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Sep 08, 2016 09:17 AM EDT

What We Can Learn From Microsoft Founder Bill Gates On Success, Leadership And Optimism


Microsoft founder Bill Gates has not only gained popularity for his part in the advancement of the modern world - he also is known for his philanthropic works. He and wife, Melinda Gates, created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 to improve healthcare and reduce extreme poverty globally.

According to TIME, Bill Gates has served as inspiration for countless people around the world. One of his more prominent admirers is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who deems the Microsoft founder as his hero.

"When I was growing up, Bill Gates was my hero," Zuckerberg said. "Bill Gates ran one of the most mission-driven companies I can think of. There are companies that define themselves by their way of doing things, like the HP Way, and there are companies that define themselves by making a concrete change in the world. Microsoft did that. It was an incredibly inspiring company."

Zuckerberg was one of the first 17 billionaires who participated in Bill Gates' Giving Pledge. It is "a commitment by the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy."

Last year, the two tech giants also launched a global initiative named the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. It is aimed to spur the private sector in investing in clean energy.

Forbes reported that Bill Gates has an estimated net worth of $78.5 billion. He continues to hold the title of being the richest man in the world.

The Microsoft founder shared his thoughts on success, leadership and optimism. He noted that "success is a lousy teacher" because "it seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. Another insight he has on success is that it should not depend on race or the socioeconomic status of one's parents.

He believes that when one shows people the problems and its corresponding solutions, "they will be moved to act." During his commencement address at Stanford University last 2014, he shared this thought-provoking insight: "Optimism is often dismissed as false hope. But there is also false hopelessness."

On leadership, Bill Gates advised Harvard University's class of 2007 to "be activists" and "take on the big inequities." He also believes that leaders should be open-minded.

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