Don’t Let Cynicism Undermine Your Workplace

by Jamil Zaki

AN OPEN CEO ROLE AT MICROSOFT should be the holy grail for executives in the tech industry, but that wasn’t the case in 2014. The company’s growth had stagnated. By botching early leads on smartphones and other new technologies, Microsoft had lost market share to Apple, Google, and Amazon and had gained a reputation as creaky and out of touch—a giant ship lurching in the wrong direction.

The Bloomberg journalist Dina Bass listed those downsides in an article bluntly titled “Why You Don’t Want to Be Microsoft CEO.” Five days later Satya Nadella took the helm. Microsoft’s failures stemmed from a deeper problem: a culture mired in mistrust, competition, and tribalism, which killed morale ...

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