All the way from school to work we are expected to give a hundred percent. Teachers take attendance in our lessons and in an interview with the BBC, Bill Gates revealed he also took attendance of his employees, by knowing their number plates.
Getting Microsoft to where it is as one of the leading technology companies in the world took a ruthless attitude and Gates is said to have had that mindset and then some. In his interview Gates stated that he “worked weekends” and “didn’t really believe in vacations”. Gates even went so far as to know “everybody’s licence plates so I could look out the parking lot and see, you know, when people come in”. This behaviour became more and more relaxed when the company got to a “reasonable size”, you can imagine trying to remember several hundred number plates just to see if Bob from accounting was in on a Saturday to finish up the paperwork.
Gates stated that he had to be careful that the same standards he gave himself weren’t forced upon his employers, a noble act when you consider how much the company grew and grew, in part, due to their hard work and commitment.
Gates also defines himself as aggressive in business, but only in the context that having “super-low prices are ruthless”. He carried on to say “it’s hard to compete with somebody who’s betting on the volume and saying ‘hey, we’re going to have… these super-low prices’. That’s very intimidating…”.
It’s always interesting to see how people who founded large companies act, and with Gates once again being the richest man alive, there really is very few you can compare on the same level. Not sure I could ever remember everyone’s number plates, without a little notepad or excel spreadsheet, just to keep track of who’s in work on time.