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Leadership Principles in a digital world by Steve Ballmer

There are some days that impact your life more than others..yesterday has definitely been one of them as I have had this amazing opportunity to have a discussion with Steve Ballmer on leadership together with 20 other Microsoft people in France.

During 45 min, Steve shared with us what makes a great leader in this new digital world:

A Leader picks a direction, brings people with him along the way trought:

  1. Ideas: quality of his thoughts
  2. Passion: deep love and excitement about what he/she does
  3. Tenacity: never give up especially when things do go wrong

People will follow him because his idea, passion and tenacity demonstrate the value he can bring to them and to the company and the ability the leader has to grow them untill they become leaders.

Steve has also given us 3 piece of advise:

  1. If you think you should separate from a member of your team, you should have done it yesterday. What makes great leaders is this ability to always have the best-in-class team members. Changing people by improving them is a nice wish, not really realistic
  2. Always simplify! Being a simplifier is key to be successful as a leader
  3. Never let the urgent crowd out the things really matter. There’s always one urgent thing to do. But as a leader one has to say no to focus on what really matter!

Finally, Steve has asked us to keep in mind that best or good people are leaving when one fails recognizing they need more room to operate and need to be freshen up. So it’s a leader duty to make sure his best people always have enough meat to eat, room to develop and fresh air to grow.

I have been at Microsoft since 8 years, this is without any doubt the best lesson on leadership I have ever had. Steve, you have been an inspirational leader and will remain for ever the one talents would love to follow! We will definitely miss you!



“The digital revolution impact in our life”