Posted by Thuy Vien on
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Last night, Jeff Raikes of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spoke to an overflow crowd at the Albers School of Business. He was invited to be the last of this year’s speakers at the Executive Speakers Series. His talk, entitled “The Business of Doing Good” drew upon his decades-long leadership experiences at Microsoft, his current role as CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and as an owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. He spoke about the role of philanthropy and its relationship to business and government and the lessons he learned in business that applies to philanthropy. Jeff Raikes gave three short case studies of excellence in leadership; the lessons he learned from each leader were:
- Jon Shirley, former Microsoft President: Know when to step in, “roll up your sleeves” and make things happen. This is not micro-managing, this is about the criticalness of timing and knowing when to exert your influence.
- Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder: Learn from your mistakes. If you’re succeeding 100% of the time, you’re not taking enough risks. Mistakes will be made if you’re trying something new for the first time. The real question is: are you learning from your mistakes?
- Lou Pinella, former manager of the Seattle Mariners: You have to be able to work well with people (both the team and the front office), learn how to help people perform at their best, be accountable and keep others accountable and be aware of your role as a spokesperson for the team.
When asked by a student in the audience about what advice he would give our generation of business leaders, he replied: “Follow your passion.”
Written by Thuy Vien. Thuy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org