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A Visionary Leader: Traits
If we are talking creativity and ideas, Bill Gates is an American unoriginal. He is Microsoft's chief and co-founder, he is the world's richest man, and his career delivers this message: It can be wiser to follow than to lead. Let the innovators hit the beaches and take the losses; if you hold back and follow, you can clean up in peace and quiet. Gates is the Bing Crosby of American technology, granted he is an unusually hard-driving and successful businessman.
A 1968 photo shows Bill as a rapt young teenager, watching his friend Paul Allen type at a computer terminal. Allen became a co-founder of Microsoft. The child Gates has neat hair and an eager, pleasant smile; every last detail says "pat me on the head." He entered Harvard but dropped out to found Microsoft in 1975.
Microsoft's first product was a version of the programming language BASIC for the Altair 8800, arguably the world's first personal computer. BASIC, invented by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz in 1964, was someone else's idea. So was the Altair. Gates merely plugged one into the other, cream-cheesed the waiting bagel and came up with a giant hit.
The world pondered Gates and assumed he must be a great thinker. During World War II, Cargo Cults flourished on New Guinea and Melanesia: people who had never seen an airplane pondered incoming U.S. aircraft and assumed they must be divine. Technology is confusing, and these were reasonable guesses under the circumstances. In 1995 Gates published a book called "The Road Ahead." Peering far into the future, he glimpsed a technology-rich dreamworld where you will be able to "watch Gone With the Wind," he wrote, "with your own face and voice replacing Vivien Leigh's or Clark Gable's." Apparently this is just what the public had been dying to do, for "The Road Ahead" became a runaway best seller, though it is lustrous with earnest goofiness, like a greased-down haircut.
And when overlooking Gates' basic decency we find that he has repeatedly been offered a starring role in the circus freak show of American Celebrity, Julius Caesar being offered the Emperor's crown by clamorous sycophants. He has turned it down. He does not make a habit of going on TV to pontificate, free-associate or share his feelings. His wife and young child are largely invisible to the public, which represents a deliberate decision on the part of Mr.
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"Bill Gates's Leaderhsip." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Feb 2019
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If postwar America of the 1950s and '60s democratized middle-classiness, Gates has democratized filthy-richness or has at least started to. Get the right job offer from Microsoft, work hard, get rich; no miracle required. Key Microsoft employees pushed Gates in this direction, but he was willing to go, and the industry followed. The Gates Road to Wealth is still a one-laner, and traffic is limited. Gates has created lots and has been willing to share.
Today Gates, grown very powerful and great, sits at the center of world technology like an immense frog eyeing insect life on the pond surface, now and then consuming a tasty company with one quick dart of the tongue.
As for Gates himself, he is a visionary leader; he is a technology groupie with a genius for showing up, for being at the right place at the right time. His secret is revealed in that old photo with Paul Allen. He is a man who likes computers very much. Not their intellectual underpinnings, not the physics or electronics, not the art or philosophy or mathematics of software just plain computers. He's crazy about them. It seems like an odd passion, but after all, some people are crazy about Pop-Tarts. And Gates will be remembered alongside Pop-Tarts, in the long run, as vintage Americana, a sign of the times.
Bill Gates is a visionary, leader, technologist, and pragmatist. He bought MS-DOS and had the foresight to be an opportunist - again and again. Why didn't IBM go to the tiny company that created the forerunner of MS-DOS, because Gates was visible and he reacted quickly. Gates' company never suffered the fate of many tech companies who have failed to deal with syndromes. Gates bought software companies and licensed other's technology from the beginning and MS continues this today.
His leaderships also lead him to attract the best and brightest people because they believed in him. He created a burgeoning, world-wide software industry that the companies that came before him could have done but did not.
IBM and the seven dwarfs, Wang, Xerox, HP, Tektronix, and a host of other companies with early PC-like devices and other tiny software start-up companies - none did what Gates did. Apple survives in the software and hardware business but their early decision to NOT license their operating system may have lead them to survive for MS would have surely killed them off long ago.
The wake of Gate's competitive spirit and decisions to bundle software together to create Office, and many other smart decisions, make him a rare man - self made. He is now a true world citizen helping hundreds of millions through his generosity. Bill Gates, millions salute him, hundreds of millions in fact. Gates became the world's richest man by enriching others and helping others. He is simply known as a genuine great business leader and by all accounts he is also a good father, husband, son, and friend.