Business and Leadership- Bill Gates
Bill Gates is widely recognized as the one of the most entrepreneurial business leaders the world has ever produced. Born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington, Bill Gates originates from a high spirited and entrepreneurial family (Aronson, 2009). This paper explores the life and leadership of Bill Gates in the context of an outstanding business leader. It highlights important qualities of a leader that are demonstrated by a visionary leader including risk taking, curiosity, perseverance, passionate, open-mindedness and resourcefulness.
In his early life, he demonstrated passion in software and consequently began computer programming at a tender age of 13 years. According to http://inventors.about.com, he joined Harvard University to pursue Law like his father between 1973 and 1975. Although his intentions were to pursue law, his passion was in programming and computing thus he left after two years in order to start Microsoft. While at Harvard University, he came across Steve Ballmer who later became the chief executive officer at Microsoft between year 2000 and 2014. As teenagers, Paul Allen and Bill Gates collaboratively operated a small firm known as Traf-O-Data that designed a system that was capable of monitoring and counting Seattle city traffic. Bill Gates is the founder and the author of BASIC programming language for microcomputers (Gates & Lowe, 1998). The two later formed Microsoft and began developing software for personal computers even before Bill gates had graduated. Microsoft became the most popular technology company after developing computer operating systems. The company won mega business deals such as acquiring the licensing rights for MS-DOS that it first sold to IBM. In 1983, Microsoft formally launched Microsoft windows which is a graphical operating system.
Microsoft dominated the computer market gaining over 80% of the world’s entire market for software. The company overtook Mac OS that had been formed in 1984 dealing in personal computers. Bill Gates marries Melinda French Gates and later the couple got three kids. To give back to the society, Bill Gates family formed Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that supports other philanthropic foundations across the world in education and health sector. Bill gates possesses outstanding qualities and strengths that I admire up to this date. To begin with, his curiosity is one of its kind. His various fascinating advances in the line of computer programming truly demonstrates his enthusiasm and curiosity. According to www.leadforlife.com, he takes his time in studying those advances as well as integrating them together in a magical way by combining hardware and software. Furthermore, Bill Gates has an excellent vision (Gates & Lowe, 1998). He believed that every household and business will own a computer running Microsoft software. In response to his vision to the world, he aligned Microsoft’s resources with the vision. When nobody else across the world was aware of the future of software industry, Bill Gates remained true to his passion by pursuing his vision to the end. This vision has since won him numerous honor and success as he holds the world’s richest title for over fifteen years now.
Empirically, Bill Gates was featured as the world’s richest business man in 2016 holding a net worth of $75 billion. Ironically, Bill Gates still holds the title despite his wealth dropping by $4.2 billion from his wealth in 2015 (Aronson, 2009). The success of Microsoft Corporation is largely attributed to Bill Gate’s outstanding leadership style. He recruited and retained the best talented software engineers who are familiar with computer programming and who possess the capacity to quickly gain new knowledge. In addition Bill Gates does not fear to fail. He tries numerous tactics and pursues that which works in Microsoft. He tells of the significant amount of money and time lost in failed projects including a joint OS with IBM and the omega database.
Bill Gates believes in putting in place controls and has obsession of paying attention to finer details. For instance, he regularly meets program managers and Microsoft’s senior executives to get firsthand information and updates on various ongoing projects.
Further, Bill Gates places a lot of value on his employees. Microsoft Corporation provides employees with career development opportunities and a healthcare insurance program that encourages them to own up the company and work hard. He understands that the key to success of a company is paying workers well and investing in their future. Undoubtedly, Bill Gates invests a big percentage of Microsoft’s revenue on research and development. He believes that research and development is key to improving software technology in order to make it more friendly, cost-effective and enjoyable to the users (Aronson, 2009). By allocating a large proportion of revenues to research and development, Bill Gates sends a message to workers that the company continues to be a learning institution. He encourages employees to become more innovative to retain Microsoft as the business leader in software technology.
In conclusion, Bill Gates possesses all kinds of leadership qualities for everyone to admire. Through him, we learn that you have to pursue what you are passionate about in order to succeed. Undoubtedly, there is no a single mind-boggling business leader’s story that does not involve great passion. Without passion, it becomes hard to be self-motivated. In contrast, when you are passionate about something, working towards your goal becomes the most fascinating experience.
Aronson, M. (2009). Bill Gates: A twentieth-century life. New York, N.Y: Viking.
Gates, B., & Lowe, J. (1998). Bill Gates speaks: Insight from the world’s greatest entrepreneur. New York: John Wiley.
Bill Gates-Biography and History. Online. April, 2016. Retrieved from: http://inventors.about.com/od/gstartinventors/a/Bill_Gates.htm
Uncommon Leadership from Bill Gates. Online. April, 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.leadforlife.com/Articles_files/956275ad69008c1271a5587eb9c73813-5.html