Satya-Nadella

It has been just three years since Satya Nadella taken over the charge as CEO at Microsoft and he continues his brilliant leadership and effective business move to keep the company on top.

Satya Nadella recently given an interview about career advice with Business Insider. He gives credits Carol Dweck for his best selling book, Mindset, as he gets inspiration to establish such culture at Microsoft.

Satya says, “I was reading it not in the context of business or work culture, but in the context of my children’s education. The author describes the simple metaphor of kids at school. One of them is a ‘know-it-all’ and the other is a ‘learn-it-all,’ and the ‘learn-it-all’ always will do better than the other one even if the ‘know-it-all’ kid starts with much more innate capability.”

“Going back to business: If that applies to boys and girls at school, I think it also applies to CEOs like me, and entire organizations, like Microsoft.”

So here is his brilliant career advice in one sentence:

“Don’t be a know-it-all; be a learn-it-all.”

For an example, see how Nadella has implemented this mindset at Microsoft:

“Some people can call it rapid experimentation, but more importantly, we call it ‘hypothesis testing.’ Instead of saying ‘I have an idea,’ what if you said ‘I have a new hypothesis, let’s go test it, see if it’s valid, ask how quickly can we validate it.’ And if it’s not valid, move on to the next one.”

“There’s no harm in claiming failure, if the hypothesis doesn’t work. To me, being able to come up with the new ways of doing things, new ways of framing what is a failure and what is a success, how does one achieve success–it’s through a series of failures, a series of hypothesis testing. That’s in some sense the real pursuit.”

So test the hypothesis. If if works, try to make it better. If not, try another one. Being instead of considering yourself an expert, think yourself as a student. Whether you are a CEO, an Employee, a Parent, Child or anythings, try to remember this one line of advice:

Don’t be a know-it-all. Be a learn-it-all.

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