When Bill Gates and his Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen first envisioned a world in which every home had a computer, the public scoffed. Today, Gates is the world’s richest man, and Microsoft is a household name. Here are five career lessons that you can learn from one of the most influential figures of the Information Age.
Consider the future of your industry.
Gates’s success lay in his engagement in the digital revolution in his early 20s. Decades later, Gates encouraged the graduates of 2017 to also enter fields that would have an impact far into the future; he personally suggested artificial intelligence, energy, and bio-science.
It may be easier to forego the smaller parts of an assignment, but doing so can lead to sloppiness and mismanagement. During the first five years of Microsoft, Gates left no room for mistakes; he personally reviewed every line of code that the company delivered!
Don’t dwell on success.
Although Gates has been tremendously successful, he recognizes that expectations are forever changing. The important thing, Gates claims, is to be in an industry that is personally fulfilling, regardless of the ups and downs of your career.
Work with people who are different than you.
Gates stresses the need to work with people with different skill sets; he often discusses how his longtime friend, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, gives him invaluable insights on business. Partnerships like the one between Gates and Buffett help both people grow by challenging them to think in new ways.
Plan your work schedule.
Taking the time to plan your work schedule is very helpful in keeping organized. Gates is a stickler for time management, and often asks his friend Steve Ballmer, a former Microsoft CEO, to give him input on his schedule.