Bill Gates: Leader Analysis

Introduction

Leadership and motivation are two main principles that are necessary to obtain success in an organization. Success is the main target for which employees work under the supervision of the company’s management to generate revenue. In order to get success, the company needs to operate under perfect leadership and motivation factor so that their employees could work together as team workers to achieve the goals set ahead by the management of the organization. Leadership is the main ingredient behind the success of every company. With the help of leadership, small-sized enterprises become medium-sized enterprises, and then they become multinational organizations and are known around the world. There are so many examples of such organizations that were started by their founders in a small workshop and then they expanded and were identified as one of the biggest organizations in the world while gaining a good reputation. The following essay is related to the research carried out to analyze the leadership skills of Bill Gates. Bill Gates is the founder of Microsoft Corporation and is considered one of the richest people in the world. He started Microsoft Company from the scratch and gave it the infrastructure of a gigantic multinational within some years. The following essay would cover all the information that is necessary to investigate the definition of leadership, its skills, characteristics, qualities, concepts, theories, traits, followership, and behavioral style. After that, an analysis of Bill Gates would be carried out that would emphasize the leadership skills and styles that he used in his company and how did he manage to organize his team workers as one of the most successful organizations in the world.

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Understanding Leadership

When the word “leadership” is used, the first thing that comes into mind is an organization that is effectively and efficiently manages everyday tasks successfully with the cooperation of a well-organized team or teams. Success is what companies work to accomplish and it is only achievable by organizations only and only if they are directed correctly towards their assigned target proficiently. This can only be achieved with valuable leadership capabilities and guidelines. Leadership is just not a myth that could be gained through a certain process; it is a principle, an art, and a set of procedures that are set ahead of employees.

(Northouse 3-41) It is very convoluted and intricate to define leadership. There is no particular definition of leadership because every field and industry has its own way of defining leadership since there is no exact way of leadership style that implies every field in the world. However, according to the most commonly used definition; leadership can be described as an entire course of action of communal persuasion in which one individual can procure assistance and facilitate others in order to achieve a certain task. In short, leadership is the process through which a central entity or a person develops a unique system for his team members to contribute with their skills and techniques and help the entire system to attain certain extraordinary goals and targets within a preplanned time period. However, the definition of leadership is totally different from management because the principle of management has definite limitations as compared to the concept of leadership. The concept of leadership is extremely vast and dynamic because there are different myths, principles, strategies, and plans that a leader formulates for his company that differ with the working environment, working conditions, and products offered to the market on behalf of his organization. Leadership is the primary contributor to accomplish progress in several cultures and societies. Leaders are the individuals who operate organizations and develop strategies, plans, principles, goals, decide and authorize what should be done in the future and what goals should be planned to achieve accordingly.

“Leaders are active instead of reactive, shaping ideas instead of responding to them. Leaders adopt a personal and active attitude toward goals. The influence a leader exerts in altering moods, evoking images and expectations, and establishing specific desires and objectives determines the direction an organization takes. The net result of this influence is to change the way people think about what is desirable, possible, and necessary. In other words, leaders are visionaries and managers operate within those established visions.” Abraham Zaleznik, Harvard Business Review.

Every business has its own separate and unique infrastructure; therefore, there is no specific way of leading an organization. There are different conceptual frameworks for different enterprises due to their diversified working environment, working conditions, fields, industries, interests and future plans. It is the basic responsibility of a leader to direct the team workers on the right path to gain success and triumph (Vecchio 71-89).

Theories of Leadership

It is important to know what researchers, philosophers, and business heads have analyzed about leadership style. There are certain theories of leadership that have been discussed. All kinds of leadership styles are listed and defined in this section.

The great man theory was the first rough attempt to explain the concept of leadership. According to this theory, leadership is what an individual gets since the time of his birth and is established by a mixture of social, individual and historical situations that he faces with time. Some philosophers came up with the theory that great men were born with strong mental strength that they carry from their forefathers, which was boosted up by the future circumstances and cultures they lived in (Waite 3).

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(Vecchio 71-89) Officially, leadership-trait theory can be considered as the official first attempt to define what leadership really is. It is the set of attributes and characteristics that combines together and makes up a leader. These characteristics are trustworthiness, aptitude, confidence, audacity, boldness, strength, steadiness, humanness, firmness, decision-making power, motivation, energy, cognitive capability, acquaintance, awareness, honesty, inventiveness, insight, flexibility, malleability, knowledge of the business. Only one objection towards this theory is that it covers so many characteristics of leadership as if a leader is born with it. Researchers and other corporate sectors objected to this theory because nobody is perfect in this world; and leaders are said to be made, not born as an inherited leader (Northouse 3-41).

