Leadership

Microsoft CEO says these 2 qualities help a company succeed

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella knows a thing or two about success in business. The technology executive reportedly earned over $16 million in pay last year and has been leading one of the world's most widely recognized companies since 2014.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Nadella discusses what he believes are two of the most important qualities needed for a company's "long-term success."

"The first is the sense of purpose and mission that is enduring," he says. "Technologies will come and go, so you need to be able to both ask and answer the question: What do you do as a company, why do you exist?"

"That's exactly what is captured in our mission," he adds.

Culture, too, is key for a business to hit its goals. "These are the two bookends to me," says Nadella.

He warns that employers can't impose culture on employees. It needs to develop organically over time.

"In fact, I went on a lookout for what's the right metaphor for the cultural dialogue. Putting up a poster in a conference room with some attributes of a new culture never works," he says. "You read it once and never remember it again."

Employees, he says, create culture — with a leader's guidance.

"This is an interesting question and one of the fundamental issues: What can a leader do to empower people and at the same time what you can do to empower yourself?" he says. "I think it is to ascribe more power to others than to ourselves."

Nadella adds, "This is how I have approached my own work at Microsoft, from the day I joined in 1992."