Comparing Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Communication Styles

Communication is a critical aspect of any social beings. To human beings, communication is essential in initiating and sustaining interactions either in formal or informal associations. This paper highlights the similarities and the differences between the communication styles of two influential leaders in the world, namely, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Bill Gates was born as William Henry Gates on 28th October, 1958 at a place called Seattle in the United States of America. By profession, Bill Gates is an American business mogul, an investor, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, a software programmer, a philanthropist, the chief executive officer of Cascade investments, Chairman of Corbis, inventor among others. Together with Paul Allen, they invented Microsoft Corporation; this is the principal personal computer software company. He is still the chairman of this company up to date and has been consistently ranked among the richest people in the World by Forbes. Bill Gates has a spouse by the name Melinda Gates and they have been blessed with three children.

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On the other hand, Steve Jobs was born as Steven Paul Jobs on 24th February 1955 at San Francisco, California in the United States of America. He passed away on 5th October 2011 after battling metastatic insulinoma for a number of years. Professionally, Steve Jobs was the chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. a role that made him extensively recognized globally as a charismatic pioneer and inventor of the personal computer revolution that has been witnessed in recent years. Among other noble innovations, Steve Jobs is credited with the invention and establishment of Pixar Animation Studios and the introduction of the LaserWriter application into the world. He was a visionary leader right from his young age and his death deprived the world a creative and an amazing person. Up to his death, Steve Jobs was married to Laurene Powell and they were blessed with four children: Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Reed Jobs, Erin Jobs and Eve Jobs.

First and foremost, both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates embarked from the same starting position, but their personalities were totally different. Coincidentally, both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were born the same year and both of them dropped out of school due to various circumstances. They were both innovators by nature and they possessed the ability of a genius. This is what made them come up with the innovations that have helped to change the world  in a way that they will be forever in the folklore of the history books (Gamble & Gamble, 2012).  

To begin with, Steve Jobs was always a step ahead of his main rivals, including Bill Gates. He was brilliantly quick and loved to handle the challenges that life threw at him one at a time and preferred living for the moment. This again is evident in his struggle to be the best he can be, even through his death. Unlike Gates, Jobs was extremely frank in his conversations. He was not afraid to publicly talk about his failing health. He exemplified his struggles with life by telling his students not to pretend to live somebody else’s life, but to live their own lives. This is because our time is limited and we should at all times make the maximum use of it and follow our intuition no matter the circumstances. Bill Gates, however, loves to take his time and never hurries to accomplish a given task or challenge. He was a noble competitor who wished Steve Jobs no harm, but even encouraged him, when Apple Company was facing bankruptcy in 1997. For instance, Bill Gates pumped millions of investment into the Apple Company to rescue it from the imminent fall that it was facing.

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Steve Jobs was immensely blessed with an outstanding array of motivation skills and was never the type to give in when challenges begun to take a toll. He was able to reinvent himself again and again and consequently made him more successful than his main rival, Bill Gates. Through his armor of unmatched communication skills, Steve Jobs was able to establish the most valuable business asset in the entire world. In the process, he was able to generate more than half the revenues that shareholders of Microsoft were making. Steve Jobs is also perceived as a revolutionary communicator, unlike his counterpart and main rival. For instance, through his superior communication skills, Steve was able to transform at least five industries. Precisely, these industries included music, anointed movies, personal computers, tablet computers, digital publishing and the phone industry. His artistry in the transformation in all these industries is a testament to his superior technical and communication skills that he was able to nurture and superbly use them to a great effect. The advanced communication skills that Steve Jobs had are again evident in the speech that he delivered months before his unfortunate death. The message was presented in a very clear and comprehensible comportment, which ultimately had the desired effect on his students and to the world in general (Northhouse, 2009).

Additionally, the ability to write and deliver a speech is a notable difference between the communication skills of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. For example, Bill gates labored greatly when he was preparing his commencement address. This is noted by the amount of time and investment he put in to draft the speech. He consulted various experts and read extensively previous speeches that had been prepared and delivered by renowned leaders such as Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermie, and Marie Curie among others. All these leaders bagged the Nobel Peace prize during their careers. He finally delivered a speech that was portrayed his pretense that he possessed wisdom while actually he did not. The impression the speech had on the delegates is that he was trying too hard to impress but he only achieved in failing miserably. On the contrary, Steve Jobs wrote his own speech within a minimal timescale and had it reviewed by his wife before presenting it to the listening world. The content and the structure of the speech was crafted almost entirely for the listening audience contrary to the one that Bill Gates presented which was at times self-directed. This again shows that Steve Jobs trusted his own ability to write and that he also trusted his wife. The eventual outcome of the speech he delivered at the University of Harvard it had originality and a sense of authenticity. He conveyed the speech in a way that the desired effect of the author to the audience achieved was beyond any reasonable doubt. This again explicated the true thoughts and intentions of the speaker and the actions of the author, in this case Steve Jobs, were endeared to the audience.

Though Steve Jobs was a successful leader, who relied on his magical communication skills to grow his career, his competence skills were at times inferior to those of Bill Gates. This is most due to the fact that Steve Jobs was result-oriented. This means that he only cared about the outcome of the project and factors such as the welfare of the employees was not considered keenly. This is evident during the establishment of the Macintosh line. His management approach was both erratic and temperamental and this consequently cost him a job and he was compelled to resign despite the fact that he was one of the founders of the company (Papp, 2012). His reason for resignation, however, is attributed to the internal power struggles that were being witnessed in the company. Steve Jobs was amoral in that he was utterly focused on the growth and the sustainability of his business firm. It is not that he was immoral but he was single- mindedly centered on the success of the Apple Company at all costs. Conversely, Bill Gates is accommodative and largely cares about the welfare of his employees and staff. He is seen as a patient leader, who is not only interested with the success of the projects he undertakes, but also on the welfare of the people around him. This noble character in Bill Gates is further solidified by the fact that he is a philanthropist and a humanitarian. This, therefore, means that he values and appreciates the lives of the people more than the job itself.

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The influence of charisma is another noteworthy difference that sets apart Steve Jobs from Bill Gates. His knack to give outstanding speeches and in the process captivating the audience remains unrivalled. For instance, through his charisma, which is epitomized by his communication skills, he is able to hypnotize his employees and harness the best from them. He is able to sell his products easily due to the influence of the charisma he possesses and he is like a role model to many people. In a sense, he represents the face of business and embodies what a successful entrepreneur should be. On the contrary, this cannot be said concerning Bill Gates. He can only influence the people not by his communication skills but through his humanitarian behavior. This, therefore, means that Gates will be best remembered years after his death not because of Microsoft or ability to give captivating speeches, but he will be remembered because of his noble character. His desire to help mankind remains unrivalled, but in the question of charisma, Steve Jobs was the best and one of his own kind.

In conclusion, the communication skills that Steve Jobs acquired were superior to those that Bill Gates has generally. The ability of Steve Jobs to deliver captivating speeches to his audiences is attributed to the excellent set of communication skills that he possessed.  Both men are influential and have helped to transform immeasurable lives globally. However, both leaders have remained successful in their careers and they are great role models to the billions of people all over the world.

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