Tag: mistake

Bill Gates and The Guy Who Could Have Been Him (Part 10 of 10)

Appreciate more the story, read the previous post:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9.

 

By the end of 1980s, Digital Research had entered a death spiral and Kildall wave the white flag of surrender. He approached Gates and asked him to consider buying Digital Research for a fair price of $26 million. Gates rejected the offer and told Kildall the company might be worth only $10 million. A humbled Kildall had to look elsewhere to find a savior for his declining company.

Kildall’s hubris may be the culprit. Having fathered a revolution in personal computing, he assumed that all the other players would continue their childlike dependency on him. He thought that a dominant thing would always be dominant. Kildall was blind to how the delayed release of CP/M-86 had pushed IBM, Microsoft,and Seattle Computer Products to their breaking points.

He couldn’t imagine that all three companies might work around him to steal CP/M’s market. The irony is that the people at all three companies would have preferred to help Kildall and CP/M-86 succeed. Instead, they were forced to go to the extreme lengths of launching a competitor to CP/M-86, solely because Kildall left them no choice.

Kildall’s more fundamental mistake, however is he didn’t follow where the money is like Bill Gates. Kildall ridiculed IBM’s clumsy technology and overlooked its enormous market power, probably because technical subjects interested Kildall and marketing strategy didn’t.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates sets his priorities in exact opposite order. He was willing to hand IBM a shoddy product derived from other people’s work because what mattered most to Gates was that the mighty IBM get its project done on time.

Kildall, the innovator, followed his passion for technical excellence and was shocked at that IBM wouldn’t follow him. Gates, the imitator, took his cues from IBM every step of the way, because he believed that following IBM was the smartest way to follow where the money is. Gates guessed right, and became one of the richest in the world.

 

— end —

Advertisements

Leaders: Born or Made?

 

The question whether leaders are born or made is rational. Tucker for a good classroom or a dinner party debate.

So the answer of course we are talking about real life here, is not so simple. But in fact, some leadership traits are inborn, while on the other hand, some key leadership traits can be developed with training and experience (a must!).

Before we answer the question, let us enumerate the traits of being a leader. Integrity is a requirement, while intelligence is a ticket in today’s challenges and emotional maturity. These three characteristics are standard, meaning they should be “givens”.

The first essential trait of leadership is he must possess a positive energy, the capacity to endure with a healthy vigor and an optimistic approach through good times and bad.

Second would be the ability to energize others, releasing their positive energy, to reach new altitudes as a team.

Next trait would be the edge, or the ability to make tough calls, to say yes or no, not maybe.

Fourth trait is the ability to execute. To get things done.

Finally, leaders have passion. They care, deeply; they work, hard; they believe, wholeheartedly.

Positive energy and ability to energize others are hardwired. Basically, personalities. The same as passion. All of them are inborn. Some people naturally loaded with intensity and curiosity, for they naturally love people, life, and work. It is in them. It is them.

Edge and the ability to execute are different. They can be learned. Trench warfare is the best teacher for these two traits, for they are largely a function of self-confidence. You can say yes or no a lot better when you have done it a number of times and seen how well decisiveness works. Likewise, only the real-world challenges can leaders truly feel the power of moving quickly, demanding accountability, and rewarding results. They can say from their experience how damaging it is not to execute – a mistake effective leaders don’t make twice.

So, are leaders born or made? The answer is both.

Always remember, that not everyone was meant to be a leader. But as long as you are one yourself, it is your job to find and build those who can be.

The Other Side of Setbacks

 

American swimmer Dara Torres had a remarkable career. She appeared in five different Olympics from 1984 to 2008.

Late in her career, Torres broke the US record for the 50-meter freestyle – 25 years after she herself set that record, but it wasn’t always the medals and records.

She also encountered a lot of obstacles in her athletic career. Failure after another, mistakes after mistakes, injuries, surgery, and being almost twice the age of most other competitors.

She said, “I’ve wanted to win at everything, every day, since I was a kid.., I’m also aware that setbacks have upside; they fuel new dreams.”

“Setbacks have an upside” is a great life lesson. Her struggles motivated her to reach for new heights.

Romans 5:3-5 states that “… we also rejoice in sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us…” The Apostle James also told us “consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work…”

Adopting this perseverance on the difficulties of life is not easy, but worthwhile. Trials provide opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. They also teach lessons that success cannot by developing the kind of patience that waits on God and trust Him for the strength to endure.

I remember an excerpt from one of my prayers when I was in one of the darkest days of my life way back then,

“Lord, I hope my prayers will be answered tomorrow, else I could die, but if it remains a ‘no’ until tomorrow and I am still alive, teach me to be more patient and help me to understand more Your reasons, though the same reasons I may not know until tomorrow or the next month or the next decade. All I know is that what is happening at this very moment is for my own sake and my family’s welfare, so that I can share this experience to anyone in the future, so that Your light will shine to others through me, even at darkness”.

Life is Worth Living

 

Remember, defeat has never been the worst of failures, but not trying at all is the true failure. Sometimes, it helps you to realize your limitations and capabilities. After all, not everything is dependent on you; there are several others out there ready to screw your life goals in one way or the other.

In all of these, taking opportunities is critical to achieving one’s goals. You may have had several setbacks in the past, but the man that persists, is the one that knows what it means to achieve his goals irrespective of the obstacles confronting him.

Mental preparation is key, and one of the surest ways of reaching your goals. Evaluate what went wrong previously, learning how not to repeat the same mistake again. With that, you should be able to make progress, even tiny bits of it.

To fail is heart-wrenching, not to bounce back is like putting a death sentence to all your dreams and aspirations. Like a stone loosed from a sling, confront your Goliath without fear! You may have been buried beneath the currents of life, but it’s time to rear your head and clutch at the opportunities before you. Never be afraid of anything, rather, seize life with a second grip like someone who almost lost it the first time.

You’re coming out of the fire as a purified gold. Life is worth living!

You are Going Somewhere! Whether you have bandages and Scars still clinging to you, It doesn’t bind you!