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3 Leadership Lessons From Bill and Melinda Gates’ Divorce

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6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


On Monday, in a tweet heard around the world, the Gates announced they would be divorcing. A shocking announcement for those on the outside who only saw the united, impenetrable front that Bill and Melinda displayed to the world.

Bill and Melinda Gates are one of the most successful couples in history. They grew Microsoft, became billionaires, were philanthropists and advocates for all things good in the world. As their story continues to unfold, there are a few potent leadership lessons to be consumed by those following along with the Gates’ story.

Related: Bill Gates Biography

On a personal level, I am incredibly hesitant to write this article as it can be seen as an opportunistic move to capitalize on someone else’s misfortune. While I don’t know Gates personally, as an entrepreneur I’ve idolized Bill for many years and feel a connection. I have nothing but respect for the work that the Gates have done through their foundation and I know that no matter how elegantly the marriage ends, hearts are hurting now. My heart hurts along with them.

Define success for yourselves

When a marriage ends it’s easy to classify it as a failure. After all, if it hasn’t succeeded, it must have failed. At best, this is a lazy analysis.

There is no singular definition of success. What success looks like for one person may be an abject failure for another.

For Bill and Melinda Gates, the success of their marriage is for them to define. Maybe success means having built a happy, stable home for their now-grown children. Or maybe success means having the time freedom to pursue their philanthropic interests as a family.

No matter how the Gates defined the success of their marriage, if they managed to make progress towards their personal desires, then they have succeeded; regardless of how it appears from the outside.

Related: World Will ‘Completely Return to Normal’ by End of 2022, Bill Gates Says

Leaders would do well to learn this lesson too. As you build your business, the ups and downs will come with every day’s work and you may experience others who are quick to label you a failure. If you allow others to define your success (or failure), then expect to feel the soaring highs and crippling lows that come with the accolades or criticisms.

If, on the other hand, you and your team take the time to define success for yourselves then you will be able to ride out those inevitable ups and downs with a sense of confidence, regardless how the setbacks may appear. Success is not determined by public opinion; it’s making progress towards a goal based on your own vision and values.

All partnerships evolve

It’s a hard realization: all partnerships evolve over time. Sometimes that evolution brings people closer together and sometimes it leads to the very difficult decision of ending the partnership.

At the beginning of any great partnership is purpose – the reason two people or organizations come together in the first place. In the case of romance, that purpose may be love, commitment, or the desire for a lifelong partnership. In the case of business, it could be to bring together complementary skills and experiences in order to accomplish something that would not have been possible on one’s own.

Once formed, the partnership hopefully moves the conjoined parties closer to their mutual goals. Ironically, in making progress towards those original goals, it’s not uncommon to gain a new perspective that inspires new and loftier goals. Suddenly, the partnership that at first glance provided a measure of satisfaction and fulfillment now seems insufficient.

Related: Bill Gates Explains Why He’s the Largest Farmland Owner in America

It’s important to realize and accept that all partnerships evolve. Bill and Melinda formed a partnership for a season. Now, as they look forward to the next season, they’re deciding that they’re not the right fit.

Might it be difficult to make the decision to walk away from a long-time partner? Sure. Will it be painful? It could be. When the time is right, however, it’s important to recognize that partnerships have their season and sometimes they must end, for the sake of both parties.

Honesty is key

Knowing when it’s time to unwind yourself from a partnership – whether business or pleasure – can be difficult. Being honest with both people in the relationship is important, but being able to have frank conversations about emotions and expectations is equally as important.

It’s a cliche that honesty and clear communication are the best way to build a strong business partnership. It’s also true in ending relationships. You might be feeling vulnerable and afraid of how they’ll react, but you owe it to yourself and them to have this conversation with honesty and clarity. The truth will come out sooner or later and it’s best to own it and be as direct as possible.

