Leadership Tips from Bill Gates – still the greatest!

Leadership Tips from Bill Gates – still the greatest!

Some 12 years ago Bill Gates wrote a book Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy. To say it was influential at the time is an understatement.

I think the leadership tips he gave in it are still valid today.  Here they are:

1. Take two “retreats” every year.

“Leave your office to develop long-range strategies.”  Every leader needs to stand back from the day-to-day activities of the organization and take long hard look – long (forwards and back) and wide – what else is going on in the wider world, right now.  Then it may be time to refresh the vision and refocus the organization

2. Read books on other topics.

“Read books on topics that don’t pertain strictly to your business or industry. It’s the best way to maintain a broad perspective.”  Leaders need an open mind.  I wrote about that here recently.  Open Minds come up with new, innovative, solutions and new destinations – open your mind by reading books outside your immediate field of interest!  You’ll be surprised where it might lead to.

3. Identify problems early.

“Identify problems early by tracking “exceptions,” such as sales figures that suddenly sag for a particular product. Jump on them right away.” You should know your organization well enough to know what are  the key indicators and you should be tracking them.  Don’t just look at them – truly understand – ask questions till you do.  Then act!

4. Stop at the end of each day

“Stop at the end of each day to analyze how well you used it. If you wasted time on things you didn’t need to do, eliminate them tomorrow.”  Take time out to reflect and act on your reflection.  If you find you don’t have time to react then have a look at this link; there is a post and a poll today about managing your email in-box.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.comWendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link


Are you stressed-out by your poor work-life balance?

I’ve been there and got the tea-shirt in coping with work-life balance problems and I know that I can help you.
You know you have a work-life balance problem when you
  • Don’t have enough time for everything and spend what time you have handling scheduling conflicts,
  • Feel stressed and overwhelmed by trying to balance your different roles.
Find out more on  WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor Blog at this link

Are you stressed-out by your poor work-life balance?

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason @wisewolfcoaching.com


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Thursday Quotes for Leaders and Managers – On Trust

Lao Tzu, traditionally the author of the Tao T...
Lao Tzu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
― Stephen R. Covey

“Because you believed I was capable of behaving decently, I did.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.”
― Alison Croggon

“Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”
― Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

“In this world, there was nothing scarier than trusting someone. But there was also nothing more rewarding.”
― Brad Meltzer, The Inner Circle

“Either we’re a team or we aren’t. Either you trust me or you don’t.”
― Ally Carter, Heist Society

“It isn’t an easy thing to give your loyalty to someone you don’t know, especially when that person chooses to reveal nothing of himself.”
― Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia

“If you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.”
― Lao Tzu

“When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason

Paired Leadership And The Vital Five – Respect, Belief, Trust, Loyalty, and Commitment.

What is your view of paired leadership – are two really better than one?  Or does it just cost you money and present risks.  Well here in this post from the Harvard Business Review blogs  is one perspective – but what is yours?

Steven A. Miles,

Leadership Teams: Why Two Are Better Than One

The concept of “two-in-a-box” leadership has been examined extensively over the past few years. One of the most thorough discussions is in the HBR article The Leadership Team: Complementary Strengths or Conflicting Agendas. CEO/COO teams or “Office of the President” arrangements can offer great strengths, but may also introduce some sizeable risks, as Stephen A. Miles and Michael D. Watkins conclude.  You can read more  at this link.

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After the Interview – Now What?

SVG version of the apps/edu_languages icon fro...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After You Interview – Now What?

There is very good advice in this post that appeared recently on the Resume Bear Blog

Now that your interview is over you can relax and wait for the answer –WRONG! In any good sales campaign, you have a plan, and you keep on selling. No interview is over until you’ve assessed the interview and written and mailed the thank you notes to all who interviewed you. You should also notify your references that they may soon be getting a telephone call from your prospective employer. Be sure to coach them on what you’d like them to emphasize.

These are the extra steps that go into making you the outstanding and memorable candidate in the mind of the employer. If done correctly, these steps can put you a cut above the competition.

You can continue reading at this link.

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6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

This is an interesting post on http://www.inc.com from Paul J. H.Schoemaker

Paul is Founder and Chairman of Decision Strategies Intl.  He is also a speaker, academic and entrepreneur.  He is Research Director, Mack Ctr for Technological Innovation at Wharton, where he teaches strategic decision-making. His latest book is Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success on the Far Side of Failure,

Here is an introduction and link to the post,

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

You’re the boss, but you still spend too much time on the day-to-day. Here’s how to become the strategic leader your company needs…….

