Melinda Gates is arguably the most powerful businesswoman and philanthropist in the world. She runs the most extensive private charitable organization and is one of the world’s richest women.
Growing up, Melinda was always at the top of her class and graduated as valedictorian from a private preparatory school, Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She then graduated with her master’s degree from Duke University.
Since then, she has led a prodigious career in business and computer science, written a book, garnered several awards for her philanthropic work, including a feature as Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year, and has pledged to give away a majority of her wealth in her lifetime to philanthropic causes.
With such astounding achievements under her belt, there are several success lessons that we can learn from Melinda Gates.
Good leadership skills are hard to come by. They take time and patience to develop, and not everyone is suited to be a leader. However, Melinda Gates offers brilliant advice that can make anyone become a better leader; love. To Melinda, love is the most important trait for a leader to have.
Sharing empathy with others and connecting deeply to get to the root of problems that are faced in the workplace, the political landscape, or the world are what true leaders do. In her book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, Melinda writes,
“Love is the most powerful and underused force for changing the world.”
In our daily lives and in our communities, this leadership trait, to spread love, is a phenomenal success lesson to carry with us.
2. Do Things Wholeheartedly
“I’m wholehearted about whatever I do.”
– Melinda Gates
To live wholeheartedly is to devote 100% of our efforts to the choices that we make. We can all spare a little more time, care, and effort towards the things we want to accomplish in our lives.
In the workplace, in our relationships, and in our communities, if we put every ounce of our being and willpower to focus on what we want to achieve, we’ll all come out at the end of the day as more productive and positive individuals.
Living wholeheartedly, as Melinda does, can lead to the success that we want out of life.
3. Giving Back
“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”
– Melinda Gates
Melinda is known for her philanthropic acts and the amount she devotes to giving back to the world. To give back is put in no better way than to say that until you give back, you owe the world the countless favors that it has given you.
Melinda goes on to say that giving back isn’t all about money. It’s about helping those less fortunate and using your unique talents where they can best serve others. Volunteering locally or simply helping out a neighbor in need are forms of giving back that any of us can partake in, and they require no money, just our time and effort.
The more we give back, the more we find a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It makes us happier, more engaged citizens of our community and the world. It also gives a sense of who we are and where we fit in.
When you help those less fortunate, it’s often a wake-up call to how lucky you are in your place in the world. It can further drive you to give back more when you see how far the divide is between the fortunate and less fortunate.
One of the greatest success lessons we can learn from Melinda is that no one is too good to give back.
4. Be Ambitious
“What great changes have not been ambitious?”
– Melinda Gates
Taking risks is often what leads to the most significant changes in the world. Having such an ambitious attitude towards life and finding an unwavering dedication is what truly leads to success.
Applying ambition to our work and personal life is another great success tip from Melinda Gates. To channel our inner drive and stay motivated to work towards our goals and bigger things that matter in the world can make all the difference.
Melinda is known for her work around the globe, empowering women in all countries. One of her goals is to supply 120 million women in developing countries with contraceptives. Such a goal is truly ambitious, but we see her working wholeheartedly to reach achievement. She’s right that any goal worth having requires ambition behind it to turn it into a success.
5. Take Action
“The world is full of what seems like intractable problems. Often, we let that paralyze us. Instead, let it spur you to action.”
– Melinda Gates
Taking action is what leads to results, overcoming fear, and learning new things. Instead of waiting for motivation, you need to create your own enthusiasm and take action!
Don’t focus on the negative but look at the positive that can come from your efforts. We all have the power to change not only our own lives but the lives of those around us as well. It all starts with action. Melinda Gates takes action in many ways.
Whether it be through acting as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, delivering contraceptives to millions of women throughout the globe, or donating to causes that support gender equity, she is always striving to do better for humanity.
By capturing some of her inspiration, we can all work harder to take action and lead more successful lives to benefit those around us.
6. Stay True to Yourself
“Make sure you continue to trust what you know about yourself and stay true to what you believe in.”
– Melinda Gates
Melinda herself has found through her life struggles that trusting yourself and what you know and believe in is one of the keys to success. She has gone from being shy and introverted to being one of the world’s most successful women.
Living through abuse in a past relationship had silenced her for some time until she learned to work through those hardships. We can learn from her the power that comes from listening to your inner voice to overcome setbacks. Doing so can lead to accomplishing great things in life.
Being true to yourself and what you believe in means you have an honest relationship with yourself and those around you. It means being uncompromising in your beliefs and values. Knowing who you are and what you really want in life, and remaining true to those standards, are what can push us all towards success.
7. Connect with Others
“Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.”
– Melinda Gates
Finding connections with others and nourishing our interpersonal relationships can help us find success faster. No one ever changed the world or achieved greatness without the help of others. It’s important for us all to be more engaged in our families, our workplace, and our communities.
As Melinda hints to us, we all have much more in common than we realize. When we take this into consideration, it’s much easier to foster better relationships with those around us. It’s also much easier to reach out to strangers, make new friends, colleagues, and mentors who can help us on our journey towards success.
Mutually beneficial relationships make the world go-’round, and when we can offer compassion, empathy, and support, we’re much more likely to receive it back in return. Striving to connect with others deeply is one of the most beneficial success tips we can learn from Melinda Gates.
Melinda inspires us to lead with love and give back to others. Through ambition, action, staying true to oneself, and connecting with others, we can further lead successful lives by the effect those traits have on the people around us.
In all, the mark you leave on humanity is your true measure of success. Whether it’s helping one neighbor or 120 million women in developing countries, you will have succeeded if even one life is made better from your actions.
“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
This one quote has been Melinda’s definition of success since high school. Even Melinda Gates has her own way to get inspiration and to learn from, why not us learn from her success?