The worst possible outcome is to go nuclear by making it personal, going on the attack, and lobbying accusations. On the other hand, tempering your truth because you don’t want to hurt or offend the other party can be equally detrimental. The truth always comes out and it’s best to be honest as soon as possible so there are no surprises later down the road. 

Best practice is to first figure out what you’re feeling and label it with words. Get curious and explore the deeper ‘why’ behind the feeling – what circumstances led you to feel this way? Then, identify what your needs are and communicate them calmly and clearly to your partner.

You may find that your partner simply didn’t realize this was an issue and they’ll be open to considering your needs. You may also find that you need to make some changes in order for this partnership to work better, or end the relationship altogether.

Regardless of what happens next, if you’re able to communicate authentically with honesty and clarity, it will feel much better than lying, staying silent, or acting out passive-aggressively.

We each have needs and preferences that change throughout the course of our lives and the people who help you fulfill those needs sometimes need a change too. If your partner is not able to meet those needs that are important to you, it might be time for a change.

My heart goes out to the Gates family as they navigate this difficult time and wish them nothing but happiness and success, however they choose to define it, in the days ahead.

 

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Get $50 off Branch Furniture’s Highly Rated Standing Desk

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Plus free shipping, exclusively for Entrepreneur readers.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


Although many of us will be returning to the office fairly soon, living in a post-pandemic world of new norms can also mean having the flexibility to work from home more often than you would have had in years prior. To prepare for this hybrid remote/on-site work culture, commercial-turned-D2C furniture brand Branch is offering $50 off its well-reviewed Standing Desk, along with free shipping, using the exclusive promo code ENTREPRENEUR. Given its $699 list price, that brings your cart total down to $649. 

Scour the web for the best standing desks on the market and you’re guaranteed to find this model listed across a variety of trusted recommendation sites including The Strategist, Apartment Therapy, TechRadar, Good Housekeeping, and Business Insider. And it’s not hard to see why. This standing desk’s minimalist yet sophisticated design gives it a mature look suited for the modern home office. Available with either a woodgrain or white top depending on your aesthetic preference, the Branch Standing Desk’s all-white legs will blend seamlessly into rooms of any color palette, serving as an especially welcome addition to contemporary spaces brimming with natural lighting. 

As well as the ability to hold up to 275 pounds of materials without impacting its lift functionality, the Branch Standing Desk can be raised between 25 and 52 inches. A panel on the front lets you customize the height using a combination of presets and centimeter-level adjustment while a discreet brushed grommet helps to keep cables out of the way in order to maintain a clean-looking workstation. Three-stage columns and leveling feet are in place to support all of this. Perhaps best of all, Branch asserts drink and coffee spills are out of the question, thanks to its Standing Desk’s dual, low-decibel motors, which were created with smooth elevation in mind.

In addition to the Standing Desk by itself, the $50 ENTREPRENEUR coupon code is also applicable to Branch’s Task Package and Ergonomic Package bundles. While the former includes a combination of either the company’s Team Plus Desk or Executive Desk and Task Chair, the latter couples the Team Plus Desk or Executive Desk with an Ergonomic Chair. Whatever your newfound work-from-home needs, Branch has you covered with a deal that could save you the time and money spent shopping around elsewhere.

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Coca-Cola Asks Its Workers to Be ‘Less White’ to Fight Racism

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4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


One of the great challenges that brands face today is to implement inclusion policies and eradicate sexist, elitist and racist practices, both in their internal operation and in the image they project. For this reason, Coca-Cola believed it was convenient for its workers to participate in an anti-racism course to learn to be “less white”.

The seminar entitled ‘Facing Racism’ , given by Robin DiAngelo , was presented through LinkedIn Education publicly, although not free of charge. The company admitted that, in effect, it invited its workers to take the course, but they clarify that it was not mandatory.

Despite its good intentions, Coca-Cola now faces a reputational and image crisis. While the firm viewed the seminar as part of a diversity strategy, the approach to the training was highly controversial.

