Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sat down on camera with the Wall Street Journal to answer some quick fire questions about how he works. The 2 minute 15 second long video interview feels mostly light spirited with such questions as: what is your favorite workday time-waster, and would you rather go to a Clippers game with Steve Ballmer or play Bridge with Bills Gates? But there were also interesting and insightful questions (as insightful as they could be for a 2 minute interview) such as how do you run a meeting, who’s been the biggest influence on you, what’s the best professional advice you’ve ever been given?
In all, the interview definitely extends the impression that Satya Nadella has a calm, contemplative, and open minded approach to his role at Microsoft, which has previously come across in his rhetoric about the company’s evolving culture and its future strategy. For example, he states that he runs a meeting by listening more, talking less, and being decisive wen the time comes.
Nadella name his parents as his biggest influence. He says their different and conflicting social points of view gave him more room to form his own opinions and he states they had great values. He was noticeably touched with emotion when he first answered the question.
It is perhaps this value of taking the time to form his own opinion and listen more, has contributed to the shifts at Microsoft to embrace cross-platform development and open-source projects; things that were once looked down upon and even called a cancer by former CEO Steve Ballmer.
There were also interesting answers to how Nadella approaches his day. He is a morning person who starts his day with a run. He relies on coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon. The number one app on his Start screen is Wunderlist. His preferred distraction at work is having Cortana tell him a joke. Although, in regards to his answer for his favorite workday time-waster, he paused quite a bit before speaking so it seemed like the one non natural answer in the line of questions.
When considering a new hire, the thing he looks for most is do they bring clarity and create energy. And the best professional advice he has ever received was to “believe in yourself more so than you think you do.”
What would you ask Satya Nadella about how he works if you had two minute to speak with him? Watch the video below.Further reading: Microsoft, Satya Nadella