CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella who is a cricket freak was picked to lead the $85 billion software giant three years ago believes that his leadership style resembles that of former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly. Nadella who came to India for a two-day event to promote his book “Hit Refresh” which reiterates the story of his personal growth after his fairytale rise to the top.
“I am obsessed with cricket. No matter where I am, this beautiful game is always in the back of my mind,” said Nadella.
His book draws inspiration from the leadership lessons from playing in the prestigious Hyderabad Public School which had alumni of some special repute like Ajay Banga of MasterCard, Prem Watsa of Fairfax Financial Holdings and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.Ganguly termed Hardik Pandya as a match winner. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Nadella says in his book that he was playing with a Kookaburra ball when he learned that he was going to be the 3rd CEO of Microsoft after the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer in the 40-year history of the software company. “Cricket shaped my leadership style,” Nadella says in the book.
When asked which Indian captain’s style of leadership exemplifies his style of leadership, “Sourav Ganguly” was the prompt answer given by CEO. Nadella feels it was Ganguly who broke the old cultural construct of the Indian team and instilled the belief in them to win abroad.
Indian bowler Umesh Yadav
“That was the first time when I saw somebody bet on kids from Uttar Pradesh…. Dhoni also came up around that time…. I am a big believer in people like that who, not because of their individual achievement on the field, have fundamentally brought about a broader change which has now come to the fore,” he said.
“When you see somebody like Umesh Yadav make it into the Indian team, when you see people from every state making it on merit, (you wonder) how did that happen? Because (until Ganguly arrived) it was a system that was about the metropolis and maybe five-six states that essentially controlled Indian cricket. I don’t that is the case anymore.”
He also wrote about some players who have made their international debuts despite being from very modest backgrounds. Mohammed Siraj was the latest player from modest origins to play for the national team.
“I recently learnt that the guy who made his debut in the recent IPL league came from a neighbourhood in the vicinity of the place where I grew up in Hyderabad. He (Mohammed Siraj) was the son of an auto-rickshaw driver. When I read that, I thought this is amazing. When you think of the Hyderabadis who made it into test cricket in the era when I grew up in, there were the nawabs (Tiger Pataudi), there was the nawab’s cousin (Saad bin Jung, who played for Hyderabad and was a schoolmate)… and now things have changed,” he said.