Leadership Comparison. Free Paper

Published: 2023-04-04
Leadership Comparison. Free Paper
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Personal leadership Leadership style Comparative literature
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1806 words
16 min read

Leadership is demanding and requires different leadership traits, strengths, styles, relationships, and abilities to communicate the vision to the people. As a response, the characteristics of admirable leadership punctuate the personality of most leaders. However, for the most part, there are always leaders that swim against the tide. Such leaders possess a stunningly clean record in their leadership skills that advocate for solving different challenges facing the society and world at large. They are lined with undistinguishable qualities that endear them to most people. The world has witnessed such remarkable leadership traits in a historical figures like John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates. As a consequence of their exceptional leadership styles and abilities to communicate their vision of how they wanted to change the world, the two leaders are held in high regard. Therefore, based on the best practices of leadership, in my opinion, John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates fit the bill for admirable non-political leaders. Although the two have distinguishable characteristics and similarities at the same time, their styles of leadership, achievements, and devotion to changing the world into a better place make them my most admirable figures. Whereas leadership has phenomenal challenges and reproach, this essay focuses on John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates as admirable non-political leaders in the history of the world. The essay compares and contrasts John D. Rockefeller as a historical leadership figure to Bill Gates as the current day phenomenal leader. Besides, the essay also examines the leadership traits, styles, strengths, relationships, and ability to communicate the vision to followers as leadership concepts that John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates possess.

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Background of each leader

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is a remarkable entrepreneur and businessman who founded and built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. He used technical innovations and keen business strategies as well as aggressive business tactics. As a consequence of his admirable and undistinguished leadership skills and character, Bill Gates has transformed the world through technology. Bill Gates enrolled for a law degree at Harvard University in 1973 with the original ambitions of becoming a lawyer. As a result of his parent's dismay, he dropped out of school later in 1975 to pursue his business, Microsoft, in collaboration with partner Paul Allen. Bill Gates has subsequently become the world's richest man, and in 2014, he announced that he wanted to step down as Microsoft's chairman to focus on his charitable foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Koch et al. 2019). Bill Gates' leadership skills, traits, style, and strengths have made him an innovative and visionary leader who has sparked a computer revolution that has changed the world. At the same time, he is a modern-day leader whose leadership practices have stifled competition in the software industry.

John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller is known as an American industrialist born in Richford, the year 1839, New York. Fosdick (2019) states that Rockefeller founded his initial oil refinery adjacent to Cleveland, and in 1870, he combined the Standard Oil Company. By 1882, Rockefeller enjoyed a close monopoly of the oil commercial in the United States. Unfortunately, his business practices resulted in the formulation of antitrust laws. As a youth, he was confident of hard work; he engaged himself in several small businesses with exceptional entrepreneurial skills. Rockefeller was a cautious and hardworking entrepreneur who did not engage in unnecessary risks. Rockefeller became Standard Oil Company's founder, and he is a man who is recognized by many as having remarkable entrepreneurial skills. Essentially, Rockefeller is a man who changed the way that businesses operate. However, some people describe John D. Rockefeller for using unpractical business operational practices that were nearly monopoly. John D. Rockefeller remains as one of the most important historical figures in the 19th and 20th Centuries because he was a great industrialist who changed the oil industry and the way businesses operate. He was a visionary leader who used his unique leadership traits, style, strengths, relationships, and ability to communicate his vision to the people in a callous approach. Rockefeller was a great inspiration to the world. The essential things are lessons from his leadership skills. Later on in his life, Rockefeller devoted himself to philanthropy. He died in 1937 after he had transformed Standard Oil Company into a reputable business brand and the world's most valuable company at that time.

Definition of leadership concepts

Leadership concepts are ways in which leaders view leadership and perform it to accomplish their goals and meet people's expectations. This chapter examines and defines concepts and explains why they are essential, particularly concerning how they make Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller admirable leaders.

Leadership traits

The most important leadership traits that Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller used were participatory, integrity, resilience, vision, influence, and positivity


It is a leadership concept that involves the contributions of subordinates in decision-making. Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller offered a more participative style of leadership. They both believed in the value of input from employees for the overall success of their companies.


Integrity is the concept of being honest and having strong moral principles. John D. Rockefeller was whole and undivided in his vision for Standard Oil Company. At the same time, Bill Gates valued integrity in his adherence to the moral and ethical principles of Microsoft.


