Leadership Styles And What Lessons To Learn From Bill Gates

Leadership Styles and What Lessons to Learn from Bill gates?

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Leadership Styles and What Lessons to Learn from Bill gates?

“Leadership is the ability to “lead”, influence, or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations”

Proving to be a good leader is tough as one must possess all the basic qualities of a leader which are:

  • Establishing a clear vision or a Goal,
  • Sharing that Goal with others so that they also have a little knowledge about it and work on it further.
  • Providing prior information, knowledge, and techniques to form the whole vision before it goes into action.
  • Managing and balancing the overlapping interests of all the members and stakeholders.
  • A leader steps up in times of difficulties and tries to think and act creatively in crucial situations.

Now that you know the basics about leadership there’s still a lot more to learn.

So, let’s dig further for more.

What is Leadership Style?

A Leadership Style refers to the characteristic behavior of a leader when they try to relate to the group of people, the way they provide direction to make people work accordingly. It shows the way they implement and monitor plans and also the way they motivate their teams and their organization. It can also be considered as a classification of how a leader behaves while leading.

Leadership Styles and What Lessons to Learn from Bill gates?

The Leadership Styles can be grouped into various major categories which are as follow:

Autocratic Leadership Style

This leadership style is characterized by individual control, where there’s little input from group members, and choices are being made on individual ideas and judgments, rather than upholding others’ advice. This style allows a leader to impose expectations and define outcomes too. It is a one-person show which can turn out to be a successful one in situations when a leader possesses the most knowledge in the team.

Participative Leadership Style

The essence of this leadership style is collectiveness where team members participate actively in the decision-making process. Team members feel engaged and motivated to contribute. The leader will have the last say in the decision-making processes. Part of this collaborative approach includes developing succession plans to ensure continuity. This preparation helps maintain stability and direction during leadership transitions.

Laissez-faire Leadership Style

Also known as a “delegative leadership style” and this style focuses on the assignment of work initiative to team members. This can be a successful strategy if team members are competent, responsible, and prefer engaging in individual work.

Transactional Leadership Styles

As the name suggests “transactions” between a leader and his or her followers like rewards, punishments, and other exchanges to get the job done is the main style of this leadership. Here The leader sets clear goals for all members and gives them deserving remuneration.

Transformational Leadership Style

In this leadership style, the leader inspires his or her followers with a goal and then encourages them to achieve it. The leader acts as a role model for the goal.


Bill Gates is one of the biggest names in the world when it comes to leadership. He is the CEO of ‘Microsoft’. Microsoft’s invention put him on the radar of the most successful business leaders in the world. He put a high mark on his brilliant leadership capabilities. Many emerging people from the new generation still try to follow his lead. After being retired from Microsoft in 2008 Gates was popularly known as a very demanding and rigid boss who also encourages creativity and innovation and recognizes individual and team achievements.

He used to make employees present their ideas regularly and this was a very attractive feature of Bill Gates’s leadership style as it often promotes practicality and teamwork. Business leaders like bill gates often possess more than one leadership style. That’s why they achieve bigger goals in life. These are some personality traits that bill gates pursue to make a good leader.

  • Goal focused

One cannot reach somewhere unless one has set a goal to reach there. He was a goal-oriented person. Bill had a vision when he started his company. That made him know what he wanted from the employees he was working with. 

  • Exploring new ideas

He encouraged the people he worked with to share their ideas. Individual perspectives often give birth to innovative and creative ideas.  

  • Zealousness

Bill Gates’s zeal to reach a  goal helped his company to bring the transformation. No matter the good times or the bad times, he had been passionate to reach out for his goals even with a step-based approach.

  • Learner

Though Bill Gates founded one of the most successful companies in the world, he wasn’t very much of a good speaker. After the invention of Microsoft, he started to work on his communication skills and public speaking. Learning is one of the most important parts of his leadership. He knows that learning and leadership development training is a never-ending process in any organization.

So what these traits tell us about the style of leadership that bill gates approach. 

The nature of Bill Gates’s leadership style is:


Bill Gates’s vision and passion helped him move towards his goals. This diligence has made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs in today’s date. Therefore, this trait influenced his leadership style. 

“Control is basic to Gate’s nature and his management practice. He has an obsession with detail and with checking up. Exp. Used to sign expenses for his right-hand man”  said former CEO of Microsoft  Steve Ballmer. 


His autocratic leadership where he liked to take the control of his subordinates has worked for his company. His followers built trust in him. Therefore, his workforce was influenced by his hard-working attitude. He has a contagious passion. People didn’t just walk away after getting inspired. They always caught a glimpse of his passion. He provided the best working environment for his employees to grow.

The positive aspect of Bill Gates leadership Style

Bill Gates is known for using the most effective and efficient leadership style. Whenever quick decisions are to be made, this leadership comes in handy. It saves time.

  • It keeps things under the CEO’s direct control at all times.
  • A lot of Bill Gates’ success can be linked to his quick decision-making tendencies and the result is in front of us.
  • A leader’s control helps through a company crisis. 
  • Inexperienced and fresh workers work better when directed better.

The transformative nature of Gates leadership helps in the following ways:

  • The wisdom and support are imparted at the individual level. 
  • Motivation is not shattered due to team-based perspectives.
  • This gives every employee in the company an opportunity to share their respective ideas leading to innovations and growth.

Related: 7 tricks to scale small business

The Negative aspect of Bill Gates’s leadership style

Autocratic leaders like to keep things under their control. Gates needed so much control that he even signed off the expenses of Steve Ballmer who was second in command after him. The Autocratic style tends to sometimes hamper the ability of people to make innovations as the controlling aspect of it makes it difficult for a person to be open and creative.

This can contradict his transformative leadership. His zeal to accomplish goals set for himself and his team sometimes avoid his step-based approach. He lost track when he approached the result-driven process which he became famous for. Gate’s was not a fan of complaints. He had the trait to push his employees forward to achieving his company goals. This stubborn nature often becomes a barrier in creating a positive atmosphere in the company.

The Final Verdict

It’s not easy to work with successful leaders like bill gates. To make the best company, working tirelessly with the right guidance and motivation is the key element. This is rather adapted by Bill Gates making him one of the world’s best entrepreneurs. 

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