December month is the time for me to recalibrate myself. Like everybody else, I make new plans, keep objectives and boast new resolutions for the new year. It is during this month I look for help from the books written by entrepreneurs, business or spiritual leaders or statesmen. I chose “Hit Refresh” by Satya Nadella, the title of which matched my objectives for the month. I couldn’t even wait for the hard copy. I ordered it on my kindle. Of the late, the Kindle edition books have been helping me a lot as I can read them wherever I am. And they are a bit cheaper and saves storage space in my library, which is already cluttered. Being a Amazon Prime member, I can also read thousands of books absolutely free of cost! 

Satrya grounds us with his opening statement itself! “My personal philosophy and my passion, developed over time and through exposure to many different experiences, is to connect new ideas with a growing sense of empathy for other people. Ideas excite me. Empathy grounds and centers me.”  

First three chapters revolve around Sathya’s origin, education, employment, the rise in the hierarchy of Microsoft, and ultimately his appointment as the third CEO of the company. In the next two chapters, Sathya subtly enumerates how microsoft lost the track of growth due to its age-old culture not in tune with the ever emerging world, without rubbing anybody. And there is the story of Tom and Jerry game with Apple Inc. Next, he describes the future of the IT industry and tasks cut out for him. He deals with the privacy and trust issues which are of paramount importance today. He also tries to remove the fears of artificial intelligence and increasing automation. In the end, Sathya pitches for global inclusive growth envisaged by him for the Microsoft.  

In the end, Sathya assures that “Our allegiance is to a set of enduring values—privacy, security, free speech, opportunity, diversity, and inclusion. We live by them, and we will stand for them when challenged in America and elsewhere.” 

As a small entrepreneur, take-home message for me was, “Small firms with fewer than ten employees outnumber large enterprises in developing countries, and their likelihood of surviving and growing is greatly enhanced when they know how to perform better stock-keeping, recordkeeping, and planning, which may result in less spoilage and less downtime that comes from not having the right parts or goods. That, too, is intensity of use.” 

Finally, he compels us, “What does it mean to Hit Refresh? I encourage you to answer that for yourself. Start the conversation in your institution. Start the conversation in your community. And please, share with me what you learn, and I’ll continue to do the same.”  

As I read it in one go, I realized that each and every word of the book backed by apt references are authentic and from the bottom of Sathya’s heart. After turning the last page, I had a refreshened feeling. That’s what appealed to me the most, and I feel it’s a must for every leader, irrespective of the type or size of the organization. 

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N.B
4 January 2019

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