Every generation has a few people that the rest looks up to. And then there are a few people who are revered by many generations. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are the kind of men who have not only changed the world but have inspired many to follow suit. While one can always debate who was the greater entrepreneur between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, what one cannot take away is the sheer successes of both.
Bill Gates may be one of the most loved philanthropists today but he was not always a respected leader. He was certainly not liked by most of his contemporaries. Bill Gates management style was autocratic or dictatorial. His authoritative leadership knew no bounds, so much so that he practiced confrontational management. Bill Gates is infamous for his people management skills. He was a tough taskmaster. He had the habit of dismissing people and their ideas should he be of a different opinion. He made remarks that could get a peer crying. He would be sarcastic beyond reason and he could take anyone to task or to the cleaners with his aggressive behavior.
Bill Gates management style was about nothing except winning. He wanted to win, no matter the cost. He did not care about societal conventions, niceties or even relationships. He would simply do what had to be done and he would make everyone else fall in line.
In a way, Bill Gates management style may appear to be similar to that of Steve Jobs but the two are actually different. While Steve Jobs was dictatorial or wanted things his way, he was not as wise as Bill Gates in managing the interests for his own good. It wasn’t until Steve Jobs reemerged onto the scene that he managed to call the shots without being pulled up for them. Bill Gates enjoyed this absolute supremacy right from the first day and he continued with the leadership style till the day he chose philanthropy over staying in office.
Bill Gates management style can be critiqued and it has been lambasted by many. But he was also fiercely competitive and he hated complacence. That is what he disliked in others. When people came up with poor solutions or half baked ideas, he bombarded them with often hurtful remarks. However, that is exactly what made Microsoft.
You don’t get to be the richest man on the planet without knowing what you want and how you want it.