Three Lessons From Bill Gates’ Parents

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Bill Gates Parents

Do you pay attention to your child, to know his/her natural inclination? If you do, it would then be a great move to create around them, the atmosphere and environment where the seed of natural inclination in them could germinate into fruitful life career. Be deliberate in scanning the environments for available opportunities for your child’s career development even at their tender age. Be actively engaged in preparing them to qualify for those opportunities.


Most people are quick to arrogate Bill Gates success to sheer intellectual brilliance or being a genius. Beyond that hypothetic generalization, I probed my repertoire in search of factors that are responsible for raising a billionaire. True to my orientation, the information space is replete with several factors other than sheer brilliance, responsible for raising a superstar child. In the case of this iconic, three times world richest and a philanthropist, Bill Gates, who is also the founder of the tech giant Microsoft, I present a brief highlight of three lessons we could draw from his parents’ efforts. William H. Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates welcomed Bill into the world on October 28th, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Gates Sr. never thought that sometimes in the future, he would be publicly named after his son.



  • Environmental Positioning Intelligence: As a child, Bill’s parents took note of his precociousness, he read, every books and articles in sight with unprecedented understanding. Consequently he was easily bored with his school work, then his parents withdrew him from public school to position him in another environment where he was exposed to a more rigorous learning contents. In a keynote address presented at his former school, Lakeside on September 23, 2005, Bill said, “Dad, you and Mom were right. Lakeside was one of the best things that ever happened to me.” In addition, where they lived was within walking distance of University of Washington where he found opportunities of computer time at nights. While still at high/secondary school, Bill Gates and Paul Allen would go to the University of Washington between 3:00 – 6:00 every morning to practice computer programming. This was in the 1960s when you might not have found any computer terminal in any high school, but Lakeside had one, connected to the time-sharing facility of General Electrics.

    Do you pay attention to your child, to know his/her natural inclination? If you do, it would then be a great move to create around them, the atmosphere and environment where the seed of natural inclination in them could germinate into fruitful life career. Be deliberate in scanning the environments for available opportunities for your child’s career development even at their tender age. Be actively engaged in preparing them to qualify for those opportunities. You may have to make some inconvenient adjustments, do it because it’s going to worth it in a near future.

  • Social Involvement Intelligence: Bill’s mother, Mary Maxwell Gates (1929-1994) was a leader who promoted voluntary services in her local community and across the country. She was a member of the University of Washington Board of reagents for 18 years. Her abiding interest and commitment in ensuring that students’ concerns were addressed was remarkable. Her amiable social involvement both in community and corporate circles connected her to someone that knew someone that knew some executives at IBM and was instrumental in getting Bill Gates his first lucrative contract to develop OS for IBM’s PCs. On the other hand, Bill’s father, William Henry Gates II, born on November 30, 1925(age 91) was a part of Washington Research Foundation, and Tech Alliance, although he was not a science or IT person but a lawyer. He was involved in the Municipal League and a number of Bar Associations. Talking of his father, Bill Gates said, “My dad was concerned about how the community would be a great place. He did so many volunteering. He’s very collaborative, very judicious, and he is serious about learning things…”

    When you are actively involved in influencing your communities positively, you create a ripple effect which your children would inevitably benefit from. In fact, your children would watch you and learn social values. As your attitude rubs off on them, you indirectly inculcate in them the skills for engaging social circles and penchant for community prosperity which are indispensable keys in individual fulfilment. The first computer system that Bill Gates fiddled with in Lakeside school was donated by a community association known as the Mothers Club. The people management skill with which Bill dealt with older employees at Microsoft was not learnt in the classroom, it was primarily from his parents. That is social involvement intelligence! Get involved. Be concerned. Collaborate with others to do things for the progress of your immediate or remote communities. That’s another lesson to learn from a billionaire’s parents.

  • Financial Involvement Intelligence: Bill Gates’ Dad spoke of a family value promoted by his Mum Mary Gates. That value was derived from Luke chapter 4, “to whom much is given, much is also expected.” As a result, philanthropy runs in the family. Little wonder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a towering organization in that industry. Mr. & Mrs. Gates Sr. were incurably involved in charitable giving through numerous channels in their life time. There is something about the people who are not scared of running out of money due to their charity giving, they keep having more.

    If God has given us much in form of talented children, it behooves us to know how to commit financial resources to their development. This should not be limited to our biological children alone but every child in the community, who could become the next Bill Gates, given the required opportunity. Amassing wealth for your personal aggrandizement is an enemy of financial freedom. It keeps you restricted from and blinded to the opportunities for making more money for usage on higher purposes.

Inferring from the foregoing, intellectual brilliance is seldom the only form of intelligence required for raising a billionaire, environmental positioning, sociological factor, astute financial disposition and the likes are indispensable components in achieving this feat.

I hope you found this helpful.

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1 comment on “Three Lessons From Bill Gates’ Parents”

  1. Omolara Reply

    This mind blowing and educative. It is psychologically effective in raising a proper child. It is a must read for every parent and guardian. May God help us raise children in the way they should go , Amen!. Thank you Seyidipo for the enlightenment.

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