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Profile of an Effective Leader - Paper Example

4 pages
891 words
Middlebury College
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Course work
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The world has seen many individuals take leadership positions. However, only a few of them have demonstrated superior leadership qualities as evidenced by the successes in the institutions they lead to the point that they have become a focus in studies. In this paper, the profile Bill Gates founder of Microsoft Corporations will be analyzed. The analysis will consider his challenges, success, failures, competencies and his leadership approach.

Times and Circumstances of Gates Leadership Development

Bill Gates leadership qualities can be credited to the events that he experienced while he was growing up. One beneficial quality that he experienced during the times he was growing up was getting significant exposure in his field of expertise. According to Rampton (2016a), while Gates was growing up, he spent a significant amount of time with computers learning how to program. The occurrence enabled him to achieve breakthroughs such as the development of the programming language BASIC and MS-DOS. Thus, with sufficient knowledge in his field, he was better able to lead employees in making innovations and achieving milestones as the founder of Microsoft.

Also, Gates has never been satisfied with success. He was also an individual who was flexible and embraced change. Whenever his company achieved a milestone such as becoming a market leader, he constantly reminded employees that it was fine to celebrate success. However, it was important to remember lessons from failure (Rampton, 2016a). As a leader, Gates was always prepared for the worst, an attribute which enabled him plan, anticipate, and take risks with caution while communicating his expectations and fear to employees.

Gates' Challenges, Successes, and Failures

Undoubtedly, Gates was successful in creating and developing his company Microsoft to one of the most profitable business in the United States with global outreach. Apart from the successes he experienced in leading his company, Gates has been successful in amassing wealth to the point that he has previously been referred to as the wealthiest individual in the world.

Perhaps, one of the greatest challenges that Gates is facing at the moment is attempting to overtake Google using his companys search engine Bing to become the most popularly used search engine in the world. So far, Google is worlds leading search engine as per the number of users it has, and Bing is facing hurdles in attempting to take the lead from its competitor.

Rampton (2016b) shares that one of the biggest failures by Gates was the company he had created called Traf-of-Data. The company's business model was reading and analyzing data from roadway counters and creating reports for traffic engineers. The business venture failed since the company did not have customers and the business had to close.

Gates Competencies

Khan (2017) states that Gates has five major traits which also from his competencies. These traits include intelligence, integrity, passion for his work, skillfulness and being sociable. Krishnamurthy (2008) further adds that Gates is a focuses individual. The reason for the assertion is that for nearly 30 years, he has demonstrated the importance of clarity of thought and execution. Unlike his counterparts in business, Gates did not leave the domain he was most knowledgeable in, software. He instead chose to capitalize on the field resulting in the formation of a multibillion-dollar empire. Another competency demonstrated by Gates is passion. Gates dropped out of college to pursue programming. He pursued it until he ensured that he become success full in it. The occurrence meant that he spent days and nights developing programs which later became pioneers in the computing world. Lastly, Gates was an individual who was open to learning. Despite experiencing augmented levels of success, Gates is an avid reader of books which equipped him with knowledge and skills. Being open to learning enables an individual address his weaknesses.

Gates Leadership Approach

According to Khan (2017), Gates leadership styles was a combination of delegate, participative and autocratic leadership styles. He often chose a leadership style to use depending on the situation he encountered. Therefore, basing on Northouse (2016) ideas on leadership Gates practiced lassies fair and transformational leadership.

According to Khan (2017) at first, when Gates formed Microsoft, he was not a participative leader. Despite having a high knowledge of technical skills, he did not want to influence his subordinates decisions about their work. The occurrence was made possible by hiring talented workers in his workforce. Khan (2017) adds that later on, Gates realized that his employees could not do everything on their own. Hence he employed the transformational leadership approach where he appealed to an employees emotions through the use of tactics which included support and motivation.


Bill Gates is an example of an effective leader. The stance is primarily evidenced by the fact that under his leadership, his company was able to become one of the most successful companies in the world. Undoubtedly, had it not been the competencies such as passion, intelligence, and focus, Bill Gates' script as a leader would have been different.


Khan, S. (2015). What Makes Bill Gates a Great Leader. Retrieved February 1, 2018, from

Krishnamurthy, B. V. (2008). Bill Gates: Entrepreneur, Manager, and Leader. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr. Org.Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.Rampton, J. (2016a). How Bill Gates Became a Leadership Legend. Retrieved February 1, 2018, from

Rampton, J. (2016b). Bill Gates' Biggest 7 Failures. Retrieved February 1, 2018, from

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