Gates

This essay has a total of 1536 words and 7 pages.


Gates








Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and served as its Chief Executive Officer form the
time the original partnership was incorporated in 1981 until January 2000. Then he
resigned as Chief Executive Officer and took on the position of Chief Software Architect.
Mr. Gates has served as Chairman of the Board since the company’s incorporation.
Bill Gates is recognized as the youngest self-made billionaire in history. His windows
operating system, runs the vast majority of personal computers throughout the United
States. It is obvious that it takes a certain type of person to successfully create and
maintain such a profitable organization. However, when closely examined, Gates’
leadership characteristics are somewhat surprising. The way in which he directs his
corporation is unique, and yet, still extremely prosperous. For a man to dropout of a
prestigious university such as Harvard in chase of his dream, one must be devout in his
pursuit.

Gates has always believed in his goal and has never stopped striving for perfection. This
sort of aim for fulfillment has a tendency to rub-off on others closely tied to Gates. In
fact, others have cited this charismatic leadership as a major key to Microsoft’s
success. Microsoft’s success depends on dedicated workers who have enormous faith in
a charismatic leader, claims Scott Winkler, an analyst at Gartner Group: ‘Bill tells
them to do something and they do it. They believe in him. He’s never let them down
in the past. The corporate culture is that Bill’s always right.’ Gates
recognizes the need to have others, as well as he, focus on the group’s vision and
he realizes that it is the leader’s responsibility to inspire his subordinates by
leading by example. Charismatic leaders understand that they alone cannot make the vision
a reality; they need their followers’ help and support to create organizational or
societal changes. Gates definitely sought the support and wisdom of others when in the
process of building the company. He worked hands on with his fellow employees, identifying
and correcting problems with software and continually setting and reaching long-term
goals.

The primary influence process is personal identification, which is influence derived from
a follower’s desire to please and imitate the leader. Charismatic leaders appear so
extraordinary, due to their strategic insight, strong convictions, self-confidence,
unconventional behavior and dynamic energy, that the subordinates idolize these leaders
and want to become like them. Perhaps the most extreme example of this is within the
Microsoft camp were the so-called Bill Clones, extremely brilliant, young, and recent
college graduates, who were hired as managers. So strong was the admiration of Gates that
these young men began to emulate their leader in almost every way. Jeff Raikes soon had
the patented Gates mannerisms down pat. Raikes was quickly named Clone Number One in
Microsoft circles. A Stanford MBA, Raikes had migrated from Cupertino, where he had headed
up the software effort on the ill-fated Apple III and had gained a reputation as a
firefighter for taking on tough software assignments.

Gates uses extraordinary discretion when hiring applicants to work for Microsoft. He wants
to ensure that every single person shares the same prospectus for the corporation, yet in
their own way, have personal beliefs that they are willing to stubbornly stick to. His aim
is not to create clones within the organization, but to stockpile it with as much
imaginative genius has possible. It is only a credit to his charismatic qualities that
such extremely bright people wish to emulate Gates in every way. Bill Gates is moody, and
he is the first to admit it. Gates’ temperament can sometimes cause him to be an
inefficient leader, especially when it affects his listening. One of Gates administrative
assistants, Estelle Mathers, had this to say about the CEO’s personality. "Bill is
moody. He told somebody once that one of the things he loved so much about me was that I
knew when to leave him alone. If you tended to interrupt him at a bad time, you could get
hurt." However, it is also important to note that Gates expected the same sort of tenacity
from his colleagues. Mathers goes on to add, "He liked it when you stood up to him. I
remember banging my fist on the desk one day, and he banged back, and I banged back. If
you backed down from Bill, he wouldn’t have respect for you."
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