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Leadership in the Age of Intelligence

By Anant Maheshwari 
President, Microsoft Corporation (I) Pvt Ltd

“Disrupt or be disrupted” – everyone gets the world memo in our present times. Enterprises are reinventing business models, launching new lines of operations, and embracing digital transformation. Governance is evolving around the world with the power of technology in the hands of the masses. Every person’s daily life is evolving as their tech intensity increases. The future of tech innovation has artificial intelligence playing a pivotal role. AI will fundamentally enhance human productivity, even more than what computing did over the last four decades. With so much change around, it’s imperative that we find even bigger focus in our core strengths– our people and culture. An always-on learning culture that rewards risk appetite, encourages collaboration and focuses on creating value for the customer will propel any transformation exercise that organizations embark on.
At Microsoft, we put growth mindset at the core of our culture. With the belief that everyone can grow and develop, that potential isn’t pre-packaged and can be nurtured, we enable boundless opportunities through the mindsets of our people and how that manifests across the organization. Embracing challenges, persisting in the face of setbacks, and valuing the success of others are among our cultural attributes. We all need to recognize that failure happens along the way to mastery and we must learn from our setbacks. Leadership is not limited to tenure, title or level. Activating the growth mindset gives anyone and everyone the opportunity to hone their leadership skills – create clarity, generate energy and deliver success.

Clarity: The calm seas need only the sailors; the ship’s crew looks up to the captain in choppy waters. Leadership is the differentiator in ambiguous situations. Taking quick control in chaotic times, bringing an urgent sense of direction and boiling the complex down to the simple are crucial to-dos for leaders.

Energy: Leadership is not about walking alone – get your teams, get their collaborators and partners, get the whole ecosystem to play along. This knack of inspiring authentic energy and a shared commitment and using that as a force multiplier for the teams is essential for leaders to thrive – and make a lasting impact.

Success: Obsessing over your customers and accelerating breakthroughs with curiosity will enable innovation. Leaders define what success looks like. A tenacious pursuit of the right outcomes even when the path ahead may not be clear and inspiring others to achieve results are important for leadership.
Leadership is the difference we make with our stakeholders – be it our customers, partners or our teams. A strong pivot on culture will empower us to make a difference to people, business and society through technology – and live our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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