Microsoft share price moved up from $46 in 2014 when Satya Nadella become CEO to $136 now (increase of 3 times in 5 years). He did a great job to turn Microsoft around.

Here are some lessons from his leadership style.

When Satya Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 at the age of 25, the future CEO, an engineer by training, did not yet hold a business degree. He would complete his MBA at the University of Chicago five years later, without taking time off from his full-time job. Every Friday night, Nadella would board a plane from Seattle to Chicago, and return by Monday morning.

“It used to blow me away, how hard he used to work,” former Microsoft executive Sanjay Parthasarathy.

Nadella, who succeeded Steve Ballmer as head of Microsoft in 2014, visited his alma mater, where he was interviewed on stage by Madhav Rajan, dean of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

According to a recap on the school’s website, Nadella said that a lot of the MBA students were, like him, fairly experienced and knowledgeable before they had even started their studies. What he said school could offer them, among other things, is an opportunity to cultivate leadership traits, including the three attributes he said Microsoft looks for in job candidates.

As it happens, much of his guidance serves as decent life advice, too.

Attribute #1: The ability to create clarity when none exists
This is “the most important attribute that any leader needs to have—and it is often underestimated,” Nadella said. “You don’t need a leader when everything is well defined and it’s easy, and all you have got to do is follow a well-written plan. But in an ambiguous situation, where there cannot be complete information, that is when leadership will matter.”

He continued: “The people who are capable of getting into a situation where there is in some sense panic, and who can bring first clarity on what to do next—that is invaluable.”

Attribute #2: A knack for sparking energy
Along with clarity, a leader needs to bring sincere enthusiasm, Nadella argued. “One of the classic things you face as a leader is, you will have someone walk into your office and say, ‘Hey you know what, I’m very good, my team is very good, but everything around me is terrible,’” he said. “That’s not creating energy.”

This is a theme Nadella also visits in his recent memoir, Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone (Harper Collins, 2017). “Leaders generate energy, not only on their own teams but across the company,” he writes. “It’s insufficient to focus exclusively on your own unit. Leaders need to inspire optimism, creativity, shared commitment and growth through times good and bad.”

To be a leader, he told Booth students, “you have got to be at your evangelical best. You have got to have followership all around you.”

Attribute #3: An ability to succeed in “an over-constrained space”
His advice for cultivating a third trait feels applicable to anyone, not only those who are ambitious in business. “When leaders come in and say, ‘I’m not able to do this or I’m not able to drive success or achieve success because of all these exogenous factors.’ Guess what? Everything is exogenous,” he said. “Life is an over-constraint problem. So you can’t say, ‘You know what, I’m just waiting for you to remove all the constraints, and I’ll be perfect.’

 

Tan Kin Lian

 

 

 

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13 Responses to “Satya Nadella did an excellent job as CEO of Microsoft”

  • Rabble-rouser:

    Microsoft is Old-Tech & probably dying! My Notebook with Microsoft Windows is collecting dust & often lay unused for months on end. I prefer using my Smartphone to surf the Internet using either WiFi or Mobile broadband data accessibility. This trend probably extends to many other users of technology as well. Even travelling, I prefer bringing along my tablet instead of the notebook! And I especially hate the Windows performance issues & constant hangups eg. upgrades, maintenance, etc. Smartphones & to a lesser extent, tablets rule the Technology universe; the PC & Notebook (Windows eco-system) is as good as dead!

    And the US Stockmarket pricing has no bearing on any US company performance ie. no real anchor to company’s valuation (of cash flows, profit generation, intrinsic value) but has taken a new life of it’s own (too much money chasing asset bubbles) & globs of financial engineering (stock buybacks, dividend payouts from debt issue).
    Even Uber which has been highly unprofitable since it’s inception can command a stock price valuation in excess of it’s true value ie. negative cash flows (a cash burning company) & a terrible balance sheet! This would never have happened in Normalised Circumstances! But these are the signs of the times where true values simply can’t be found & asset pricing had reached ridiculous amounts of money due to Central Bank pump priming. The whole world is either a Greater Fool’s Game or a PONZI Scheme. Take your pick!

    And Satya Nadella is not as famous as Nutella (Yummy!). And that tells you how irrelevant he is! An MBA is just a waste of money & time! And the contents of this article is just a pile of b***$**t!

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Rabble-rouser:
    Microsoft is Old-Tech & probably dying! My Notebook with Microsoft Windows is collecting dust & often lay unused for months on end. I prefer using my Smartphone to surf the Internet using either WiFi or Mobile broadband data accessibility. This trend probably extends to many other users of technology as well. Even travelling, I prefer bringing along my tablet instead of the notebook! And I especially hate the Windows performance issues & constant hangups eg. upgrades, maintenance, etc. Smartphones & to a lesser extent, tablets rule the Technology universe; the PC & Notebook (Windows eco-system) is as good as dead!

