13971746-Gurus-of-Management-Bill-Gates - BBC Learning...

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BBC Learning English The Handy Guide to the Gurus of Management Programme 10 - Bill Gates The Handy Guide to the Gurus of Management © BBC English/Charles Handy Programme 10 - Bill Gates Page 1 of 7 bbclearningenglish.com The next guru on my list is very different from all the others. He doesn't teach at any university - in fact he left without ever completing his first degree. He doesn't join the lecture circuit nor is he a prolific author. He has only ever written two books and very few articles. Despite all that, his views on the way the world of business is going, and what that means for all of us, are just possibly more influential than all the others in my guide put together. His name is Bill Gates, in many ways, the richest man in the world: richest because he didn't just talk about the future, he helps to shape it, richest because he doesn't just understand how technology works, he also understands how markets work, not least by outsmarting IBM, and richest, finally, because his heart is where his voice is, he is genuinely passionate about the new world he can see emerging and the benefits it can bring. I wanted Bill Gates on my list, partly because of his views on the future, which he can talk about with more authority than most, but partly because he’s an outstanding example of another sort of guru, the guru who preaches more by deeds than by words, who lives the theories he comes up with. We need gurus of management, I argued at the beginning of this series, to spread the good news of what works and what is new. But some of
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The Handy Guide to the Gurus of Management © BBC English/Charles Handy Programme 10 - Bill Gates Page 2 of 7 bbclearningenglish.com those who are creating the good news are perfectly capable of spreading it around themselves. Jack Welch, who has just retired as Chairman of General Electric in America, is another of those who preach by example. Both Welch and Gates are great teachers - of their own staff, and that process, I suspect, helps them to spell out their views and beliefs in ways that others can relate to. In fact that's the first lesson we can learn from Bill Gates - good managers are good teachers. Literally so - they spend lots of time in front of their people, talking, listening, answering questions. Gates may not follow the other gurus around the conference lecture circuit, but, whether it be by his beloved email or in person, inside his company or outside it, teaching is what he is doing for much of his day. Back to his story, however. You probably know some of it already, how he got hooked on primitive computers at an early age, along with his friend Paul Allen, how he and Paul stumbled across an advert for a small kit computer called the Altair 8800, how they started to write a programme for it, how they started to dream about what it would mean if everyone had their own affordable and easy-to-use computer, how Bill left his degree programme at Harvard to try to live that dream and how, between
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2012 for the course ECON 3014 taught by Professor Michaelshaw during the Spring '11 term at HKU.

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13971746-Gurus-of-Management-Bill-Gates - BBC Learning...

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