Leadership Style Analysis: Bill Gates

Subject: Leadership Styles
Pages: 2
Words: 586
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Bachelor

Widely regarded as a transformational and managerial leader, Bill Gates is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, known for his role in founding Microsoft. More specifically, he managed to influence the workers to put their resources into building the company’s success by limiting their global decision-making and opening the borders of their potential in their field of specification (Yoffie et al., 2015). When Bill Gates founded Microsoft with his colleague Paul Allen, their main industry, software creation, was fully dominated by IBM. Consequently, with a task-oriented slant, the managerial leadership style was strongly utilized to maximize efficiency and better challenge the primary incumbent (Yoffie et al., 2015). This was demonstrated by denying any discussions about corporate evolution, the scale of work, and the determination of product lines. Bill Gates did not give the opportunity to define either what type of product to develop nor the team who will execute the planned work throughout the history of his leadership. In other words, his transformational model of leadership was fully emphasized on developing the employee’s efficiency rather than creating a team of pluralistic workers who have a significant influence on the company’s strategy and performance.

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Bill Gates had a storied career and was rather multi-faceted. He possesses a deeper leadership style than merely a task-oriented leadership style since he could combine both leadership as a “role” and management as a “position” (Northouse, 2021). While he did not allow anyone to intervene in the strategy analysis, Gates limited the worker’s liabilities and specified it to become the single responsibility: generating efficiency. From this perspective, his task-oriented style creates a natural synergy with the managerial theory applied on the results model prevailing above the methods of achievements. In addition, this process was enforced by Microsoft’s strategy, which emphasized the significance of outcome in the overall operating activity. Key Performance Indicators, weekly updated plans of work, and constant communication process aimed the workers to discuss the results rather than the methods of their achievements. By doing this, the software market was absolutely dominated by Microsoft’s corporation when the most iconic models of Windows had not even been developed. The external strategy emphasized the significance of a consistent increase of market share, while the internal atmosphere was concentrated on creating value for the company, especially for employees paid by equity (Yoffie et al., 2015). When analyzing the internal leading more profoundly, Gates successfully applied his transformational leadership style in workers’ efficiency increase.

Although his employees were directed on which aspects of the business to develop, the methods of innovations and efficiency increase were generated and executed by the employees themselves, creating two-way communication. For instance, while the software developers could not advise the CEO what exactly they had to create, everybody was given the possibility to contact Bill Gates directly by e-mail (Yoffie et al., 2015). As a result, this channel was often the source of cutting-edge ideas contributing to the business model, software, and product marketing improvement, which significantly helped Bill Gates to manage the company’s growth direction.

Last but not least, Gates succeeded in applying his transformational leadership model in creating long-term motivation for the company’s employees. Moreover, he demonstrated his deep knowledge and successful application of managerial theory by visiting the main office on weekends to check who was working. After that, based on these observations, the CEO had defined employees’ incentive bonuses and premiums. By doing this, he significantly increased workers’ motivation to work effectively and outperform the competitor in the duration and effectiveness of the working process.


McShane, S., & Glinow, V. M. (2020). Organizational Behavior: Emerging Knowledge. Global Reality (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Northouse, P. G. (2021). Leadership: Theory and Practice (9th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Yoffie, D. B., & Cusumano, M. A. (2015). Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs (Illustrated ed.). Harper Business.

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