Bill Gates is a businessman, investor and computer programmer. He is the co-founder of Microsoft, which is the world’s largest PC software company. Gates has held various positions in the Microsoft Corporation, i.e., chairman, CEO, and chief software architect. He stepped down from the CEO position in 2000 and became a chief software officer. Microsoft brought about a personal computer revolution making Gates one of the wealthiest people. Throughout his career in the Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates practiced transformational leadership helping the corporation to stand out as one of the best personal computer software companies in the world.
Transformational leadership is a type of leadership style where the person causes a change in individual and social systems. Bill Gates used idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration to manage the Microsoft Corporation. This paper will seek to analyze the transformational approaches that bill Gates practiced.
Bill Gates used idealized influence on his followers thereby gaining trust, loyalty and respect from them. He used this approach through the application of charismatic vision and behavior. He is known for having created the state of idealized influence by articulating the vision of Microsoft to the staff and explaining how this vision has to be attained in an appealing manner (Hawkins 45). He leads by example and acts confidently and optimistically. By establishing the rules and following them, Bill Gates shared the risks with his followers. Microsoft is considered to be one of the best corporations to work in, because he allows the staff to own shares of the company (Gates and Rogak 66). By giving the employees generous stock options, Gates made them dedicated to the company’s success. Gates showed a high level of ethical and moral conduct as a leader of the Microsoft Company. This behavior was demonstrated by the way he treated staff in a personalized way, for instance, by writing thank you notes (Hawkins 45). His actions emphasized values of transformational leadership, as he showed that every employee was outstanding in his capacity by thanking him/her for every successful action.
As a leader of the Microsoft Company, Bill Gates inspired his followers towards new ideas and goals. He articulated a clear and appealing view of the future through his quotes. Gates has several inspirational quotes that help his followers get a clear picture of the future developments in the software business. For instance, he stated that “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” (Gates and Rogak 34). In such a way, he is motivating business people to embrace failure as part of victory, as successful leaders should not blindly believe that they cannot fail at any point.
Gates is known to encourage followers to integrate and become part of the organizational culture and environment. He has stated that “if you can’t make it good, at least make it look good” (Gates and Rogak 54). This quote motivates his followers not to be lazy, but to try to do well at everything that they are assigned. He developed a shared vision in both economic and ideological terms in order for his followers to see meaning in their work (Hawkins 77). He appreciated even the laziest people by encouraging them. For example, he would choose a lazy person to do a job, because the lazy person would find an easy way of doing it.
Bill Gates uses transformational leadership to bring change through intellectual stimulation that aims at a self-reflective change of values and beliefs. He develops a climate of intellectual stimulation and nurtures it within the organization. He does it by making his followers think in rational ways and be both creative and innovative. The employees of the Microsoft Corporation are encouraged to come up with new ideas that will help the company to grow (Hawkins 48). This approach has led to the staff coming up with new applications that are adopted by the Corporation. Several Microsoft Windows apps have been created based on the ideas provided by the staff of the organization. This intellectual stimulation has made Bill Gates one of the most successful transformational leaders.
Bill Gates’ approach of transformational leadership includes individual consideration, as he treats every follower as an individual rather than as an employee, takes into consideration every one’s talent and knowledge, and hence decides which activity suits every individual (Hawkins 56). This process leads to the productive performance of each worker.
Gates is known to interact with the employees on a personal level by writing thank you notes whenever someone does him a favor. He has also made private congratulatory notes for the employees to boost their self-confidence (Hawkins 96). Microsoft Corporation has been voted as the best company to work at, because Gates has ensured that there is a fair distribution of the workload.
Transformational leadership is necessary to change the way in which organizational leadership is practiced. In transformational leadership, the leader identifies the need for change, creates a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executes the change with the help of his followers. Bill Gates is a business entrepreneur who has been practicing transformational leadership during his time as the CEO of the Microsoft Corporation. The success of Microsoft as the leading company in the provision of software put Gates on the list of the wealthiest people in the world by Forbes due to his genius practice of transformation leadership.