Bill Gates
Leadership Case Study

Bill Gates Leadership Case Study is a part of Leadership Stories, a series of biographies of great leaders in history that have impacted the world in a huge way.

Bill Gates Leadership
Who is He?

Bill Gates is consistently the richest man in the world; and the co-founder of Microsoft, the creator of the commonly used Windows. He is best known for being the entrepreneur that revolutionized the computer industry.

Recently he has been active in philanthropic work, having set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and giving over US$28 billion to their causes.

A Short History

Gates began his interest in computers at a very young age. At eighth grade, he was already showing unusual interest in computers and even skipped his Math class to pursue his interest in programming.

He went on to Harvard College after scoring an SAT of 1590 out of 1600. However in Harvard, he did not spend much time studying but spent most of his time in front of the computers. Eventually he dropped out of Harvard and started Microsoft.

As a new company, Gates developed the program BASIC which was popular with many computer hobbyists, but it’s development stopped because of widespread piracy of his product.

The breakthrough for Microsoft began when IBM approach Gates to develop software for their systems; eventually Gates created the MS-DOS program for IBM which he held the copyright to.

This was the beginning of the rise of Microsoft; and the rest is history.

Awards and Honours

1. One of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century by Times Magazine
2. 2005 Persons of the Year Times
3. CEO of the year by Chief Executive Officers magazine in 1994
4. Order of the Aztec Eagle for his philanthropic work 

Bill Gates
Leadership Lessons

1. Years and years of hard work precede success

Many of us, having heard that Microsoft was started out of Gate’s garage, would be tempted to think that he was a kid with no prior knowledge and managed to start a multi-billion dollar business from those little experiments done there.

But the truth is that, a quick read into his history will make you realize that Gates’ has had tremendous experience with programming and coding prior to even starting Microsoft.

It was his vast experience in the area of programming and coding that allowed him to build the first software DOS that launched Microsoft into its global position.

So before we start believing that overnight successes are possible, remember that even the richest man in the world did it through many hours of hard work; and you must too if you want to see the same level of success in your life. 

2. Go where your passion lies

Bill Gates didn’t work extra hard doing programming because he was hungry to become a millionaire and he wanted to do everything he could do pursue that. He worked very hard because he was simply passionate about what he was doing.

He found programming software to be extremely interesting to him and it motivated him to do it long after school hours, and even skipping some classes so that he could code. Through that, it gave him the experience to set up Microsoft.

If you want to become a success like Bill Gates, don’t chase money. Don’t go to opportunity after opportunity trying to find the million-dollar idea. This will only cause you to lose focus on what you want for your own life and will set you up for a big fall.

Money is everywhere and there are many ways you can become rich. Yet, the way to do so is to simply do what you love to do. Sounds simple, but very hard to execute in a world of distractions. 

3. Give back

Giving back to the community is an important act because it is a reflection of your character. Are you a giver or a taker? Do you exist in this world to become a blessing to the community, or do you expect the community you’re in to bless you?

The attitude that you adopt in this will determine if you will become a person of success or a person of significance. There are a lot of people who are successful, but only few names are remembered. The ones that we remember even till today are those that have made a difference in the world that we lived in.

If you want to become a leader that people admire and respect, you must become a person of significance. People don’t follow you because you take from them; they follow you because you give to them.

Strive to live out a life that makes a difference in this world; give back more than what you have taken from society. Your life then will be a true success.

Related Books on
Bill Gates Leadership

Best Quotes from
Bill Gates Leadership

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.”

“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.”

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

“In this business, by the time you realize you're in trouble, it's too late to save yourself. Unless you're running scared all the time, you're gone.”

“It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

“Life is not fair; get used to it.”

“People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn't they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines... There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.”

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.”

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Video on
Bill Gates Leadership

Other Links

Wikipedia: A highly detailed account of Bill Gates' Life
Gates Foundation.org: The Gates Foundation, a Non-Profit Organization set up by Bill and Melinda Gate

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» Steve Jobs
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» Ray Kroc
Ray Kroc is the man behind the multimillion dollar fast food empire, MacDonald’s. In his life, he has built the fast food chain from a simple hamburger restaurant to a multi-billion dollar franchise that has reached almost every part of the world today.

» Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was the father of modern steel and was one of America’s richest men. He started the Carnegie Steel Company, which later merged with Steel Company to become U.S. Steel.

» Walt Disney
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» Henry Ford
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» Sam Walton
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» Donald Trump
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» John D Rockefeller
John D Rockefeller is an American Oil Magnate and the first billionaire in the history of the world. In today’s dollars, Rockefeller is still considered the richest man in modern history. He was also one of the first few philanthropists in the world, giving back a huge portion of his wealth to the community.

» Warren Buffet
Warren Buffet is one of the world’s richest men, with assets totally up to US$50 billion in 2011. His main source of wealth comes from his company Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. His philosophy of value investing and prudence and influenced many investors worldwide.

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