 

So was the ‘anti-racism’ training

The agenda was laid out by Dr. Karlyn Borysenko , an organizational psychologist working to end the racially divisive ideology of “critical race theory,” according to her Twitter profile.

The course description made it clear that its goal was to guide people to be “less white” , help them “understand what it means to be white” and “challenge what it means to be racist” .

However, on social networks they released some of the slides used in the seminar and the concepts presented left many speechless.

In one of the images you can read: “To be less white is: to be less oppressive, to be less arrogant, to be less trusting, to be less defensive, to be less ignorant, to be more humble, to listen, to believe. , break with apathy and break with white solidarity ” .

Another says that “in the United States and other Western nations, whites are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white .” And they finish with an invitation: “Try to be less white .”

 

 

The reactions were swift

Although the Coca-Cola initiative was applauded by many on social networks, others were upset and have even called for a boycott of the brand.

Internet users point out that Robin DiAngelo’s speech, instead of combating racism, attacks an entire group: people with fair skin. They argue that this approach attributes stereotyped characteristics and behaviors to ‘whites’ based on prejudices.

Based on the slides, Internet users interpret that the course teaches that being white is synonymous with being oppressive, arrogant, confident, defensive, ignorant, arrogant, apathetic and closed-minded. Even a Twitter user highlighted that in the content they “substituted racist for white” , attributing negative characteristics based on skin color.

For its part, Coca-Cola ensures that the material that circulates on social networks “is not a focus of the curriculum of our company,” according to statements collected by Chris Pandolfo of Blaze Public Relations.

“Our Better Together global learning curriculum is part of a plan to help build an inclusive workplace. It is made up of a series of short vignettes, each a few minutes long. The training includes access to LinkedIn Learning on a variety of topics, including diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will continue to refine this curriculum , ”the company added.

For now, the LinkedIn Education platform withdrew the course from its catalog, while the country music singer composed the song “We have to be less white” as a sarcasm, here is the video.

 


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Gifts for mom: 4 ideas that you can buy from WhatsApp for this May 10

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Why not give him a different gift and at the same time support Mexican entrepreneurs who make local products?


3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.


This Monday, May 10, we celebrate Mother’s Day in various Latin American countries and, as every year, it is time to think of a gift that can make the celebration different for Mom and remind her how much you love her.

Why not give him a different gift and at the same time support Mexican entrepreneurs who make local products? WhatsApp gave us some recommendations for you to consent to the queen of your house.

1. Choose something for your personal care

Image: MyCoffee Box via Instagram

We have all turned to flowers for Mother’s Day, but this year we will live again on May 10 amid restrictions due to the health emergency due to COVID-19. That is why you can choose to give mom a different gift so that she can pamper herself at home. For example, the Panalli brand offers products made from honey. On their website you can find everything from skin care kits to scented candles. On the other hand, the Mexican brand MyCoffee Box , offers organic coffee scrubs with a touch of honey and grapefruit to renew the skin.

Get to know the catalog of both businesses through WhatsApp Business:

2. Something that is useful and stylish

Image: Tashi Cerámica via Instagram

Crafts Think about the style that Mom uses both to dress and to decorate her house. Cheél is a brand of reusable fabric bags, while Tashi Cerámica offers handicrafts in a wide variety of colors, designs and shapes.

Check their WhatsApp offers here:

3. Surprise her without spending

Image: Depositphotos.com

We know that financial circumstances this year are still complex, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell Mom how much you love her. You can congratulate him with the WhatsApp tools with photos and videos.

To do it you must:

  1. Select the chat
  2. Click on the camera icon
  3. Select a photo from your gallery or take one right now
  4. Once you are comfortable with the image, use the icons at the top of the screen to add emojis or stickers, text, and use the stylus to make free strokes.

Use your imagination and support local businesses to remind the woman who saw you grow up how much you love her and thank her for her effort.


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