Leadership Development and Organisational Behaviour
A Study of Bill Gates and how his Leadership Styles made Microsoft the World’s No. 1 Software Company
Session 1 Team 3
David Wang Zhigang
Eric Xu Shuang
Background, traits and skills of Bill Gates
How Microsoft started
Bill Gates’ leadership behaviours and practices
Leadershipneutralizers, enhancers or replacements used by Bill Gates
Analysis of the effectiveness of the Bill Gates
Effectiveness of Bill Gates in another organization
How Bill Gates can improve on his leadership
Guidelines for Effective Leadership
In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded the computer software company, Microsoft. By the mid 1980s, Microsoft had risento dominate the personal computer operating system market and a decade later, diversified from this market into a number of corporate acquisitions. As of 2012, Microsoft is ranked the world's largest software maker measured by revenues as well as one of the world's most valuable companies.
How did Bill Gates succeed in leading Microsoft to reach the height that it is today? What was hisvision and his motivations? What management styles did he use?
These are questions that the paper will try to answer and provide an insightful look into one of the world’s wealthiest persons.
Background, Traits and Skills of Bill Gates
As a child, Bill Gates was a very bright kid who had profound passion in reading. When he was a child, his favorite board games were strategy games such as Risk(world domination) and Monopoly. His family used to hold family Olympic games, which created a competitive spirit in him since his younger years.
He was interested in computers since a very young age and when he was 13, his school made a purchase of a computer that took Gates’ interest from the beginning. At the age of 17, Gates and his classmate Paul Allen developed a computer program thatwon them 20,000 dollars. After scoring 1590 out of 1600 on his SAT, he enrolled into Harvard, going originally for a law career.
In 1974, Gates read an article on the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit. The machine fascinated both Gates and Allen because of the possibilities this computer could make towards a personal computer. Being only 19 years old, Gates was astute enough to make a call to thecompany (MITS) that made the Altair computer, and proclaimed that they were working on a software that would run the Altair computer.
In reality, Gates and Allen did not have an Altair computer to work with, or a code to run. The objective of this phone call was just to see if that company was interested in someone developing such software. The company expressed interest, and the presidentasked the boys for a demonstration. In the next two months, they spent their time developing an Altair emulator and writing the software at Harvard’s computer lab, which they named as Basic. Basic not only ran smoothly on a real altair computer, it also worked perfectly. Soon after that, Gates left Harvard, and formed a partnership called ‘Microsoft’.
How Microsoft started
Microsoft had a goodstart with Basic, but Gates noticed that only 10% of Basic users had actually bought the program. The remaining 90% were using copies. He considered free distribution of software as stealing. By the end of 1978, Gates had placed himself as the head of Microsoft, which at that time grossed 2.5 million dollars. Gates was only 23 years old. Despite his technical expertise, it was his businessoperations that that put him in the position of leading the company and becoming its spokesperson.
In 1980, IBM was looking for a software to operate their upcoming personal computer. They approached Gates, and Gates convinced them that his company could meet their needs. In truth, Microsoft had not developed any operating system close to what IBM was looking for. However, he already had an idea of...
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