Resilience is a way of recovering quickly from difficulties. Standard Oil Company went through hard economic times in 1911 when the Supreme Court ordered its dissolution. However, John D. Rockefeller instituted appropriate measures and came up with strategic approaches that saw Standard Oil Company to a giant oil company. Using the resilience concept, John D. Rockefeller brought Standard Oil Company back to shape.


Vision is an aspiration for a leader to achieve specific goals for an organization. Both Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller had visions for Microsoft and Standard Oil Company. It is by virtue of their visions that enabled the two leaders to accomplish success in their operations.


Strengths are tasks or actions one can do well. John D. Rockefeller was passionate about becoming a successful businessman. On the other hand, Bill Gates had ambitions of becoming a lawyer. Gates changed to technology and innovations while Rockefeller transformed Standard Oil because they realized their strengths and proficiencies in business.


Leadership style is a method that a leader uses to provide directions. Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller used different leadership styles to implement plans that led to a transformation in both Microsoft and Standard Oil Company.


The concept of relationship describes how two or more people are connected. Bill Gates had a meaningful workplace relationship with his workers. The relationship is an essential concept that has transpired in the success of Microsoft because it is a significant factor that contributes to employee happiness.


Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller are the two biggest entrepreneurial names in the business world. Surdam (2020) argues that both Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller offer a unique but different sets of leadership skills. They are both successful business owners that have significantly developed Fortune 500 companies through their dedication and hard work.


Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller are both known for their innovative roles in the revolution of technology and oil respectively. According to Bolanos (2019), they have both enabled the world to have a comfortable life because of their contributions. The two are both successful in business leaders with Gates in the computer Industry and Rockefeller in the Oil Industry. Additionally, they are owners of their respective companies as well. Yun, Jung, and Bulmer and Bulmer (2017) review that Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller had a collaborative aspect of having a partner in helping them in their business idea. As stated by Bolanos (2019), Gates and Rockefeller both had the ability to communicate their vision on their respective companies. Bill Gates had a vision of having a computer in every desk and at home. His vision has provided the world a predictable future, whereby there are currently computers in all offices and almost every home across the world. On the other hand, John D. Rockefeller shared his vision of refining oil for the poor man and having it cheap and good. He wanted the world to have access to oil at an affordable price that would make people realize their goals and change the world to a better place. Cusumano (2019) argues that the real secret to Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller was to hire employees who valued integrity. They did not want to hire anyone who was dumb and lazy. John D. Rockefeller was whole and undivided on the integrity of employees for Standard Oil Company. At the same time, Bill Gates valued integrity in his adherence to the moral and ethical principles of Microsoft.


Bulmer and Bulmer (2017) argue that, unlike Gates, John D. Rockefeller lacked the participative quality of working with his employees and associates as a team. He did not like to engage his employees in decision-making concerning the operation of Standard Oil Company. John D. Rockefeller was perceived as more demanding on his employees as compared to Gates, who valued the contributions of his employees in decision-making. It is pertinent to note that I value John D. Rockefeller as an admirable leader because while his techniques seemed difficult for those who worked with him, they were quite successful for the success of Standard Oil Company and its products. Bill Gates, on the other hand, as stated by Surdam (2020), he applied the ideas and guidance of his team to produce some of the biggest technologies in the market today. Bill Gates had a unique skill set of collaboration with the team. The skillset transpired the accomplishment of his vision for the world to have a computer in every household. At the same time, Surdam (2020) argues that John D. Rockefeller offered a more autocratic leadership style as opposed to Bill Gates, who used a participative approach. John D. Rockefeller was in charge of Standard Oil Company, then later Exxon, and collected little to no input from his employees concerning decision-making in the running of the company. However, John D. Rockefeller's dedication to business significantly benefitted not only his company but also consumers all across the world.


For leaders to be successful, they must utilize leadership traits, styles, strengths, relationships, and vision. Bill Gates and John D. Rockefeller remain my most favorable and admirable non-political leaders who have significantly transformed the world into a better place. Notably, Bill Gates' vision of having a computer in every household and John D. Rockefeller's vision of refining oil for the poor man and having it cheap and good have substantially changed the world. The two leaders are entirely on a high-level spectrum. Their leadership has offered some of the most successful products in the world, which have transformed people's lives. Their leadership approach might differ, but both had some similarities of dedication to innovation in the world of computing technology and oil.

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