- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: HarperBusiness (26 September 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062652508
- ISBN-13: 978-0062652508
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 165 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,43,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone Hardcover – 26 Sep 2017
|Hardcover, 26 Sep 2017||
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“In this thoughtful debut, the Indian-born Nadella tells the story of his personal life and his work as a change-making leader, and he explains the coming importance of machine intelligence. The author emerges as a modest, likable individual from an accomplished family… A valuable blueprint for techies and others in a culture-change state of mind.” (Kirkus Review )
About the Author
Satya Nadella is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO on February 4, 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.
After Joining Microsoft in 1992, Nadella quickly became known within the company as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of the world’s best known and most used products.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella now lives in Bellevue, Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella is married and has three children. In his spare time, he loves to read poetry and follows cricket, a sport he played in school.
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Now let’s move to the probable reasons as to why you should read it.
1. To know Satya Nadella’s journey from India to Microsoft
Satya Nadella’s journey is encouraging as well as powerful. His story shows us that how hard work and talent can lead you to the places you only dream about. Satya belongs to a middle-class Indian family. He talks about his life and friends in India and how his parents shaped his future to be a better human being. He was and is a big cricket enthusiast and he explained how the game of Cricket actually helped him to learn the qualities like leadership and empathy. The part where Satya told about his initial move to the US was very moving. His wife was having trouble in getting the visa and he was ready to give up his green card in case she did not get it. But luckily she got it. I was surprised to know that their first child is disabled. I can understand the difficulties that they would have faced. There were so many things to learn from Satya’s examples. He encourages you to take challenges and to listen to your heart sometime. He tells the importance of family and how it helps make your future.
2. If interested in knowing more about Microsoft and how actually Microsoft did “hit refresh”
It was fun to know the internal working of Microsoft. When Satya became the CEO, and even the years before that, Microsoft was going downwards. He took many decisions which not only changed the face of Microsoft but allowed them to transform the Microsoft completely. The decisions were not at all easy, but it was important to take those. Satya Realised that except Office, none of their products were selling as they had speculated because of the competition going on in the market from the rivals like Amazon and Apple.
Satya did many changes in the company’s culture and took a complete 180 degrees turn (Hit Refresh) to not only encourage the employee’s satisfaction but also encouraged them to have more empathy. He encouraged them to learn more, to ask questions and to participate fully.
3. If you want to know what actually goes behind successful companies and their struggles
This is not a hidden fact that so much politics go inside big companies like Microsoft. It was amazing to know the work culture of Microsoft, its various work programmes, its team divisions and inside details. If you are someone who likes to join Microsoft someday or is simply fascinated by it, you would find it particularly interesting. It doesn’t matter how big is an organization. There is always a room for more improvement and growth. Microsoft was too lenient a few years ago and employees were unsatisfied. Satya tried to change this and thus helped Microsoft to come out of the difficult phase.
4. If you are a tech person or love technology
Oh yes! If you simply love technology you should read this whether you are in a technical field or not. Satya has talked about many technologies which I was amazed to hear for the first time. There was seriously so much to learn about the new products that Microsoft is making or the current projects they are working on. I had heard many of the names before, but I had never gone into the details of things like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. But Satya’s words will take you on that amazing journey. As per him, currently there are three big technology trends: artificial intelligence, mixed reality and quantum computing and they have to work towards making a hold on those.
5. If you want to learn the basic importance of leadership, empathy, equation of trust etc.
This was my favourite part of the book. It was more like a moral teaching. Satya told that in today’s world we should try to make friends even with our enemies. He describes how partnerships with companies like Samsung, Adobe and Apple have provided benefits to Microsoft and have given future alliances to strengthen themselves with a clear focus. With making the enemies friends (fre-enemies) often we can get profits in some fields, if not at all. He talked about the importance of leadership and how that leadership quality helped him to overcome the failure that Microsoft was going towards.
There is a lot to learn from this book. Not only you can learn many things about Satya himself, but also about the Microsoft’s journey and the changes, it incorporated in order to survive. This book can get a little technical in between. But if you are a technology enthusiast you should definitely read this. You should read this to understand how technology is going to change and is going to affect YOU and what role you can play into this.
TLDR : A techies journey to the top. The view from above. Thoughts on future. 5/5
This is an easy heartfelt authentic read from Satya as he talks about things relating to his upbringing, his love for computing (his role on Windows NT and Bing) and breaking through the glassdoor into the executive suite. Of particular interest are his efforts to reground Microsofts culture by breaking past old barriers of bureaucracy, cultural differences with open source, building non traditional partnerships, learning from best practices from competitors who have out innovated and moving past the focus on PC/Windows to cloud and AI. He seeks to rediscover the soul of Microsoft which once democratized innovation and was accessible to the common man but lost its way after becoming a monopolist. He wants the Microsoft of today to once again discover the same spirit even if the customer is a poor Kenyan. The next few chapters are on the revolution promised by democratizing AI, quantum computing and Mixed Reality and there is exciting news. An important chapter calls for more attention to a framework for privacy, security in cybersphere as current policies are outdated for the wealth of information that people trustfully place on their technology and provides important case studies. Satya then talks about global economic issues like free trade, diversity, equality vis-a-vis automation and searches for the global tools that will ensure good outcomes.
Lastly, Satya personal journey with the medical problems of his son along with his spouse and the role of technology was touching.
Overall, this feels like a very honest and deep message simply put. Hope Microsoft lives up to Satyas ideals under his leadership
Keep empathy in forefront of all actions. Empathy grounds and centers the Leader. Build deeper empathy and understand the needs of employees and customers. Products built with empathy in mind will better serve customers and help companies stay relevant in the dynamic world. When a Leader has empathy for his employees, he can drive effective and lasting changes.
Make culture change a priority. Any big change can happens only when Leader works on the culture of his team or company. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture is a complex system made of individual mindsets. Culture is how a company thinks and acts, but individuals shape it.
We should not just value difference, but actively seek differences and invite them. As a result our ideas will be better, our products will be better and customers will be better served.
Leader should invest effort/time in building the shared context & understanding within the team to drive change. If the team doesn't see what is in Leader''s mind, trust in the idea, believe in the Leader, driving change will be harder.
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