Bill Gates Leadership Style: An Insight For Corporate Brilliance
Task: Provide a detailed report on the Bill Gates leadership style.
Among all the leaders in this modern 21st century, Bill Gates is considered to be one of the most inspirational, hardworking, and charismatic leaders. Gates is the richest person in America and has been regularly topping the Forbes list of top 100 richest people. The technical brilliance and immense foresightedness of Bill gates enabled him to permanently change the software industry by the huge success of Microsoft Company. It was because of the implication of the brilliant bill gates leadership style, and the company attained the achievement of top-grossing OS on the global market (Bel, 2010). Apart from just bearing the tag of the richest person in the world, he has been awarded various honours like the Bower award of business leadership, National medal of Technology and Innovation, Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, and many others in his career. No person could deny the fact that the activities of Bill Gates have created a permanent impact on world dynamics. Hardly any other person could have created such an immense impact single-handedly. Bill Gates's background is well known to the world, and it does not need a special mention that he was a dropout from Harvard University and later turned out to be the CEO of one of the most successful and dominating software company. The report would further explore the qualities of Bill Gates Leadership Style, which developed the Microsoft Company into one of the world's most successful companies.
Computers and their mechanism have fascinated the mind of Bill Gates from his childhood. The same interest had instigated him to further learn the programming language of a computer. It was understood by him even at an early age that there is no shortcut for success. Hence, he had pursued a lot of hard work to fulfil his passion. It was to achieve his goal that he spent hours of time coding in his garage. It was because of his efforts and skills that he attained the overall awareness of the targeted audience, even before setting up the company, Microsoft.
Bill Gates understood the real significance of the dynamic approach while leading the company, and thus, he had avoided any sort of static decisions while drafting the paper. The constant updates have been made in the business processes of Microsoft under the leadership of Bill Gates. The approach had always sustained the relevance of the company's services and products among its clients. The company had always provided its customers with updated services and products to sustain its dominant global market position. Various products, like web browsers, Microsoft Office, etc., were delivered by the company to bring excellence and diversity to their product line (Bhattacharyya, 2006). Bill Gates acted as the major forbearer in bringing the element of diversity in the company's product line. The core principle of bill gates leadership style was to bring variety in merchandise that had helped in emerging such a huge and successful company.
Though the personality of Bill Gates could not be evaluated by just analyzing his business and technical brilliance. He is a great philanthropist and is well known for his humungous contribution to humanitarian efforts. His wife, Melinda Gates, has given him immense support by contributing some share of their profit in humanitarian activities. The couple has by now donated billions of dollars for charitable causes all over the world. This couple's humungous donations have been made to eradicate deadly diseases like Aids, malaria, and cancer. It is in the case of malaria that the world has witnessed high financial support and philanthropism from Bill Gates. His ability to compose excellent visionary strategies could be observed by analyzing the bill gates leadership style (Heller et al., 2000).
Characteristics of Bill Gates leadership style
The major characteristics of bill gates leadership style are discussed in the below section of this article.
Perseverance for learning: The major motto put forward by Bill Gates was people should not stop learning, and it is the major characteristics that would develop a good leader. Bill has never stopped improving and has always tried to keep himself updated by learning from his experiences. He still seeks new lessons from each instance he comes across (Chu & Lai, 2011).
High clarity in the thought process: The goals could not be achieved appropriately if the leader lacks clarity on the related concepts and approaches. A higher level of determination and foresightedness could be witnessed in the bill gates leadership styles. The companies with higher performance were always considered as the parameter for competition by the company. The above-mentioned characteristics must be retained by a leader so that the organization could be taken to new heights of success.
Focus: Being focused on the intention and the company's common ideologies is one of the crucial characteristics to be possessed by a leader. It would be hard for the organization to achieve its goal if the leader is not focused on the objectives. The operation of the Microsoft Company has always been the focus under the bill gates leadership style. The company was a great success, and Bill Gates could have entered into other forms of business by utilizing the immense financial backup he had acquired. But he strived to gain excellence in the same field of software developing market (Shah & Mulla, 2013). The aspect of core competence was considered to be primary under the bill gates leadership style.
Passion: It needs no specific mention that Bill Gates was very compassionate and eager towards the field of computer programming and software development. There is no loss of vigour and passion in him even after the prolonged 30 years of his career. If reviewing Microsoft's product line, it could be found that there is a perseverant effort for innovation and the glance for perfection. The company has been awarded a lot of opportunities when the bill gates leadership style was implied, along with great passion. He is still considered to be a very incredible phenomenon since he single-handedly emerged as a dominant player in the industry and took the company on his shoulders.
No discouragement from the failures
The actions were much more given significance by Bill Gates rather than just speaking about goals and intentions. He always believed that the actions would reveal much better than the voice. The bill gates leadership style reveals that there is no point of sadness when any sort of loss or failure happens in business. Many legal challenges have been faced by him in the professional career, though he never deterred his focus from achieving the goal.