(Miner 147) Another leader theory is the behavioral and style theory that was initiated in response to the criticism against trait theory. According to this assumption, leadership is the set of attributes, behaviors that elaborate the behavior of ‘triumphant’ organizer, deciding activities classification and categorizing a wide range of other styles of leadership. This theory was initiated because it is not necessary that every leader in this world could have all the attributes required expressed in the trait theory because a leader is also a normal human being who is not supposed to be perfect all the time. Therefore, a leader could also be a person who does not have all the traits required to become a leader, but he could have practical motives through which he could make a difference with his team workers in the world. The leader happens to have a particular set of objectives and ambitions on which he acts to run a successful industry.

The third theory here is the Situational Theory. This theory was developed as another reaction towards the trait theory. According to the logic of this theory, there is no particular set of characteristics or patterns that has been decided for a successful leadership style. Instead, every situation needs a different attribute of leadership style. This theory stresses the fact that there are different styles of leadership that is used differently in different situations (Marquis & Huston 13).

Another practical of leadership is Functional Leadership that specifically highlights the behavior of leaders to participate in corporate or team efficiency. The functional theory stresses the fact that the best policy used by a leader is to see what is needed to be done in the team and then fulfill the requirement by participating in the team’s consistency and success (Gill 22).

Leadership Styles

Every leader has a particular skill or style according to which he acts to achieve success in the marketplace with the help of his skilled professionals and team members. However, there should be a certain behavioral style on which the leader should work so that everything he does is in perfect shape and in the right direction. Therefore, there are some leadership styles that reflect the philosophy, behavior experience, and personality of leaders. These styles are discussed in this section.

Authoritarian or Autocratic Style reflects the attributes of a leader whose decision-making power and confidence are settled right in the center of the leader and he does what he thinks is the best way to do. This kind of a person does not listen to his subordinates and assistants decision seriously and always consider him as the highest authority in the organization. This kind of person has strong willpower, decision-making skill and gives strong motivation to the managers (Goleman et al53).

Dictator Leadership Style is used by those leaders who think nobody is higher than his authority and uses threats, fear and harsh behavior to get their work done from their subordinates. This kind of behavior is useful at times but is not motivating at the end of the day for the entire corporate circle (Northouse 93).

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Democratic or Participative Leadership Style is used by the leaders who give priority to their subordinates and managers and encourages them to share their opinions with the management. This style enables the management of the company to know what their employees think and helps them to come up with dynamic and innovative ideas that attributes to the betterment of the company by generating high revenues while retaining the customer base. this style is best suitable for situations where leaders have some important information and subordinates have some information, and both of them share and discuss their information to come up with a mutually shared and agreed decision (Northouse 93).

Delegate Leadership Style is the one that recruits the best available talented professionals in the organization and wants to see several attributes within the recruited team. These professionals are required to keep their eyes open, learn new things, and get to the manager if their help is required and share their opinion. The leader would listen to their opinion and would make a decision after judging their potentials (Northouse 93).

Analysis of Bill Gates as a Leader

(Dearlove 150) It is said that “When there is a will, there is a way”. Therefore, in the limelight of this proverb; when there is motivation, there is a success. Bill Gates is one person who happens to work on the principle of motivation and success by utilizing the time slot he got in his hands. William Henry Bill Gates III is a philanthropist, founder, entrepreneur, and chairman of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Corporation was founded in the year 1975 as a software company with the help of Paul Allen. He is one of the famous, popular, and wealthiest people in the world at the moment. He is the one who made a huge impact on the world Information Technology industry and gave birth to a revolutionized era of the personal computer. Bill Gates is the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Software Architect and the largest individual shareholder of Microsoft Corporation with a ratio of more than 8 percent of common stock. Bill Gates is not only a technology-oriented person, but he donates a huge amounts of money to several charitable institutions and is known as a kind philanthropist. He stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft Corporation in 2000 and presently, is working part-time as non-executive chairman. His personality and working tactics have been admired, yet criticized by a number of people and enterprises. he is a great leader, manager; and yet is also criticized by many since his working style is a bit different from others. But, at the end of the day, he makes a motivating leader who makes sure that everything is well taken care of for his employees. however, it is not an easy task since Microsoft Corporation is a multinational with numerous branches around the world. for this purpose, Bill Gates has a tremendously trained team of professionals who are not only technically savvy but they also know how to get the most talented and skilled team members for the company (Lesinski 12-55).

Bill Gates is no doubt, one of the greatest techno-savant tycoons in the world. under the supervision and leadership of Bill Gates, Microsoft works to achieve its mission. The mission of Microsoft is to develop and get advanced with time, enhance software technology and revolution by making it easier for users and user-friendly to use. Therefore, he can be considered a successful entrepreneur in the world because he is the founder of a company whose branches are widespread in more than 103 countries and regions around the world.

