I recently read an interesting article in the Washington Post about Bill Gates from his early years growing Microsoft to becoming the man invested in many philanthropic efforts with a net worth of $56 billion. During his rise to tech superstardom, Bill Gates was known for pulling all nighters and crashing at the office because of his dislike for downtime. He worked weekends and knew every employee’s license plate to monitor when they would arrive to work. Former colleagues recall his intense passion and describe the early days of the company as a high stress environment. At the same time, Gates respected people who stood their ground and pushed back. Gates understood the talented team he had and how vital they were to Microsoft. As the team grew bigger, he adjusted his management style to create a less hostile and more thriving environment.
What can we learn from this? As a business owner with experience at many start-ups I can relate to being fiercely driven to produce great work. Yet, there has to be a healthy balance to keep employees happy to help you build your business. Having a great team that is collaborative lets you achieve your goals quicker.
As you start your business or are looking to grow your company, think about Bill Gates. You may be wise to adopt some of his common sense methods for increasing productivity while also adopting a more subtle and inspirational approach.