Gates, Buffett and Zuckerberg – Why they Win!

Business success today is often measured in the amount one has accumulated or in how big the organizations they helm ultimately become. These are certainly measurements that need to be included in any discussion about success, but there are more factors to consider including how the person is impacting his subordinates. The three icons, Gates, Buffet and Zuckerberg are special types of leaders, and exhibit a set of qualities that gives us insight into why they are so effective. Here are some of their common qualities.


These three leaders are extraordinarily reliable. They can be counted on to do what they say and to be consistent about things that are important to the business, its customers and employees. Reliability cannot be overstated because it forms the foundation that everyone stands on when they participate. If that foundation is shaky, people will not be able to perform at their best. Reliability allows for everything else in the business to take shape and flourish.

Crave Success

If you ask any of these three business icons, how successful they want to be, they would find it an odd question. They would probably answer, as successful as possible, and it would give you an indication of the level of commitment to success they have on a daily basis. You can put a floor on your allowance for failure, but you should never put a ceiling on your potential success. So practice taking any limitations on what you can achieve out of your thinking and have this permeate your business.

Challenge employees to think bigger and to push themselves and each other to accomplish greater things. Set your sights on a much bigger competitor in your market space and then set targets to catch and pass them. When you have accomplished this, do it again with a much larger competitor. When you run out of competitors, imagine one and then beat them too. You need to always look for new mountains to climb even if they are only ones you create in your mind.

Monitor and Handle Any Reputation Attacks

Leaders like Gates, Buffet, and Zuckerberg are lightning rods for attacks of all kinds including professional and personal. People today love to hear bad news about people who are hugely successful so they quickly consume anything that is put online about a successful public figure.

What these icons know is that these attacks are part of their being successful. So they put together strategies to deal with them in a methodical and responsible way. They categorize an attack based on its seriousness and ability to do damage and have waiting various resources aligned to confront the problem when needed. The problem may require a little time for it to go away and will leave no residual damage, so waiting and launching positive information about the issue through a PR firm might be the best course of action. It may require legal action so attorneys may need to intervene and confront those making the hurtful claims. It may require that the person get directly involved in the issue in order for it to be refuted or clarified personally. Whatever the case, there is a planned response that directly monitors and deals with the issue.

These attributes contribute greatly to the success of these powerful business icons and are shared by business leaders in various industries. As an example, prominent American businessman and philanthropist Lloyd Claycomb II, exhibits these qualities and uses them to further his business success. If you run a business, you should as well.