Life Lessons From Satya Nadella

When Satya Nadella was a child, his father hung a huge poster of Karl Marx in his room in order to push him towards education. In retaliation, his mother hung a larger picture of Lakshmi to remind him to be happy in whatever he does. While the kid in Nadella did not know what he wanted, he has become a source of inspiration to kids all over the world. He was obsessed with cricket as a child and took the lessons from the cricket field to his CEO chair. Here are some inspiring life lessons from Satya Nadella that keep pushing us to do better every day!

1. Compete with passion 

The first life lesson from Nadella’s playbook is to always compete with passion, be it in terms of adversity or intimidation. The key takeaway here is it to respect your competitor enough so that you do not lose sight of the bigger picture at the end of the day.

2. The team always comes first

For Satya, the team always comes first. Even when he was working as just an employee, he would work in tandum with the rest of his team. According to him, this is the best way to make sure you are respected.

3. Lay out your plans. 

In 2008, when Satya Nadella was appointed to head the Microsoft’s search portal and advertising platform group, he was perceived as a greenhorn, even though he was with the company for 15 years! Nadella sent out a memo to all his  employees, laying out objectives for the year that gave analysts a glimpse into his plans. His goals outlined in the note included developing a strong “destination search experience,” reinventing the MSN portal, scaling the company’s ad platform and emphasising innovation and agility at the group. The reason he was able to achieve his goal was because he laid out his plans without any loopholes, thereby giving his team the chance to know what was going on in the company.

4. Innovation trumps instiution 

For a long time now, we as a country have forgotten how to think in terms of innovation. Most people have an organisational and traditional mindset. What Nadella plans to do is change the structural thought process of a company that employes around 100,000 people. He relies on one simple belief; rely on innovation and not on the institution. According to him, this is when you achieve true innovation.

5. Hit refresh 

Another life lesson to learn from Satya is the fact that he never gave up on his dream. Fail, then start over again. Hitting refresh is one of the most important things to do in life because if you do not, then the big things will never come your way.

6. There is no “Me” anymore

Any big organisation is just one bad leader away from becoming a disaster. Nadella came down firmly in favour of a culture driven by individual initiative: “Every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this,” said Satya in reference to this in a public meeting.

7. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

Nadella believes that it is important to have a strong eye on your future. When it competitiors, always know what they are and keep polishing your strengths. Keep learning, reading and growing. This always helps you stay one step ahead in life.

8. Be grounded during challenges 

Satya Nadella is well aware that life (and business) is not always plain sailing. In a competitive business environment, it is tempting to hide away failures and show off achievements but it is important to reflect upon and learn from these challenges. If nothing ever goes wrong, there is no path for improvement.

9. Continuously reinvent yourself 

When Satya Nadella joined Microsoft, no one knew what cloud computing meant. He worked hard enough to know what was going to happen ten years down the line and reinventing himself did the trick!

10. Think big. Dream big and achieve big. 

Despite going to average schools and colleges, Nadella proved to us all that he could get what he wanted from dreaming big and working hard.

Work hard enough, dream long enough and create all the time. These are the three things that Satya Nadella has always believed in and if we do the same, we could also aspire to be where he is at today!

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