20 quotes by Microsoft chief Satya Nadella that reveal the secret behind his success

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella is an inspirational leader. Here are some of his quotes that inspire you to achieve big things by looking at the larger picture.

15th Feb 2020
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India-born Satya Nadella became Microsoft's CEO in 2014 after former head Steve Ballmer stepped down. Before becoming CEO, he was the Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise division, responsible for building and running the company’s computing platforms, developer tools, and cloud computing services. Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems as a member of their technology staff prior to joining Microsoft in 1992.


Originally from Hyderabad, 52-year-old Nadella lives in Bellevue, Washington. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and later earned a MBA degree in business administration from the University of Chicago


In 2019, Nadella occupied the top spot in Fortune's Businessperson of the Year 2019 list that also included Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga and Arista head Jayshree Ullal.


Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft




Nadella has authored a book, titled Hit Refresh, that explores his own personal story, changes within his own company, and the implications of increasingly intelligent technology on humanity. 


He announced that the profits from the book would go to Microsoft Philanthropies and through that to benefit nonprofits, specifically those working on public cloud for public good projects.


Let's take a look at some of his invigorating quotes:


  • “Our industry does not respect tradition. It only respects innovation.” 


“Technologies will come and go, so you need to be able to both ask and answer the question: What do you do as a company, why do you exist?”


  • “When I think about my career, my successes are built on learning from failures.” 


  • “Success can cause people to unlearn the habits that made them successful in the first place.” 


  • “I’m also grounded in our challenges, in fact, that’s the adventure which creates the competitive zeal in me to do great work.”


"Listen to your customers and your employees, they are the most important thing and define your business.”


  • "If you don't jump on the new, you don't survive." 


  • “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career.”


  • “Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don't learn.”


“The way I measure my life is – Am I better than I was last year?”


  • “Over the next 10 years, we’ll reach a point where nearly everything has become digitised.”


  • “Listening was the most important thing I accomplished each day because it would build the foundation of leadership for years to come.”


  • “Our ambitions are bold and so must be our desire to change and evolve our culture.”


“You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you're successful, sometimes you're not, but it's the average that counts.”


  • “My approach is to lead with a sense of purpose and pride in what we do, not envy or combativeness.” 


  • “A leader must see the external opportunities and the internal capability and culture, and all of the connections among them and respond to them before they become obvious parts of the conventional wisdom.”


  • “I don’t want to fight old battles. I want to find new ones.”


“I truly believe that each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, but something that will improve other people’s lives.”


  • “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”


  • “The number one thing that you have to do as a leader: to bolster the confidence of the people you lead.” 



(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)

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