o When situations change, leaders constantly arerequired to make new decisions To do so, they must be fast learners. o Fast learneing does not necessarily refer to formal education or bookish knowledge.
o Fast learning is a critical attribute to develop their own leadershipo The need for rapid learning arises because all leaders deal with Markets change, new sets of political or military circumstances. because the only constant thing is “change”
“I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Nowhe is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”
October 28, 1955 (age 57) Seattle, Washington, U.S.Founder, Chairman and Chief software architect of Microsoft A Self-made billionaire known for his aggressive business tactics and confrontational style of management and also for being the biggest charitable giver in history
In 1968 ( At age 13) Bill Gates discovers hisinterest in software and writes his first software program for playing tic tac toe In 1973 He Enters Harvard University as a freshman, where he lives down the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft‟s CEO. He later drops out of Harvard without graduating
In 1975, he launches Microsoft (age 20) with childhood friend Paul Allen. Microsoft has $16,000 in revenues in its first year In 1980, Gates, Allen, and Ballmer meet with IBM executives to license Microsoft software to introduce a personal computer In 1986, the company‟s stock goes public
Bill gates is dominating the global software industryHe‟s a highly directive leader who resolves problems and issues orders with ease.
“I put most of my problems into my group‟s hands and serve as a catalyst”Gates means that a leader should always leave all decisions to an individual or group with far greater freedom, only if they’re ready.
He has a „buy it or bury it’ approach(criticized by a few competitors for serious anticompetitive implications) [Ex. Netscape] He is capable of quick study and rapidresponding to emerging developments and sharing them to his advantage Internet is a living example of this
o He base his moves on fast learning and speedy action drove Microsoft to the Top must position.o He has the ability of good team building and has the vision to bring in people and let them serve the company.
o He has a great concern for empowermentHe sees Empoweremnt= Management‟s promise toemployees that will be supported and rewarded fortaking action and finding new ways to contribute. Decentralization OF Responsibility
Bill Gates has to face these environment pressures He‟s aware of the fact that pressuresderiving from the organization, the work group and the pressure of time affect a leader like him
1st: Bill Gates faced the threat of Anti-trust Regulators to break up Microsoft into twoseparate companies [Software applications & Operating system company] Theose regulators also impose big legal andadministrative costs on the company and could affect how it does business in the future
Setback in 2004 Microsoft was finesed $ 613M by the European commission (EC). Cause MS abused its near-monopoly power for PC operating systems. In the same year an amount of $ 1,600M was paid by Microsoft to Sun Micro-Systems to settle antitrust and patent issues.
He responded to the rise of the Internet in three ways.1.“Microsoft developed the Internet Explorer web browser”2.“And began to adapt existing products and develop new products centered on the Internet,…”3.“And when companies came along that had established a strong presence in a niche where Microsoft was covering behind, Gates responded with a new tactic: acquisition"
Born August 11, 1944 (age 68) Marks, Mississippi, United States Founder, chairman, president, and CEO of FedExThe first overnight express delivery company in the world, Participated in Vietnam War Salary $8.64 million Net worth $2.1 billion
1959: At age 15, he learns to fly and enters prep school. 1967: Joins the Marine Corps, serves 4 years in Vietnam1971: FedEx is incorporated onJune 18, 1971 in Delaware. 1978: Company lists on the NY Stock Exchange.
A Yale University managementprofessor in response to studentFred Smiths Economics Classpaper proposing reliable overnightdelivery service: “The concept isinteresting and well-formed, but inorder to earn better than a C, the idea must be feasible”.
He’s a leader who has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to learn rapidly from observation and experience.He‟s fast seizing the opportunity by overnight innovation.
“If Fred lined up all FedEx employees and told them to jump from a bridge, 99.9% would jump.” He has a strong motivational skills that came from his military experience in vietnam,which developed strong sense of camaraderie with which he treaths his employees at Fed Ex.
Fred Smith had one big idea and it generated an entire industry, nearly overnight. Fedex grew faster and became the world‟s 1stovernight delivery system of time-sensitive packages.
Trust The air freight industry did not have a good reputation in the past. Fred Smith had to make people trust him and his companyBy creating tracking and traicing capabilities Fred Smith made customers entrust the company and faced the challenge to meet their high expectations.
Organization The big challenge was that ithad to happen all at once. To attract customers, a large network had to be in place from day 1. How could a system delivering mail all over the US work from the very beginning?
Smith solved this problem by hiring managers from UPS and basically copying the UPS organizational system. The backbone of the FedEx system became the core concept.
Despite the demand for the new service, It had never been tried before and the idea required huge starting investments Smith made investment bankers understand the problems & requirements of the new high tech industry.And made them believe that his idea offers a solution for a real problem.
“A miracle! The company should have died 3 to 5 times in the early years. Fred refused to let it go.” Fred Smith did‟nt give up. He put his personal wealth online, sacrificed part of his life, his private life, and he built a great company which well serves its customers, Benefits its employees, who cares for them & benefits it‟s Stockholders.
Computers are great tools to realize our dreams, but no machine can replace the human spark of spirit, compassion, love, and understanding.”
March 1, 1942 (age 70) Mineola, New York, U.S Former chairman and CEO of IBM He holds an MBA from Harvard Business SchoolKnown for leading IBMs historic turnaround in „90s & for inventing the term "e-business"
o 1965: Receives MBA from Harvard Business School. o 1965: Joins McKinsey & Co. consulting firm, Became advisor for decision makers.o 1970-1975: Becomes a principal partner at age 28, the youngest in the firm, and a director, again the youngest, at 33. o 1989: Joins RJR Nabisco as chairman and CEO.
o 1993: Is recruited to head IBM, a company in trouble. [General Electric‟s Jack Welch is among many candidates who declined the position.]o 2001: IBM dub the “turnaround of the century” Annual net income & revenue rises. o 2002: He retires from IBM in December.
He took the risk to shift from a productled to a services led IBM, which required that the culture of this once unmanageable giant become a team- based, customer-focused and agile company.
Challenge of competition Challenge of not choosing and executing good strategiesChallenge of changing the overall IBM culture
Gerstner, the first outsider to lead IBM, had only a few months to set Big Blue on theright track. He quickly put an end to any talk of breaking IBM into several little Blues.
By the late 1980s, competitors (Ex. Hitachi and Amdahl) were offering mainframe alternatives at lower prices, and others (Ex. Dell and Compaq) were invading the personal computer business.IBM’s stock value= $43/S(1987) to $12/S(1993)
Gerstner moved to transform the company into an “integrator,” which build, run, and housesystems for customers using its own components as well as those of its competitors. Gerstner: “We were getting killed by these single-point competitors”
Instead working together as a team, divisions competedagainst each other and worked independantly. The entire company was dangerously preoccupied withitself rather than with customers affected performance Gerstner: “Managment presided rather than acted"
He flush out a calcified IBM culturecomposed of fiefdoms that were out of touch with each other and with their customers‟ needs.For him it was fundamental to talk to customers and actually sell products rather than simply develop them.
Under his guidance, IBM cut billions in expenses (partly through massive layoffs) and raised cash by selling assets.Gerstner: “ Few people even understood how perilously close the firm was to running out of cash”.
He spent about 40% of his time during his first 2 years meeting IBM employees face-to-face, directly and bluntly filling them with a sense of urgency.
All of the three Business leaders discussed are intensely aware of the forces wich are relevant to their behavior at any given time.They truthfully understand the individuals and groups they are dealing with.