Leadership lesson from Bill Gates: Lead by example

Bill Gates is the ultimate role model, capable of inspiring millions of people through the power of his ideas and his personal dedication to his product and vision. But more than that, Gates is not a “one trick pony”, making his billions and stamping his name on the history books, only to disappear into the luxurious life of the global elite. He has pushed past his first revolutionary vision, leaving it in capable hands, and has sought to change the world in another, even more important way.

Being a leader in today’s modern world of business goes far beyond standing at the head of a company and making speeches about product launches and strategy. To inspire a workforce of thousands (Microsoft currently has over 97,800), a leader must show more than tell. Sending out memos from the highest offices of a company may eventually trickle down to affect change and inspire workers to innovate and invest creatively in the business, but seeing the most powerful man in the company (or the world) actively participating in the same effort is far more important. Bill Gates once famously confessed, “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.” Although in the decades since, he admits that some of his fanaticism has shrunk, it is that sort of overwhelming dedication and work ethic that modern leaders need to display in order to inspire and lead an entire company of unique and creative individuals.

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