Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's Clear And Consistent Vision Rallies Employees Around A Common Purpose by Forbes [Leadership]
Editor's Note: This article first appeared on Forbes and was curated by Closer Spot. Please subscribe to get actionable news and advice delivered to your inbox each week.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella read a book that changed his outlook on leadership and business. The book was Mindset by award-winning Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. In the 2006 book Dweck explores the habit of having a “growth mindset:” the belief that our potential is not stagnant. We can learn and grow. It’s a revolutionary approach to leadership and success.
Dweck makes the persuasive case that successful people in business, sports and art started out rather ordinary, but they believed they could learn and get better. People with a ‘fixed mindset’ believe their qualities (intellect, skills) are carved in stone. They fail to grow because they don’t think they can get better. People with a growth mindset are consumed with learning because they believe they can get smarter, be better leaders, or more innovative. In short, change your beliefs; change your life.
In Nadella’s own book, Hit Refresh, he references the growth mindset 24 times. As Nadella puts it, successful people are “learn-it-alls” and not “know-it-alls.” Nadella believes that a fixed mindset will limit your growth while a growth mindset will propel you and your organization forward. Nadella could have simply cited the evidence in his book and never mention it again. Instead, Nadella refers to the concept again and again in his public presentations and company-wide communication. He articulates a consistent vision and a consistent approach to building a company. Microsoft’s 120,000 employees know what their CEO believes, how he sees the world, and where he wants the company to go.
In his book, Nadella writes that when he became Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, he realized that employees needed “a clear, tangible and inspiring vision.” He was determined to communicate his vision and worldview clearly and regularly. Nadella’s book and his recent email about Microsoft’s focus on a cloud-based future reflect how effectively he communicates his vision.
1. Start with the big picture
The subject line of Nadella’s March 29th email is: “Embracing our future: Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge.” In eight words, Nadella gives his employees a reason to read the email and in one sentence summarizes the email’s main message.