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Satya Nadella: Aligning Behind a Common Purpose

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Satya Nadella: Aligning Behind a Common Purpose

The Microsoft CEO refocused on a company culture where people can take risks and learn from mistakes.

Stanford Business,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

CEO Satya Nadella attributes Microsoft’s success to its corporate culture and sense of purpose.

Editorial Rating



  • Visionary
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Microsoft is among the world’s largest, most successful technology companies. Company CEO Satya Nadella says the secrets that drive its successful business strategy are its corporate culture and its sense of purpose. The insights he provides in this “View From The Top” discussion at Stanford University are valuable for executives and anyone who seeks inspiration from a thoughtful leader. 


Empathy is an important guiding principle for Satya Nadella in his personal life and his career at Microsoft.

Satya Nadella’s life took an unexpected turn when his son was born with cerebral palsy. During the first five years of his son’s life, Nadella’s frustration grew as he noticed that various therapies made little difference to his son’s condition. Suddenly, however, Nadella realized that he needed to embrace reality and accept his son the way he is – that he could help his son the most by trying to see the world from his perspective.

Nadella believes that the ability to empathize is innate in all human beings, and that life experiences can help people become more empathetic. Empathy also matters at the corporate level. Only people who can put themselves in their customers' shoes can pinpoint their unmet, unarticulated needs, and, for instance, muster the innovation to find a new product that might solve those needs.

To promote empathy among your ...

About the Podcast

Satya Nadella is CEO at Microsoft. Stanford Graduate School of Business’s “View From The Top” is a speaker series featuring leaders from around the world.

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