In its 23-year lifetime, Microsoft has had three distinct phases. The first, from 1975 to 1989, was characterized by both bold thrusts into new businesses. Among their many successes were MS-DOS, Word, Excel, Macintosh software and Windows. The company relied on the success of Windows, banking every penny they had on its success, which paid off in Microsoft's second phase from 1990, when Windows 3.0 was released, to 1994. Customer driven change also marked phase two. Customers wanted operating systems that blended the best of Windows, UNIX, and NetWare, this was the beginning of Windows NT. Customers wanted the best of Microsoft’s productivity tools to work better together, so Microsoft Office was created to integrate the software. Recognizing the need to develop fundamental advances in software, Microsoft created Microsoft research. In 1995 Microsoft entered phase three, taking advantage of tremendous opportunities offered by the Internet. Since 1995 Microsoft has reinvented itself so that, today, everything Microsoft creates or updates leverages with the Internet. In the beginning Gates' was mainly concerned and involved with technical development of new products in order to attract consumers. Since Microsoft controls the largest percentage of the market than any of its competitors Gates' puts more focus on the organization itself and its employees. Microsoft's mission is to continually advance and improve software technology and to make it easier, more cost effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. In order for Microsoft to continue on its fruitful path the development of intelligent decision makers, otherwise known as managers, must be trained. Gates' realizes the ROI of his creation relies on every single individual, which makes up the organization called Microsoft. He also knows he cannot be at the table to make ever single day-to-day decision, instead of trying to be in a hundred place at oncece Gates' attempts to train well oiled managers. He has even published articles that reveal his expectations and qualities he attempts to instill into Microsoft managers. Here are Bill's ten qualities of a good employee: 1. Choose a field thoughtfully. By choosing a field one enjoys it makes it easier to generate enthusiasm towards one's work. This is true for both a manager and an employee. 2. Hire carefully and be willing to fire. A strong team is vital, because a mediocre team provides mediocre results, no matter how well it is managed. 3. Create a productive environment. This is a particular challenge because it requires different approaches depending on the environment. Sometimes productivity is maximized by providing everybody his or her own office and other times by moving everybody into open space. Sometimes financial incentives stimulates productivity and motivation. Usually a mixture of approaches is necessary to reach desired productivity. 4. Define success. This is done by providing employees with a clear definition of success and how they should measure their achievements. Goals must be realistic. For example, project schedules must be set those who actually do the work. People will accept a bottom-up deadline they helped set, but maybe overwhelmed by a schedule imposed from upper management that doesn't map reality. Unachievable goals undermine an organization. 5. To be a good manager, you have to like people and be good at communicating. This quality is generally impossible to fake. If an individual doesn't genuinely enjoy interacting with people it will be hard to manage well. 6. Develop your people to do their jobs better than you can. Transfer your skills to them. This is an exciting goal, but it can be threatening to a manger that is worried about training his replacement. Many managers like to see their employees increase their responsibility because it frees them up to tackle new or undone tasks. 7. Build morale. It should be made clear there's plenty of good will to go around and that there is not just one hotshot manager getting all the credit. Explain to employees the importance of their work to the company and customers. Giving people a sense of importance increases motivation to complete the task to the best of their ability and provides the feeling of satisfaction after completion. 8. Take on projects yourself. Managers need to do more than communicate. Nobody wants to work for a boss who just delegates tasks. It is important for a manager from time to time to take on less attractive task to provide examples of how his or her employees should meet challenges. 9. Don't make the same decision twice. Managers should have the confidence in their well thought out decision in order to not leave any avenues open for rediscussion. A manager should never have to second-guess himself or herself. 10. Let people know whom to please. It should be made clear whom employees have to please, whether it’s the manager, the manager’s boss or someone else higher up. There is a risk of paralysis when employees start to question whom they are supposed to make happy. The beauty of Gates' tips is they are pretty much common sense, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to incorporate these aspects into his or her employee. Making processes clear and simple always seems to accomplish the goals it(s) was set out to. Gates' believes in talking with employees and customers rather than talking at them. By conducting conversations individuals, especially customers, can understand and allow them to provide feedback that is taken into consideration allows Gates' to build a lasting and trusting relationship with employees and customers.
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