After two decades of advising organizations large and small, my colleagues and I have formed a clear idea of what’s required of you in this role. Adaptive strategic leaders — the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain environment – do six things well…More at the link below.

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers | Inc.com.

Be a Self-Starter – Confidence and the Personal Development Mindset

There is a new post at the blog for my Wisewolf Personal Development Coaching Website.  Developing a Personal Development Mindset is important if you wish to develop as a manager or leader so you might find this post intereesting.

“The third characteristic of a Personal Development Mindset  is to be a self-starter!


Personal development means taking personal responsibility for your own learning and development and taking the first steps yourself. Usually this is through a process of review/stock-take, exploration/research, and taking action. BUT HOW DO YOU TAKE THAT FIRST STEP?   Read more »

Leadership Styles – Now Discover Your Strengths

The Ritz Carlton logo at the former Hong Kong ...

For decades, Gallup scientists have researched the topic of leadership. They’ve surveyed a million work teams, conducted more than 50,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and  interviewed 20,000 followers to ask what they admired in the most important leader in their life.

The results of that research are set out in the book, Strengths-Based Leadership.

Using Gallup’s discoveries, authors Tom Rath and Barry Conchie identify three keys to being an effective leader

  1. The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths. In the workplace, when an organization’s leadership fails to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of an employee being engaged are a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when an organization’s leadership focuses on the strengths of its employees, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%). When leaders focus on and invest in their employees’ strengths, the odds of each person being engaged goes up eightfold.
  2. The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. While the best leaders are not well-rounded, the best teams are! Strong, cohesive teams have a representation of strengths in each of these four domains: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic thinking.
  3. The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs. People follow leaders for very specific reasons. When asked, thousands of followers were able to describe exactly what they need from a leader with remarkable clarity. This was trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

Tom Rath and Barry Conchie used firsthand accounts from highly successful leaders to show how each person’s unique talents can drive their success. The leaders included the founder of Teach for America and the president of The Ritz-Carlton.

Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment is available to readers with an access code that accompanies the book. This helps you discover your own special gifts, and specific strategies show you how to lead with your top five talents and how to plot the strengths of your team based on the four domains of leadership strength;

  • Executing,
  • Influencing,
  • Relationship Building
  • Strategic Thinking.

The second theme in this work is identifying the followers “Four Basic Needs”; Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope which should inspire us all!

If you would like to buy the book you can find it at this link.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have
the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her atwendymason@confidencecoach.me or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

Other useful articles

  • Team Work; forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning with Dr Tuckman
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming,Performing and Adjourning. Part 1 – Managing the Forming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 2 – Managing the Storming Stage
  • Team Work; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Part 3 – Managing the Norming Stage

BBC News – Money Box Live: Small businesses

BBC Radio 4's Money Box Live Wednesday, 4 April 2012 at 1502 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Are you an independent contractor or a manager in a small business or perhaps you are involved in a business start-up? If so, you will be interested in today’s edition of BBC Radio 4’s Money Box Live

You can find the BBC Podcast at this link

Despite the challenging economic conditions, the number of small businesses in the UK continues to grow.

A number of Government initiatives were launched earlier last month aimed at helping small firms.

The National Loan Guarantee Scheme will aid businesses with cheaper finance by reducing the cost of bank loans under the scheme by 1%.

Key announcements for business in last month’s Budget include:

  • A cut in the main rate of Corporation Tax from 26% to 24% next month;
  • The Enterprise Management Incentive scheme will provide additional help to start-ups;
  •  The Government is consulting on how to make it easier for sole traders and small businesses to calculate their taxable income.

Topics considered include;

  • Are you starting a small business and want advice on the best way of going about it?
  • Do you run a small business and want help on calculating your tax?
  • If you are approaching your bank for a loan what must you bear in mind?
  • What are the biggest issues facing your business?
  • Are you struggling with unsecured or secured debt?
  • Is the Government doing enough to support small business?

Vincent Duggleby was joined by:

Iestyn Davies, Federation of Small Businesses

Mike Warburton, Grant Thorton

James Henry, Business Debtline

Peter Ibbotson, Natwest/RBS

Presenter: Vincent Duggleby



HMRC Budget 2012


Federation of Small Businesses

Business Debtline

National Loan Guarantee Scheme


WiseWolf Talking and the BBC are not responsible for the content of external internet sites

via BBC News – Money Box Live: Small businesses