Former Microsoft CEO shares management tips

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Since former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he would be stepping down from his position, there has been endless to speculation about who would replace him.

But Ballmer hasn't left the corner office yet, and lately, he's been in a reflective mood. In a recent sit-down interview with CNN Money, Ballmer shared the management rules that he has lived by during his 13-year tenure with Microsoft.

One of the most important skills a manager can have, Ballmer claimed, is the ability to see the big picture. 

"If the CEO doesn't see the playing field, nobody else can," he said. "The team may need to see it too, but the CEO really needs to be able to see the entire competitive space."

Obviously, this is particularly important in the technology industry, where change is swift and  nearly constant.

"Ten years from now, will devices look the same as they look today or quite different?" he asked. "And will they be funded primarily by gross margin on the device or will it all be just ads and commerce from guys like Google and Amazon? The truth is, whoever sits in the CEO seat needs to have enough perspective to have an intelligent opinion."

Ballmer also noted that talent only gets a leader so far. He contended that companies are not built on the strength of a few skilled people, but rather on a team of workers who can innovate together.

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