We’ve talked about how to become a better investor. Today, we talk about what serving leaders should invest in. I thought you’ve heard enough about Warren and Charlie for now. Today I share the observations I have learned from Bill Gates that can help you decide where you should invest your time and life.
In the late 1990s I was lucky enough to work with Microsoft as Regional President for the Association of Microsoft Partners. I served in this role for several terms. It provided me an opportunity to work with many of the top people at Microsoft and their partner organizations. At this time, it was really a Microsoft technology driven world.
When I started in the role, I worked at a 40 million dollar partner that no one had ever heard of. By the end of my tenure, I worked for Microsoft’s 12th largest privately held partner in the world. At the time, Microsoft had over tens of thousands of partners worldwide. My markets here in the Midwest had over 250 different organizations, including value added resellers (VARs), independent software vendors (ISVs), software development organizations, and training companies.
Microsoft impacted the lives of thousands of people in my region; from the people that worked in the partner organizations to the people in their client companies. With this many people depending on one company for their livelihood, you’re going to hear a lot of opinions about the man making the decisions at the top. Lots of opinions, both good and bad about Bill Gates.
Many of these entrepreneurs counted on Bill Gates and Microsoft to grow their business and their families’ future. Every one of these partners invested significant money to partner with Microsoft.
This was Bill Gates before he decided to invest his money in changing the world by eradicating many of the diseases that challenge much of the world’s population. What did I learn from the people around Bill Gates? How can you apply these lessons from the world richest man?
The first lesson I learned from Bill Gates is being a nice guy isn’t always enough to ensure success. You must remain focused on the goal while understanding the how things are changing. I believe this is one of the biggest changes in Bill Gates today as opposed to almost 20 years ago. His interests and education has been expanded by surrounding himself with many different ideas and people. It’s been whispered his second career may have more impact on the world’s population than the first. Can Bill Gates become a visionary again?
His nonprofit pursuits don’t lack the intensity of the Bill Gates of the past, but he is much better at working through others to get the big picture. Starting with Melinda and going out from there, he is much better at looking at the bigger picture. He uses his natural curiosity to change the way we eliminate disease around the world.
What can you learn from Bill Gates on this? Learn to surround yourself with the best people you can find. Learn how to ask for help. We can learn to build a community of leaders with many different interests, but we must have an overriding goal to make a difference in the lives of others, many of whom they may never meet.
Want to learn more about Bill Gates current projects?