Who wants to be the next Bill Gates in the making? The answer may surprise you. Beyoncé (or “Queen Bey”), a music scene A-lister and the woman who “runs the world” (if you ask her legions of devoted fans, known as the “BeyHive”), gives the world’s richest man a major shout-out in her new single, “Formation.” If you have not seen the video on YouTube or streamed the track on Tidal, Beyoncé gave us all a taste of it in last night’s Super Bowl halftime show with Coldplay and Bruno Mars. In her new single, she sings, “You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making/I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making.” Gates may appreciate the positive press, especially after some recent criticism about his early managerial methods, such as his penchant for profanity and prowling the parking lot on weekends to document who had arrived at work.
Gates, who has seemingly mellowed considerably over the years, has been pretty open about his early methods, disclosing in a recent radio interview for BBC’s “Desert Island Discs” that he did not really believe in vacations and he memorized everyone’s license plates to see when people came into work. However, Gates stated, “I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard [others] worked . . . . Eventually I had to loosen up as the company got to a reasonable size.” Others have come forward over the years with stories about Gates’ allegedly harsh leadership style earlier in his career.
While the company and Gates clearly thrived and changed significantly over the years, these types of issues certainly bring up questions about how to be the most effective leader in your own workplace. For example, discouraging employees from using their available time away from work can come back to bite you in more ways than one. Aside from the potential employee morale issues, employers need to be careful to abide by state and federal laws, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, as well as their own leave policies. In addition, some state laws require that separated employees be paid available and/or earned paid leave benefits, such as accrued and unused vacation time.
So give us your thoughts on the most effective leadership strategies for the workplace, assuming you are not too sad/excited/exhausted/etc. to type after last night’s Super Bowl outcome. Also, do you think Queen Bey actually stumbled in last night’s performance, or was it all part of the act? Regardless, if Beyoncé can pull off those moves in towering heels, the rest of us can surely power through our post-Super Bowl Monday.