Satya Narayana Nadella is a trailblazer and business icon who rose from a rank-and-file Microsoft engineer to CEO in 2014. During his earlier days in Microsoft, Nadella impressed his co-workers by commuting every weekend from Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington, all the way to the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business to finish his MBA.
His personal life was one filled with struggles, too. Nadella faced many immigration issues in bringing his wife, Anu over to the United States. His eldest child is severely disabled being visually impaired and a quadriplegic. Nadella also has two daughters, one of whom is a special needs child.
Since he took over in 2014, Nadella was responsible for turning Microsoft into the world’s most valuable company even outranking Apple. However, Fortune magazine named him The Most Underrated CEO. Although, the term ‘underrated’ means to be undervalued or downgraded, it also means under the radar – possibly a reference to Nadella’s brand of transformational leadership which instilled a work culture shift in Microsoft based on “empathy and empowering every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.”
With a Glassdoor approval rating of 95% by Microsoft employees, let’s take a look at his inspirational words for success and making your mark as a leader!
On taking risks in life
1. “If you don’t jump on the new, you don’t survive.”
2. “We need to be insatiable in our desire to learn.”
3. “Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don’t learn.”
4. “I’m also grounded in our challenges, in fact, that’s the adventure…which creates the competitive zeal in me work to do great.”
5. “You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes you’re not, but it’s the average that counts.”
On being a leader
1. “Listening was the most important thing I accomplished each day because it would build the foundation of leadership for years to come.”
2. “My approach is to lead with a sense of purpose and pride in what we do, not envy or combativeness.”
3. “Empathy grounds me and centers me.”
4. “The number one thing that you have to do as a leader: to bolster the confidence of the people you lead.”
5. “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”