7 Key Lessons from a Greatest Leader of all times - Bill Gates
June 27, 2008
28th June, 2008 saw the end of an era in Business, Technology and Greatness. Founder of Microsoft, William Henry Gates III, presently the 3rd richest person in the world, decided to hang his boots and start living a life with bigger purpose. My idol for a long time, Bill Gates has been a name to reckon with at every single home, at every single corporation. His career spanning over 33 long years provided a great sense of achievement for himself and the rest of the computer industry. He quoted “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 MPG”. This is the kind of influence he had after founding Microsoft Corporation the big giant in the IT industry. I want to write here some of the great learning’s of mine from this genius.
Success comes with a Great Vision
“Every business and household must have a computer and must run Microsoft software”, was the basic guiding vision of Bill Gates. When everyone in the world were not even aware of the software industry’s future here was a man who trusted on his gut feel and passion decided to take the vision the farthest possible way. He was almost there achieving his vision. This clear vision of him won him several laurels and went to be the richest person in the world for 13 continuous long years.
“Do what you are Passionate about, the rest will Follow” – Praveen Sherman
This is something that I learnt from Bill Gates even as an young lad. I grew up seeing the success of Bill Gates and I was for a long time under the impression that he was just making lots of money by luck. But what Bill Gates proved was different. There is no one who could write software code as he could. When as a student at the Harvard university, every single student would have wanted to be part of the great institute and graduate to be successful, Bill Gates decided to stop studying and pursue his dream of writing softwares for every computer in the world. Just started the agreement between IBM and Microsoft, Gates along with friend Paul Allen was to write an interpreter for the IBM PC. He was not ready on the date that was announced for the installation and the good news for Gates was that the party at the other end too were not ready. This got the fire in him to write that piece of software and bundle with every IBM computer in the world. He was just passionate about software, coding and technology that incidentally also made him the richest man in the world
“Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana” says Bill Gates that has made him a great innovator too. Focusing on taking the computer to every single house hold made him an household name too.
Failures are learning lessons:
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” - Bill Gates
Bill Gates was never afraid of losing and went on to win a lot of deals because of this. While the Microsoft windows operating system is the widely used in the world, there are a good number of criticisms and unhappiness about the software among the users. While many of them used to get bugged using Microsoft products, Bill Gates did not easily give up. He took all those as nice lesson and is improving every single day. When critics were talking about infringement of laws by Bill Gates, he struck on and was giving the best the employees and the users of Microsoft Software products.
“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” - Bill Gates
Higher the Self Esteem the better it gets
When you start achieving something big, there will be people who would want to make fun of your efforts, pull you down and so on. The stronger you stand the bolder you get the faster these negatives wither.
When IBM pulled out of the contract for the operating system to be bundled with the IBM Clone PCs, Bill Gates stayed on and started focusing on the creating Windows amidst lots of hiccups that will hamper the company. Inventing the MS Access database system, was a relevant owing to the failure of the Omega Database with IBM. He saw an opportunity at every single place that helped him to achieve greatest heights. He did not allow others to deter him by inventing many thins to the public and still reaching his top most Goals and vision.
“Whether it’s Google or Apple or free software, we’ve got some fantastic competitors and it keeps us on our toes” – Bill Gates
Opportunity knocks once:
Bill Gates took up the responsibility of being the Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates was nurturing Microsoft by building a broad range of products. This was not just capitalize on the knowledge but provide the best by understanding the need of the people. He did not sit back and wait for people to ask what they wanted and instead made a revolution of creating an opportunity for himself and his company by innovating. He did not sit and do something that anyone could, but he took the reins into his hands to almost single handedly take Microsoft to this great heights.
“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.” – Bill Gates
Action Speaks Louder
This is one never mentioned secret of success. Action is the key word. When logic never drives us its emotions. We must have that emotional strength in us to take action. Bill Gates as a small young boy never had anything to lose which he kept telling his good friend Paul Allen. When he had several odds again him such as the American Law and several cases against him, he still consistently took action by developing more software which the people wanted. This made him a super star overnight. If not for Bill Gates, Microsoft would have not seen the light today of what it gets. This was because of his constant delivery of ideas to his Goals and vision.
He was a drop out from one of the worlds best universities the Harvard and not everyone from there went to achieve great heights like Bill Gates did, which proves the basic fact that education is just a tool for success and does not define success itself. During the convocation address at the Harvard university, Bill Gates mentioned that good he came when they were graduating and not when during the time when they joined the university else they would have changed their mind.
“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.” – Bill Gates
Trust- An unwritten rule for great leadership wisdom
Right from day 1 at Microsoft, Bill Gates was very open to the ideas. This he also proved later when Steve Balmer stepped into the shoes of Bill Gates and became the CEO of the company. He always believed that there is no end to learning from people, from books and so on. “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”, says Bill Gates ready for more ideas to float around which will make sure that the same culture of innovation continues in Microsoft even without his presence.
“At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top - I’m afraid that’s not quite right.” – Bill Gates
Success must never get on to the head
This is by far the best lesson what we learn from Bill Gates. At a tender age of 21, Bill Gates had achieved many a things including having money and fame. This did not allow him to stop achieving and always had the drive to achieve great heights. “If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?” quote Bill Gates with utmost passion and determination.
“Microsoft is not about greed. It’s about Innovation and Fairness.” – Bill Gates
Never stop learning was the Mantra of Bill Gates which he follow till date. This empowers him to be a Great Leader of our times. He will always be remembers as an Icon and even without his presence in Microsoft he would still be regarded as a great inventor and a real genius in every regard of Business, Technology and Entrepreneurship.