3 Skill-Sets That Bill Gates Says Are Essential To Building Success

  • by XpatAthens
  • Tuesday, 12 November 2019
3 Skill-Sets That Bill Gates Says Are Essential To Building Success
Recently, Thrive Global featured an interesting article about the visit of Bill Gates to his former high school in Seattle. The Microsoft founder spoke to an audience of high-schoolers about the 3 skill-sets that were crucial to his success.
1. Exercising Curiosity

The benefits of curiosity are known and well-supported by research. Bill Gates said that his sense of wonder has propelled him far. He is an avid reader and carries books whenever he travels; when he wants to learn about something, "he'll read five books about it, most of which are too dense for any mortal to read. He almost always knows more than the other person he talks to," a friend said in the Netflix documentary Inside Bill's Brain. Gates told the high schoolers at his alma mater that there's never been a better time to be inquisitive. "For the curious learner, these are the best of times, because your ability to constantly refresh your knowledge with either podcasts or [online] lectures is better than ever," he said.

2. Embodying Optimism

Gates said that the success of Microsoft, and later the Gates Foundation, was maintained by a "very optimistic attitude." Appreciating past achievements, and remembering them during times of failure, is a way to drive future wins, he said. "Inside Microsoft were all sorts of failures, like we didn't ship Windows for two years after we announced it, but there were enough successes that it was really OK," he said.

3. Learning To Delegate

When Microsoft began to scale, Gates remembered struggling to let go of the reigns; he had difficulty giving up the hands-on-work of coding. "Initially, I wrote most of the code, and if I didn't, I read your code and edited it," he said. Coming to terms with the fact that he couldn't — and shouldn't — review all of it was "strange, like the quality was going to go down," he said.

However, the company ended-up excelling even without his meticulous oversight, and Gates found that he was able to divert his attention to other areas. He also said that effective delegation stems from recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. In his case, these skills were programming and people management, respectively. As dealing with people was part of the job, he delegated the task. "Bringing in Steve Ballmer, who really liked management and people, that was a huge benefit. I hired lots of very experienced people," he said.

To read this article in full, please visit: Thrive Global