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Q: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: jeffbhc001-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 22 Apr 2005 14:00 PDT
Expires: 22 May 2005 14:00 PDT
Question ID: 512845
I?d like some real interviews from magazines, newspapers, etc.  I'd
like quotes from leaders of different management styles talking about
the superiority of their management styles.  I?d like to hear the
leaders talk about they way they do things and why it is the right way
to manage.  I?d like to hear them state the case for their way of
doing things.

I need a few colorful stories of five different management styles.  I
have one management style for each Google Answers ticket.  I need this
by Sunday April 24 (noon eastern time zone).

In the scheme I am using, there are four style components: 

Decisive Commander
Analytical Planner
Creative Visionary 
Collaborative Facilitator

I am targeting five combinations of these four styles.  The second
term is the dominant style, the first is the backup.  Thus, a
?Decisive Visionary? is mostly a Creative Visionary, but the second
big influence is Decisive Commander.

A. Decisive Visionary -- A leader who can see opportunities on the
distant horizon and take specific steps to get there.  They are both
intuitive and action oriented.  They have a creative side that focuses
on the big picture, but do not dwell forever in blue-sky discussions. 
They can make things happen.  They like small informal teams.  They
are perfectionists and hover over everyone to make sure all the pieces
come together well.

Thanks,  J

Clarification of Question by jeffbhc001-ga on 22 Apr 2005 14:24 PDT
The stories need to be good ones.
Subject: Re: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 23 Apr 2005 18:27 PDT
Jeffbhc ?

There?s a fellow that few people tire of hearing about because he?s a
contrast in personalities in so many respects:

?	A college dropout who went to private schools, his foundation has
re-engineering of American public high schools as a goal
?	The house on Lake Washington is ostentatious, he likes sporty cars
but  he still favors blue jeans and casual clothing
?	Though he?s accumulated a large fortune, he?s said that the
inheritance left to his children will be limited.  And his father has
led the fight to retain estate taxes in the interest of social
?	A quintessential geek, he?s also the country?s leading
philanthropist, with an interest in the issues of AIDs in Africa
?	His father?s a lawyer, but he?s very un-lawyerly
?	A long-time bachelor, he?s now a devoted family man
?	A very private individual, yet he?s extremely concerned about his
public image.  And that image is so carefully cultivated that he?s
treated as a ?brand? within his corporation.
?	Quiet, gracious and polite, he can be abrupt to the point of
rudeness when he feels employees are missing key strategic information
?	Long known for eschewing the privileges of corporate offices and
traveling on commercial airlines, he finally has a company jet
?	A major shareholder in one of the largest U.S. public corporations,
he also has investments in many private companies, Corbis among them

Bill Gates, Jr., chairman, is known for the key decisions that reshaped Microsoft:
?	he made the decision to purchase Seattle Computer Systems? operating
system, then took the redesigned product to market as MS-DOS
?	he made the decision to develop a competing graphical operating
system in Windows 3.0, even while the man who?s now his CEO (Steve
Ballmer) was evangelizing IBM?s OS/2 as the operating system of the
?	he coordinated the company?s development of the Internet browser and
the competitive attack on Netscape

Bill is a good subject because he?s well-known.  He?s also a good
subject because there are so many Bill Gates stories and few, if any,
that have been told so often that they?re trivialized.

The Wall Street Journal published a great front page article on his
decision-making style about a month ago:

Wall Street Journal
?Think Pad --
In Secret Hideaway, Bill Gates Ponders Microsoft?s Future,? (Guth, March 28, 2005)

The article, available online at, is also likely still on the
shelves of your public library.  It describes his twice-a-year ritual
of reading technical and business briefs, then making notes for action
by Microsoft managers.  The ritual is punctuated by a steady supply of
Diet Orange Crush, and led to an internal paper that re-oriented the
Good Ship Microsoft to change direction and develop its Internet
browser following a paper he wrote in 1995 called ?The Internet Tidal

By the way, if you use the headline of the news story in a Google
search, you?ll find at least 30 articles commenting on Gates, some
with other excerpts from the story.