    And the US Stockmarket pricing has no bearing on any US company performance ie. no real anchor to company’s valuation (of cash flows, profit generation, intrinsic value) but has taken a new life of it’s own (too much money chasing asset bubbles) & globs of financial engineering (stock buybacks, dividend payouts from debt issue).
    Even Uber which has been highly unprofitable since it’s inception can command a stock price valuation in excess of it’s true value ie. negative cash flows (a cash burning company) & a terrible balance sheet! This would never have happened in Normalised Circumstances! But these are the signs of the times where true values simply can’t be found & asset pricing had reached ridiculous amounts of money due to Central Bank pump priming. The whole world is either a Greater Fool’s Game or a PONZI Scheme. Take your pick!

    And Satya Nadella is not as famous as Nutella (Yummy!). And that tells you how irrelevant he is! An MBA is just a waste of money & time! And the contents of this article is just a pile of b***$**t!

    Bro, a piece coming from a NUT is only Natural…living in the Glory of NTUC 500,000 members handed to him to kick-start an Insurance scheme similar to a PONZI scheme lah!!!…so Tan ahhh!!! NoBigDeal!!!

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  • TKL fake 2:

    Where he copied from?

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  • Darth Vader:

    Or in other words, Satya Nadella’s formula for success is to NOT be tan kin lian!!!!

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  • Harder Truths:

    Sathya Nadella is fro mSouth Asia and his one and only talent is in sweeping the dead Microsoft elephant that others could not hide under the Indian carpet.

    Where it will remain until he is gone – and then the dead elephant he was paid to get rid of will suddenly re-appear out of nowhere.

    This is what his South Asian colleagues are doing in $G right now. Once they leave look out for dead elephants appearing all over the place.

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  • TKL Plagiarize:

    Hey, guys. After you all slammed him for his garbage, he now plagiarize above article, stock, lock and barrel from Lila MacLellan November 7, 2018

    https://qz.com/work/1452282/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-looks-for-three-traits-in-leaders/

    TKL fake 2:
    Where he copied from?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    Tan Kin Lian & that Cynical Investor both sama-sama in TRE universe – not only write garbage but also plagiarized without giving credit to the source.

    TKL fake 2:
    Where he copied from?

    TKL Plagiarize:
    Hey, guys. After you all slammed him for his garbage, he now plagiarize above article, stock, lock and barrel from Lila MacLellan November 7, 2018

    https://qz.com/work/1452282/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-looks-for-three-traits-in-leaders/

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  • there are 4 types of humans:

    1st type. The truly smart and truly able. There are very few of them. Good thing is, in land scarce Singapore, we have quite a number of them. Ms Sylvia Lim Mr Leon Perara Dr Chee SJ Mr KJeyaretnam Mr Leong SZ Mr Roy Ngerng and such.

    2nd type. The truly smart but a little lazy. There are many of them. Mostly found in 30% OPPO. They know what is wrong with pap lies. They talk and write about the pap lies. But they are somewhat lazy to do the necessary in toppling lying pap. They can do it if they want to. But being a little lazy they stop short.

    3rd type. The truly stupid but wants to do everything. Hard to say how many there are. But tan kin lian comes to mind. The problem is, more time is spent backward checking their every move than moving forward purposely in toppling the society evil, the lying pap liars. Better this group disappears than wastes everybody’s time.

    4th type. The truly stupid and a little lazy. Mostly 70% sheep. They are so stupid even daylight robbery by lying pap they accept. They are lazy because they refuse to spend even an ounce of energy in trying, trying, to change what is missing in their sheep brains.

    Singapore is dying because of too many type 3 and type 4. Luckily, nature has its way. Types 1 and 2 exist to ensure type 3 does not surface and type 4 wakes up one day.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Mr. Tan Kin Lian

    IT IS VERY POOR CREDIT to your detriment to submit this article pretending it is your contributed thoughts AFTER YOU MOANED THIS CRYING PLEA.

    Your cry baby is HYPOCRITICAL or is it not?

    Tan Kin Lian : It is quite a common habit for people in Singapore to make personal attack or to make an unjustified allegation concerning a view that they disagree with. It is wrong and should be avoided.

    http://www.tremeritus.net/2019/07/21/avoid-being-personal/

    TRE readers rebuff of you is CORRECT AND JUSTIFIED.

    TKL Plagiarize: Hey, guys. After you all slammed him for his garbage, he now plagiarize above article, stock, lock and barrel from Lila MacLellan November 7, 2018

    https://qz.com/work/1452282/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-looks-for-three-traits-in-leaders/

    AND this

    TKL fake 2: Where he copied from?

    Are you going to come clean on this?

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  • Python 5:

    TKL used to be CEO of NTUC Income.

    that is until he fell out with the whites over some issue.

    otherwise, he could have easily been a big head honcho in the ministry of finance today, and a PAP man.

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  • TKL beli shallow lah:

    What TKL doesn’t know is the expansion of PE ratio since Nadella became CEO.

    On 16 Mar 2009, MS share price was US$16.65,whereas it was US$37.98 0n 21 Feb 2014….. increase of 2.28 times.

    Too clever by half.

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  • chennai business park:

    tkl hinting to us to love and adore ah loong’s ceca treatise with india?
    good plush pmet jobs for cecalians. grab food driver jobs for sinkies!

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Rabble-rouser:
    Tan Kin Lian & that Cynical Investor both sama-sama in TRE universe – not only write garbage but also plagiarized without giving credit to the source.

    Bro, Sound of Silence from TKL..Boh Sia leh!!!

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