When Satya Nadella walked through the doors of Microsoft’s Washington office in 1992, he said to himself, “This is the greatest job in the world. I don’t need anything more.
Twenty-two years later, he was named CEO of the company.
Speaking to LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky as part of The Path Video Series, Nadella revealed that growing up he didn’t focus on his studies, but on cricket. His parents, his civil servant father and his Sanskrit professor mother, gave him “the space and the confidence” to become his own person.
He went to college in India before studying in Wisconsin, landing a job at Silicon Valley mainstay Sun Microsystems after graduating in 1990. It was a few years later, in 1992, that he was offered a job at Microsoft.
Nadella, who has run the company since 2014, said he chose the Brand founded by Bill Gates because it reflected a sense of empowerment. Nadella said he remembers using a computer for the first time as a child: “The malleability of software is what got me hooked. took and said: ‘This is my future’ but it was there, it was latent.
Years later, Nadella says Microsoft offered echoes of the IT potential he recognized as a child: “It’s that feeling of empowerment. I felt like I wanted to make sure everyone could feel that through computing, that freedom that you get to express yourself.
Now a board member for the likes of Starbucks and the University of Chicago, as well as US Business Council President Nadella said that “there was never a time when I thought the work I was doing – throughout my 30 years at Microsoft – that I was doing somehow as a path to another job.
“I felt the job I was doing there was the most important thing, I felt that sincerely. And then, of course, it helped me find my next job.
This feeling led Nadella to reveal his best career advice: “Don’t wait for your next job to do your best. I think sometimes we define our jobs narrowly. One of the managers I worked for said to me, “Hey, what if you did a thought experiment and thought of your job not as your job but as mine, and what would you do?”
As a result, he said he began to take on some of the burden that fell on his manager to expand his own role without having to wait for a promotion.
Work your way up
Nadella, who was born in southern India, gradually rose through the ranks at Microsoft thanks to this attitude. Having started working on the development of Microsoft Windows NT, he then put his talent at the service of the organization’s business solutions team. In 2007, he was elevated to senior vice president of research and development before getting another boost five years later to become president of the $19 servers and tools business. billions of dollars in revenue.
Among Nadella’s accomplishments, he also serves as executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, which has provided the infrastructure foundation for services such as the Xbox Live gaming network, the Bing search and subscription model for Office 365.
As CEO, Nadella has been praised for her attention to corporate culture. However, the company has been criticized this year for announcing 10,000 layoffs the day after organizing a private Sting concert for its executives in Davos.
“Leadership is such a privilege,” he said. “Whenever you lead someone, you don’t consider it a right, you should consider it a privilege. The question is, ‘How do you earn it?’”
Leaders should always aim to clarify confusing or ambiguous situations, Nadella said: “As smart as you are, if you go in and create more confusion at an already uncertain time, that’s not leadership.”
Her second tip for bosses is to create energy so that people leaving conversations feel energized by the interaction they just had. And finally, he said there was no time for a perfect pitch or ideal conditions to perform, explaining that it was the job of managers and the CEO to free up teams and allow them to perform. He added that no one is the “perfect” leader, but those who wonder how they could have brought more clarity, energy or freedom to their employees will always improve.