It is the ideology of the transformational leadership style, which contributes to being the backbone of the bill gates leadership style. It had helped in bringing a lot of dynamic changes in the product line and approaches of Microsoft Company. The trait approach theory could well describe the bill gates leadership style. As per the ideologies put forward by the trait approach theory, it is strongly advocated that it is the people's innate attributes that make them exceptional leaders. The same aspect could be justified by referring to the excellent skillfulness, competitiveness, and intelligence of Bill Gates, which were further strengthened by his innate sociable, determination, and high integrity nature. The specific nature of the transformational approach, task-oriented attitude, delegation, and autocratic nature could be evidently observed in the bill gates leadership style. The leaders could be classified into different sections of relation- oriented leaders and task-oriented leaders as per Fielder's model. Bill Gates from his employees has always expected a specific level of performance, and hence he could be labelled as a task-oriented leader. He believed very less in the relationship-building process within the official environment and gave much more significance to the completion of work to achieve the primary goal of the organization. Certain traits of autocratic leadership could be observed in the bill gates leadership style. It could be clearly observed in the approach of bill gates in treating the management and other subordinates. Since he had a very thorough knowledge regarding the field he is working on, he never went back from making and applying his authoritative decisions. The delegation aspect was not much entertained by him and was totally against it in the initial phase of his professional career. In the later phase of the company, the team of capable managers was employed within the organization since he understood the potential of delegation in a company. He sort of eluded the interpersonal skills, and he gave the majority of his focus on the area of technical competence.
The study of Bill Gates's leadership style still has a very high scope in business studies' academic discipline. The approach of rational persuasion while approaching the subordinates could be observed in the Bill Gates leadership style he applied during his period as Microsoft's chairman. It is he who directly decided the promotions and penalties of the employees. He really tried his ability to influence his subordinates via his decision-making power. Being a responsible leader of an organization, he had applied a very systematic approach in deciding the penalties and credits for the staff members (Boje & Smith, 2010).
From the above-described content in this report on bill gates leadership style, it could be observed that he retained significant coercive power. By implying this power, he could reward a particular person or could withhold the promotion of the staff members. Though he had been allotted so much power in his organization, he never tried to make threats or negative impacts on the employees. At the same time, he could have misappropriated and coerced the employees for their personal gains. The higher value to the bill gates leadership style has been infused by the personal technical skills and thorough knowledge regarding the subject. The Referent Power components could also be observed when bill gates seem to be maintaining the personal relationship with the leaders who had similar calibre and skills (Verma, 2015). It has been observed that the candidates tended to stay employed for a longer tenure when compared to that of other companies. The major factor that intimidates others from conducting a detailed study on the bill gates leadership style is that it has many positive aspects that help other leaders to successfully build a business empire. He has given a high focus to develop a very constructive working environment within the company. The later phase of his career in which he started to believe in delegation has helped in developing a lot of future leaders who are well capable enough to raise their own successful enterprises. It is because of the effectiveness of bill gates leadership style that he was able to amass the trust and loyalty of his employees (Wallace & Erickson, 1992).
Bill Gates's competency could be analyzed by taking the perspective of the skilled approach taken by him. He has proven his skills in drafting innovative strategies, motivational skills, teamwork skills, and conducting effective communication.
It is the components of personal traits, acquired skills, the way of communication with subordinates, etc. which are considered for analysis under the Situational leadership theory. Based on this analysis, it is determined whether the leader follows the democratic style, autocratic style, or the laissez-faire style. It is prominently the traits of autocratic leadership style that is followed in the bill gates leadership style. The system installed in the company facilitated the clear flow of authoritarian information throughout the targeted units. The great man theory advocates the concept that the leaders are born to lead. Even from the beginning of his life, Bill Gates has displayed very good leadership skills. The right setting or the system should be made available for the leaders so that the particular leadership style could match with the environment. The same attributes are being explained by the contingency theory (Al-Asfour & Lettau, 2014).
Though we have listed down the bill gates leadership style's positive and constructive aspects in the previous section of this article, there are some evident imitations of it. He is has been hailed for his notorious autocratic and dominating nature. His subordinates often found it hard to relate to his concepts, and they just blindly followed him without giving any counter feedback. Hence, he was very unpopular among the employees, which staged some strong dissatisfactions among them. He lacked the basic skill in developing cordial relations with the staff members though he is considered one of the most charismatic and transformational leaders. He should have improved his relationship with the employees to increase the output of the company (Marques, 2007). A little focus on employee welfare on his behalf would have improved the level of employee satisfaction within the organization. Being a responsible leader, he should have improved his skills in this aspect rather than just focusing on the work and output. The aggressive approach of Bill Gates has attracted a lot of legal litigations in which they have abjectly failed. The lack of innovativeness was another allegation made on the operations of the Microsoft company. The common people were arguing that mere updates in the existing product line could not be termed as innovation. He was alleged to be just introducing updates to the existing products rather than presenting a different and unique product. To remove and eliminate any sort of competition from the market, he just bought the competing companies in their initial stage. His approach had completely created stagnation and lack of innovativeness in the OS industry.
The discussion conducted in this article on bill gates leadership style has revealed many unexplored aspects of it. The higher awareness regarding the leadership qualities of Bill Gates would help other professionals on how to develop a company into a successful company. As per one of the theories, the leader could be termed as a person who retains multiple followers. The effectiveness and skill of the leader could not be assessed without considering the magnitude of the followers. In such an aspect, Bill could be valued as one of the world's most successful leaders. He is placed as a very valued leader among the global business community. The high social skills and charisma have helped him in gaining one of the most influential transformational leaders in the 21st century. He is even now considered to be the epitome of a visionary and charismatic leader. Bill had never displayed any deviation from the primary focus of bringing the company to its zenith. No other personality had matched his skill level and zeal for success. The same effort has sustained his position as the world's richest person for consecutive 13 years. Hence it could be literally stated that Bill Gates is the only person who has conquered the whole world through his typical bill gates leadership style. He could be considered the sole sponsor of developing activities in the third world countries in Africa, Asia, and the South American continent. He is one of the most generous philanthropists in the world.
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