Posted: August 28th, 2023

Business finance – management assignment week 7

Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, inherited a company that was profitable and successful. Yet it was also a company plagued by challenges and threats — both internal and external. This case explores how a new CEO – and veteran insider – assessed the situation and took bold steps to reignite the passion of the team around a unified vision. He did this while embracing the history that made the company great, acknowledging its shortcomings, and building a strong leadership team. 

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This case will present you with an opportunity to explore effective leadership principles in action. You will consider how the leadership tools studied in this course have been applied to uncover and address dysfunctional team behaviors and build a winning culture at Microsoft. You will also assess how the examples from this case can serve as guidance in your own leadership journey.

Through this case, you will:

  • Identify the levers and tools that Nadella and his executive team used to turn the business around
  • Explore the impact of organizational culture on success and how leaders can work to drive changes in that culture
  • Examine how behaviors such as leading by example are critical leadership practices
  • Compare the circumstances at Microsoft to circumstances in your own team, department, or organization, and consider how you can leverage Nadella’s example to strengthen your leadership toolkit – even if you aren’t the CEO… yet

Assignment 2 is organized into two parts: 

The first part (due in Week 7) is focused on understanding what happened to bring Microsoft to the position it was in when Nadella took over as CEO; analyzing the leadership principles and practices he used to turn the business around, by charting a new course without abandoning Microsoft’s most successful principles; and evaluating the success of Nadella’s efforts.

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The second part (due in Week 10) is focused on which elements of Microsoft’s culture may parallel what you have experienced in your current or previous work; assessing ways you could leverage the practices Nadella used and what you have learned in the course to align your team around a common vision, establish the behaviors and values needed to win, and deal with setbacks and challenges; and exploring how to create a team, department, or organization with the reputation of the place to be


Download, read, and reread the case Satya Nadella at Microsoft: Instilling a Growth Mindset. Allow yourself plenty of time for this. While this case is not long, you will get more out of it if you read it more than once.

Write a 4-5 page paper answering the following prompts. Your paper will essentially summarize the case, specifically focusing on what challenges Nadella faced as a leader, what steps he took to overcome those challenges, and whether he succeeded or not. Your responses must be supported by the facts of the case, and make appropriate reference to course materials.

1. What was Nadella’s diagnosis of the problems at Microsoft?

  1. What were the biggest challenges he faced when he took charge?
  2. Which of Lencioni’s 5 areas of dysfunction in teams were most present at Microsoft?
  3. What goals did Nadella set for transforming the organization?

2. In thinking about Nadella’s style and the steps he took as a change leader, address the following:

  1. Drawing on Daniel Goleman’s Leadership that Gets Results (from Week 3), which styles of leadership most closely match Nadella’s demonstrated behaviors? Explain.
  2. Which of Jack’s “8 Rules of Leadership” are most evident in Nadella’s initiatives? Explain, using specific examples from the case to support your response.
  3. In terms of company culture, how did Nadella change specific systems and processes to improve teamwork?
  4. Nadella frequently uses the term “growth mindset.” What does this mean, and how did he foster it?

3. How effective have Nadella’s efforts been? In particular:

  1. What metrics should be used to evaluate the success of his efforts? Why?
  2. What else could Nadella and his team do to sustain the wins they have achieved so far?
  3. What additional challenges do you expect he will face?

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