Close this search box.

Satya Nadella needs no introduction. He and his team are guiding one the world’s most significant high-tech companies. He’s the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, and one of only three in their history.

The first time I met him (in 2014, when he was just a handful of weeks in as CEO) I was struck by how deeply he listened, his authentic curiosity to learn, and the clarity of how he organized his thoughts.

It was apparent that he deeply valued, and was going to thoughtfully design, a culture at Microsoft for people to find and connect to their purpose — to experience their life efforts with deep meaning — while at the same time, holding true to their mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

That is so rich. It’s what we all want. To live a life of purpose and meaning — and to really make a difference with what we do, and how we do it.

This conversation explores where that comes from for him.

As this conversation unfolds, it became amazingly apparent that at the center of his approach is: empathy — the ability to experience what another person is experiencing, from their perspective.

As most of you know, Pete Carroll and I formed the company Compete to Create to share the insights that he and I have come to understand about how to train the mind to amplify culture and performance — and it’s been a privilege to work inside the organization with the people at Microsoft who have in turn taught us so much about what it means to be great.

I’m excited to introduce Satya to this community; one of the brightest minds our world has to offer. I hope you soak it up…

“Mastery comes down to being deeply in touch with what gives you purpose.”

In This Episode:

  • The importance of creating a shared purpose at Microsoft
  • How he shaped his vision for what Microsoft should be
  • The most critical relationship for Microsoft: from concept to capability to culture
  • His biggest strength: acknowledging his weaknesses
  • How he creates space for himself
  • Why having a deep sense of empathy is critical to meet customer needs
  • The impact having his child Zane had on him and the way he looks at life
  • The meaning behind “hit refresh”
  • Why he’s such a big believer in having a growth mindset
  • Striving for balance between confidence and humility
  • His thoughts on mastery


“My biggest strength is my ability everyday to recognize my weaknesses.”

“One of the greatest powers, which is a force multiplier, is my ability to take one person’s idea and another person’s idea and make them more powerful by bringing them both together.”

“We’re in the business of meeting unmet, unarticulated needs of customers. That’s it. There’s no way we’re going to meet our unmet needs of customers if you don’t have a deep sense of empathy.”

“One of the things I try to practice or build more muscle around is having the confidence that I’m capable of confronting my own demons while also avoiding hubris.”

Related Episodes

Listen To Episodes

Listen to all episodes here.

Listen, Watch, Subscribe