I grew up believing that vulnerability was a weakness and that my confidence is what would help me achieve my goals. As the oldest of three girls, I also believed that I had to know everything and could never ask questions.
But, my life turned upside down and I see everything differently now.
Through my years of research on behavioral psychology and blindspots, one of the most glaring qualities of a leader that is often overlooked is that of HUMILITY.
So, let’s examine someone I admire whose humility has often earned him the title “most underrated CEO,” Satya Nadella at Microsoft.
Satya Nadella’s humility has played a significant role in building strong relationships with his employees and colleagues at Microsoft. He is known for being a people-oriented leader who uses his humility to inspire and support his team. One way Nadella demonstrates his humility is by encouraging employees to showcase their success in senior leadership meetings. He allows employees to join the leadership team’s meetings via video to demonstrate their developments, which acts as an inspiration for the senior leaders.
Instead of focusing on himself or the top leaders, Nadella shares his employees’ success. This simple act of humility creates loyalty and a culture of equal respect
Nadella’s emphasis on empathy and seeking diversity and inclusion also reflects his humility. He takes an empathetic and gentle approach to value each employee and encourages them to be and do their best. This inevitably drives a culture of innovation and collaboration. He believes that everyone has a story to tell, and by listening to as many people as possible, it creates inspiration towards how they might overcome challenges while doing the same for others.
Nadella’s humility has also been instrumental in creating a positive and people-oriented culture at Microsoft. He has infused a culture of well-being and supporting employee well-being, which reflects his understanding. His humility has allowed him to build trust and strong relationships with his employees and colleagues, inspiring them to do their best work and drive cultural change because his employees see his true self.
I believe Satya Nadella’s humility has been one of the key factors in building strong relationships with his employees and colleagues at Microsoft. His people-oriented leadership style, emphasis on empathy, and creating a culture of seeking diversity and inclusion have been instrumental in creating a positive work environment and inspiring his team to do their best work.
Today I celebrate Satya Nadella’s commitment to being intentionally aware and leading with humility. He stands as the role model for many leaders globally on empowering teams and creating a long-term sustainable cultures with a growth mindset.