There?s a lot written about Bill and much of it pertains to technology
and directions that Microsoft is taking ? unlike the Wall Street
Journal article which is more about decision-making and leadership.  
That includes this C/Net article, but I include it because it talks
about how people within the company funnel information to him:

?Gates taking a seat in your den,? (Kanellos, Jan. 5, 2005)

A good book about Microsoft?s management style is David Thielan?s ?The
12 Simple Rules of Microsoft Management,? summarized very neatly in
this article by Matt Richey, of Motley Fool:

Motley Fool
?The 12 Simple Rules of Microsoft Management,? (Richey, 1999)

Lots of books have been written about Gates? and Microsoft?s
management style, but one of the better ones is ?Microsoft Secrets,?
written by a pair of professors, Michael A. Cusumano and Richart W.
Selby.  The book, written in 1995, is an interesting critique of the
company and suggests that Gates himself is both a strength and a
weakness in the company.  Gates may be stretched too thin and middle
management too weak, they contend.  It?s interesting especially since
Gates stepped out of day-to-day management in 2000, so we have 10
years of evolution of a new Internet market and of Microsoft
management to evaluate the criticisms of Cusumano & Selby.

An interesting way to look at the software magnate is also to search
through the archives of the online business publications like Business
Week, Forbes and Fortune.  In 2003, for example, Business Week
interviewed him on his investments and philanthropy.  (You may need to
register for the Business Week site, but the content is available at
no charge.)

Business Week
?Biology and Bill Gates ? How His Passion Imbues His Portfolio and His
Philanthropy,? (Greene, May 5, 2003)

One of the interesting accounts that I found was this reprinting of a
Playboy interview of Gates, undated but from 1994 (as it notes that he
was 38 and Mr. Gates is now 49).  It has David Rensin, a contributing
editor, contrasting an interview in 1991 ? and has Gates contrasting
himself with some other business leaders, like Rupert Murdoch and John
Malone (TCI Cable):

?The Bill Gates Interview? (undated ? taken from 1994 Playboy Magazine)


We also have the words of Gates himself from two books that he?s
written, though they deal more with a layman?s explanation of the
direction of computer technology than of management:

?The Road Ahead,? Bill Gates, 1996*

?Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy,?
Bill Gates, 2000

And, of course, you have his website, with a number of published articles:
?Bill Gates Home Page?

As with many executives, Gates and his time is carefully managed. 
Microsoft may take it a step further than others, realizing that he?s
an identity and brand unto itself ? as important as Ralph Lauren or
Richard Branson are to their companies.  It was recognized early (by
the mid-1980s) as business partners would request Bill?s presence at
key meetings.  It led to setting up strategic briefings for OEMs and
software partners, then later to Fortune 500 executive briefings in
Redmond that included dinner at the chairman?s home in Medina.

The company has used it to set up direct communication channels to
other business executives, such as the ?Executive E-Mail?

?Executive E-Mail?

Google search strategy:
?Bill Gates? management
?Bill Gates? + ?management style?
?Bill Gates? + "as a brand"

Best regards,

Subject: Re: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
From: foraneagle2-ga on 24 Apr 2005 23:21 PDT
Umm, can I be the new Google answerer when Omnivorous gets fired?
Subject: Re: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
From: jeffbhc001-ga on 25 Apr 2005 05:14 PDT
Why would omnivorous get fired?
Subject: Re: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
From: foraneagle2-ga on 25 Apr 2005 22:44 PDT
Maybe it's just me, but I thought you were looking for more than
information about one leader.  I just saw a compelling question and
wasn't really satisfied personally with the answer but if you are,
then maybe that's why Omnivorous is an answerer and not me.
Subject: Re: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
From: jeffbhc001-ga on 26 Apr 2005 01:25 PDT
It wasn't a great response for the reasons you mentioned.  Also, I am
from Seattle and Bill is pretty well-known there and I have fried who
is senior in MSFT so it wasn't new.  But I was under a tight deadline
and didn't have time to chase it though with Omnivorous or the other
GA researchers that were working on my questions.  I'll be back to GA
a bit later with another set of questions.  I had a spectacular answer
to another question a few months ago and maybe this set of questions
was not stated right for how GA is operating now - who knows.  Thanks
for the comments, though.  J
Subject: Re: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
From: omnivorous-ga on 26 Apr 2005 06:35 PDT
Jeff and all --

Finding several "decisive visionaries" about whom a great deal is
published is tough -- so I went for depth.  Others that I considered
*  Craig McCaw (Who?  Didn't he do cellular sometime in the 1980s?)
*  Lou Gerstner (Visionary?  Or bureaucrat? But at IBM he WAS decisive.)
*  Arthur Rock (Pretty private guy.)
*  Steve Jobs (A good likely alternate.)

In a list of top-5 computer "visionaries" Gates would make the list of
all but the most cynical -- even he's being over-promoted during the
current spate of Microsoft "Longhorn" PR.

Best regards,

Subject: Re: 1. Examples of Decicive Visionaries
From: omnivorous-ga on 30 Apr 2005 08:04 PDT
Steve Jobs & decisiveness -- ban books, here the whole line of an
influential business book publisher:

Best regards,


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