Almost everybody knows that Apple’s Steve Jobs behaved like a work place bully. However, a memoir by Paul Allen, who was once Bill Gates’ business partner, also described the Microsoft mogul as a bully at work.
Mike Hofman wrote about Allen’s book in GQ which shared a few of Gates’ workplace bullying. Allen recounted how Gates’ was a difficult boss during his prime. He exhibited the usual negative behaviors such as being mean to his rivals and even to Allen, as well as belittling employees during meetings. While Gates may have mellowed down over time, the instances where employees who were bullied at work still stayed with those that became his victims.
Some may think that being a bully at work may be an “acceptable” behavior, especially with the fame and riches that Jobs and Gates attained during their illustrious careers. However, despite their successes at work, these two gentlemen may not be able to shed negative impressions about their working attitudes given claims of workplace bullying. Some may argue that Jobs and Gates, along with other powerful men in business may have, at some point, became a bully at work in order to attain company goals and exceed expectations. A few may even say it could be their “unique” management style which helped to push their teams to strive for perfection and work harder than ever before.
Whatever their motivations may be and whether their difficult personality at work has helped the company to reach or even surpass profit targets, over time, the negative working environment will take its toll on the employees and eventually affect the company. However, bully bosses should take a page out of Gates’ life story and find a way to transform him or herself into someone who does good and is highly regarded in the community.
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