Every individual idealizes some other individual and sees them as a leader. We often need some leadership figures in our lives because they motivate us to become better people and be more productive (Ramanaiah, Balaji, 2012). There are very different types of leaders with various leadership styles and they appeal to us for different reasons based on our personality traits and passions in life. One such leader that inspires me is Bill gates. In this paper, I will be talking about Bill Gates and his leadership style.
Bill Gates is one of the most well-known individuals on this planet and he is known for all the right reasons. He was born in 1955 in Seattle in the United States. His real name is in fact, William Henry Gates III. Today Bill Gates is a business magnate who has to build his empire through his love for software programming. Ever since a little kid, Gates loved computers and had a passion for them. So, at just the young age of thirteen, he learned about computers and started working on programming mainframe computers. While attending college at Harvard, Bill Gates was successful in creating his very own BASIC computer programming language. Soon afterward he began his venture of Microsoft with a friend named Paul Allen. By 1981, this partnership led to Microsoft becoming an incorporated company that sold computer operating systems that today we use in almost every personal computer by the name of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft office (Bellis, 2020).
Amassing this empire and becoming a billionaire wasn’t something that Gates achieved overnight. It took a lot of hard work. He was an amazing leader who led not only himself but his workforce to achieve the level at which they are today. He did not exactly start in a way we would picture a leader in our minds which only makes him more awe-inspiring. Bill Gates dropped out of college to follow his dream and took risks with only his knowledge and creativity to get by. Due to these qualities, I am inspired by him. We are often told to follow a strict path that is not only stereotypical but also not guaranteed to be successful. I applaud him for creating his path, breaking the norms.
Leadership style and strengths
From amongst the different leadership styles, the one most befitting for Bill Gates is that of a transformational leader. A translational leader is one who follows a powerful vision with fervor and passion for his work. The energy he surrounds himself with as a product of his passion is what inspires others to follow him as well. Transformational leaders encourage effort on a personal and individual level. So, motivation is more directly transmitted on an individual level from the leader to those below him. In this way, they reach the result with a clear path in mind (Mauri, 2017).
Transformational leadership came naturally to Bill Gates.He is an exemplary leader. He is very focused on what he is good at and made that into his business. he has clear goals and picture in mind that he works towards. He makes a clear line of action that he follows and preaches others to follow. All the goals he sets are practical and approachable. Progress is achieved one step at a time rather than a leap. He inspires a vision for others and models a unique way for them to follow. He promotes creativity and innovation on an individual level. So, he enables others to act and to face challenges rather than being laid back in comfort zones. At the same time, Gates is also compassionate and caring. This quality of his also one of my favorites. He supports not only his workforce and strengthens them but is also very charitable. He has contributed billions in philanthropic efforts for various worldly causes and yet he has a very down to earth and humble personality (The Lancet, 2005). So, he is not only a good leader when it comes to business but also as a teacher and as the head of a social charitable organization. He is always looking for something new to learn. In his leadership style, learning and acquiring more knowledge does not stop (Sahin, Cubuk, Uslo, 2014).
On the other hand, it is also important to understand that to err is human and after all Bill Gates is also a human. He has some weaknesses that he can work upon to become an even better leader. Identifying one’s weaknesses and working on them is a leadership quality in itself. For Bill Gates, arrogance is a weakness. Being as passionate as an individual he is, it is difficult for him to consider his ideas wrong or not the best. He should be able to consider other ideas for the betterment of his company. As a transformational leader, he is also very results-driven. He focuses on the end goal only rather than on the process that leads to the goal. This can cause losing track of the steps needed to achieve the result. lastly, Gates wants everyone to be on the same page as a transformational leader but this is not always easy to achieve and may cause conflicts. Gates needs to work on facing these conflicts heads-on rather than ignoring them (Patching, 2011).
All in all, Bill Gates is an extraordinary leader. It is underestimation to say that it is hard to be the kind of leader that he is. If only he could include a little patience in his leadership recipe, he would be nothing less than a perfect leader.
Bill Gates: a 21st century Robin Hood? (2005, March 12). The Lancet, 365, 911.
Şahin, D. R., Çubuk, D., &Uslu, T. (2014). The effect of organizational support, transformational leadership, personnel empowerment, work engagement, performance, and demographical variables on the factors of psychological capital. EMAJ: Emerging Markets Journal, 3(3), 1-17.
Mauri, T. (2017). Why leadership styles matter. Strategic Direction.
Patching, K. (2011). Throw away that leadership competency model. Industrial and Commercial Training.
Ramanaiah, G. (2012). Leaders and Managers: A Quality Perspective in the Corporate World. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Management, 1(2), 41.
Bellis, M. (2020, January 31). Biography of Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/bill-gates-biography-and-history-1991861