Summary of Hit Refresh by Satya Nadela

Summary of the book Satya-Nadella-Hit-Refresh

Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone” by Satya Nadella is an amazing read that was released on September 26, 2017 co-authored with Greg Shaw and Jill Tracie Nichols.. Satya Nadella has been Microsoft’s CEO for more than three years, overseeing an exorbitant $280 billion in market value. This is about how you re-invent – Re-invent yourself, your life, your work and outlook towards life. The Microsoft’s new era shall always be greatful about how he carefully articulated on what it required to make it work.

Bill Gates specifically mentioned this on his blog

“I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. When I’m deciding which book to read next, I often reach for ones that offer another perspective on where society is headed. So when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told me that he was working on a new book about the future of technology, I couldn’t wait to read it. And when he asked me to write an introduction for Hit Refresh, I was happy to say yes.

I hope you’ll enjoy my foreword, which I’ve shared below. Satya has a lot of interesting things to say about the transformation of both Microsoft and the tech industry at large. I’ve benefitted from his insights for decades, and I’m glad everyone else will now have the same opportunity to learn from him.”

The book can be pivoted in multiple ways to understand what it delivers

  1. Outlook towards life and others
  2. Business – what it takes to succeed in the new era

  1. Outlook towards life and others
    1. Feel for others, Show Empathy and compassion.
      It starts from his experience from an old interview with Richard Tait in 1992 at Microsoft. He was asked “Imagine you see a baby lying in the street, baby is crying, What do you do”. Befuddled, he answered after a pause “Call 911”. He got the job but not because of this answer. Richard moved till the end of office premisis with him patted his back to finally say, “no, you pick the baby up and give him a big hug”. This in his language completely changed his life with the biggest lesson that he ever learnt – How you should not refrain from empathisizing with others.
    2. Life in emergency.
      Learnt to empathize amidst difficulties.Satya and his wife, expecting their biggest blessing from god, their first child had to go through an emergency cesarean operation. The son Zain had cerebral palsy and will be on a wheelchair all his life. Satya’s wife showed great courage at this difficult time and made him understand that it is not something that had happened to Satya but to Zain who has to live life in pain. He needs to develop empathy for him and still continue to be great at his parenting and his work. He surely went on to become great at both the places.

    3. How he could accomplish this and embraced Buddhism.
      Satya went through a lot in his early part of life, the love and ingenuity of human nature led him to great heights there on when many perish. He called Budhha “India’s most famous son” and yet not fairly known enough. Despite not being into Religion, he talks about how Budhhism helped him learn the ups and downs of life. If at all they only develop empathy – “In order to not to suffer, or not suffer so much, one must become comfortable with ‘Anitya’ i.e. impermanence (inconstant, transient)”. If you understand this, you will develop “calmness and composure, especially in difficult times” called equanimity. The extreme levels of rush in ups and downs of life will be levelled and then is the time you learn the real Compassion and finally Empathy of life in this world.
    4. Cricket – Team work is all you need.
      As with most Indians, he is a great cricket fanatic. He articulated on how playing a sport, in his case Cricket teaches you the principles of leadership. Competitor is not an enemy, for you to be good – your competitor needs to be better. Which simply means “Respect your competitor”. Compete, compete and compete when you get intimidated. Compete when you are uncertain what is going to happen. Finally, team is what can take you forward, alone you can only get to a certain extent. Simply meaning – You really need to put the team ahead of your own personal gains and rewards.

In this post we talked about the “Outlook Towards Life and Others” being the most crucial part of his life and the business. Stay tuned for the subsequent part of the  summary – “Business”

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