Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman – Satya Nadella: Why we need re-founders
To achieve massive scale, you don’t just need founders; you also need a re-founder—someone to come in at a later stage to keep the mission and culture on track.
As Microsoft’s third CEO ever—after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer—Satya Nadella is doing just that. He discusses how he has transformed Microsoft from a cutthroat culture towards embracing social networks, collaboration, and the cloud.
If your company is going to be successful, it will outlast your founders. If it’s going to outlast that founder, the handoff is going to be super critical.
Leaders, founders and re-founders
Leaders should focus on culture and mission to drive growth, and sometimes a “full reset” is necessary. Companies need both founders and re-founders to stay on track and adapt to change.
Re-founders, like Satya Nadella, can help refresh a company’s mission and culture to adapt to a changing world. This can benefit employees and the world they serve, leading to success and growth, even outside of the CEO role.
The power of the individual
Fostering a positive corporate culture and demonstrating long-term commitment to a mission can help establish credibility with enterprise clients. Conversely, poor culture can hinder good decision-making. Individuals have the power to refresh and strengthen company culture.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have an idea that could benefit the company. A positive attitude towards the company’s goals can lead to recognition and rewards from good leaders. Be true to yourself, and let your unique perspective shine.
Leadership that works
Successful leadership involves prioritizing purpose, mission, and culture, and adapting to new roles and processes. Trust takes time to build, and being unattached to previous norms can lead to positive change.
To succeed in leadership transitions, embrace new directions and push boundaries. Reassess, reset, and refresh to maintain relevance and growth. Relying on past successes won’t cut it.
A core part of my belief around entrepreneurship is believing that you can change your stars.
Overcoming the “Veep Syndrome” in leadership change
“Veep Syndrome” is a common issue in organizations undergoing leadership changes. It can be challenging to break away from established processes and habits, but it’s necessary.
David Mandel, the new showrunner for Veep, faced this challenge when taking over from Armando Iannucci, as well as a changing political environment. Mandel navigated these obstacles by leaning into the new direction of the show and pushing the boundaries of what had been done before.
This valuable lesson can be applied to all areas of business, where reassessing, resetting, and refreshing are essential to maintaining relevance and growth. You must earn your place, and relying on past successes won’t cut it.
I think that empathy is perhaps the most important attribute for any leader today.
Microsoft CEO on Partnership with OpenAI and Democratizing Technology
Microsoft Research’s social contract with the research community led to the realization of how AI is going to be one of the most defining technologies and what organizations are going to do work in the field.
No company should have a monopoly on AI, and it’s important to partner with and contribute to this technology’s development and democratization.