Steve Jobs called up Bill Gates and said, “I’m going to turn this thing around.” Bill always had a soft spot for Apple. We got him into the application software business. The first Microsoft apps were Excel and Word for the Mac. So I called him and said, “I need help.” Apple’s not going to survive that long if we’re at war. I know that. All I need is a commitment that Microsoft will keep developing for the Mac and an investment by Microsoft in Apple so it has a stake in our success.” In August of 1997, Apple and Microsoft decided to put the past behind them and focus on the future. At that year’s Macworld event, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates announced that the two companies had entered into a historic agreement. In addition to agreeing to a broad patent cross-licensing agreement, Microsoft promised to support Microsoft Office for the Mac for 5 years while Apple agreed to make Internet Explorer the default web browser on the Mac.
Bill and Melinda Gates are trying, just like the rest of us, to ensure their three children think about others. That’s why the über-rich couple make sure their trio set aside a portion of their allowance for charity.
She’s similarly rigorous about her home life. Her kids save a third of their allowance and designate a charity they’d like to give it to. As further incentive, their parents double the amount.
Bill Gates is a guy with all the money in the world, yet he showed up to work every day to change the world. He’s not a seeker of fame or a seeker of fortune, although he has both.
He has given some $28 billion to charity over the past five or six years. Rather than just retire and play with his money, he focuses his time, energy, and resources on making a better world through innovative approaches.
“I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you work to address the world’s deepest inequities, on how well you treat people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.” This is the kind of caring and empathy that causes people to stand behind a leader. He is the type of person who isn’t working toward his own goal of personal gain; he is working to help others grow. This is a key quality that successful leaders often embody.