Imagine being 50 years old and being able to say this: That you’re both the wealthiest person in the world and that you intend to become the most successful philanthropist in the world. Your name is Bill Gates.
I’ve read a number of pieces about Bill Gates over the years, most of which take the “thinly veiled jealous critique” approach to talking about him or Microsoft. I must say that it’s rather disappointing to see that it appears to be easier for people to tear down leaders and criticize them than to discuss their successes and attempt to learn from them. For every positive piece about the strategies that he and his colleagues have employed there are a dozen that discount those strategies and chalk them up to sheer bullying.
It makes me wonder if this is a common human trait; that we need to criticize and discredit those who become very successful in order to empower ourselves to go out and achieve. That doesn’t feel right though. My instinct is that you can learn from others sucesses and their failures and build upon those experiences when creating your own reality. Although I struggle with it occasionally, for the most part I don’t ever feel that someone else’s success diminishes my own in any way.
As a result, I look at a man like Bill Gates, who has accomplished so much in just 30 years, and I’m inspired. I think it points to many positive aspects of America’s economy, the capability of the mind and the sheer power of optimism. I am also inspired when I see that he can take his massive success and responsibilities and choose to walk away, seeking out another area of challenge and opportunity. It’s not often that people stretch themselves in such ways, whether it’s personally or professionally.
In any case, I find him to be an inspirational leader and thought I’d share a few interesting pieces that I’d read about him lately:
Bill Gates Reboots
What Money Can Buy
Microsoft’s New Brain (More about how he set the wheels in motion for his transition plan)
Microsoft’s Bill Gates page
The New Road Ahead (A small piece he wrote last year that is actually quite powerful if you stop to think about it)