(Lesinski 12-55) To get to this level of success, Bill Gates worked very hard day and night. He always had his mission and vision in mind and he worked to achieve his goal. As a leader, Bill Gates is successful and dedicated to his work and is considered a triumphant leader in the IT industry. As a leader, his commitment towards work, motivation, hard work, and courage helped him a lot to earn the present state. When he started, he was not known by anyone, but soon he intended to develop a reputation that history would never forget. As a leader, Bill Gates is known to be famous for doing multi-tasking while taking lead as a leader. He has chosen his subordinates very carefully who is reliable and loyal towards Microsoft.

(Forster 20) The leadership skills that Bill Gates possesses are an obsession with work, vision, innovation, brainpower, continuous learning skill, and the ability to take risks. Bill Gates has had a passion for software, coding, technology and computing devices since childhood. He used to concentrate and think about technology even when he was a child and decided to go with the field of IT when he was only 13 years old. This proves that he has had his vision since the time he was only 13 years old. As a chief software engineer, Bill Gates knows that innovation is the main ingredient for the best recipe of technology. This is technology-savvy age and people are attracted to the newly introduced gadgets and technologies. Therefore, Bill Gates work to get the best and updated technology that could please his customers. Bill Gates is the chief software engineer at Microsoft Corporation and he managed to carry the company to this stage. that proves that he is not only a continuous learner but intelligent also and knows what the customers need the most. Apart from all the qualities he posses, the best skill is the ability to take risks. One cannot succeed in the competitor market of today without taking risks. Success cannot be achieved without taking risks. Bill Gates had the ability to do that; he took risks and was victorious. Even today, introducing new products in the market is not easy because no one knows what kind of reaction consumers would pay to the product. Therefore, it is very necessary to risk it. Another quality that adds to the personality of Bill Gates is the ability to bear criticism. Bill Gates is the leader who is mutually liked, yet criticized at the same time. he stands strong in front of all criticism he could get from the opponents and face them with courage.

(Koontz & Weihrich 330) As a leader, there are some secrets behind the success of Bill Gates. These secrets are regarded as entrepreneur skills, self-confidence, visualization, technology-savvy, long-term thinking for everything and the ability to learn from failure.

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Bill Gates has his own opinion of successful leadership. He uses different kinds of leadership styles when facing different circumstances. At first, he sees the situation, comes up with a solution by himself and then directs it to his subordinates to follow. While doing this, Bill Gates is always confident whatever he does and if his solution does not work properly, he faces the challenge and failure with courage and learns from his mistakes. In most of the cases, he uses Situational Leadership where he has the authority to make decisions, and he acts differently with different cases because every situation has a unique scenario. Bill Gates is the kind of person who wants to see accomplishment and success from his subordinates while achieving what was told to attain. When it comes to leadership styles, Bill Gates is the blend of autocratic and delegate leadership style where he likes to control his team and wants to have the most talented skilled professionals than any other enterprise. He recruits the best candidates and avails their skills to achieve the best results possible (Koontz & Weihrich 330).

Works Cited

Peter Guy Northouse, 2006, Leadership: theory and practice; Edition 4, Publisher SAGE Publications, p7-41.

Robert P. Vecchio, 1997, Leadership: understanding the dynamics of power and influence in organizations; Publisher University of Notre Dame Press, p71-89.

Mitchell R. Waite, International Association of Fire Chiefs; 2007, Fire Service Leadership: Theories and Practices, Publisher Jones & Bartlett Publishers, p3

John B. Miner, 2007, Organizational behavior, Volume 4, Publisher M.E. Sharpe, p147.

Bessie L. Marquis, Carol J. Huston; 2008, Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing: Theory and Application, Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p13.

Roger Gill, 2006, Theory and practice of leadership, Publisher SAGE Publications, p22.

Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis, Annie McKee; 2004, Primal leadership: learning to lead with emotional intelligence, Publisher Harvard Business Press, p53.

Peter Guy Northouse, 2006, Leadership: theory and practice, Publisher SAGE Publications, p93.

Des Dearlove, 2002, Business the Bill Gates way: 10 secrets of the world’s richest business leader; Publisher John Wiley & Sons, p150.

Jeanne M. Lesinski; 2008, Bill Gates: Entrepreneur and Philanthropist; Publisher Twenty-First Century Books, p12-55.

Nick Forster, 2005, Maximum performance: a practical guide to leading and managing people at work; Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing, p20.

Harold Koontz, Heinz Weihrich; 2006, Essentials Of Management, Publisher Tata McGraw-Hill, p330.

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