Bill Gates Credits ‘Think Week’ For Success

Was this a holiday or a work trip for Microsoft’s founder?


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • firm believer: a person who feels strongly about something
  • biannual: occurring twice a year
  • innovation: a new invention, product, or idea
  • strategize: to come up with a plan
  • retreat: an escape from everyday life
  • implement: to put into use; to make something happen
  • entrepreneur: a person who takes a risk in order to develop a new idea or business

Bill Gates Credits ‘Think Week’ For Success

Bill Gates is a firm believer in thinking. Many Microsoft innovations came out of his biannual ‘Think Week’ retreats. During these breaks from office life, Gates spent time alone thinking about his company and the of the computer industry. Reading and strategizing were the two main activities that Gates engaged in during his solo retreats. In his quiet time alone, Gates read dozens of papers written by Microsoft employees, and took about how to implement the best ideas. At the end of the week, Gates summarized his thoughts and sent out and reading lists to his executives. He then had follow-up meetings to put plans into action. Gates kept up this tradition for many years, and inspired other entrepreneurs to use a .

Comprehension Questions

  1. What was ‘Think Week’?
  2. What did Gates mainly do on these retreats?
  3. What did Gates do at the end of ‘Think Week’?

Discussion Questions: If you could afford to take a ‘Think Week’ retreat, where would you go and what would you do?

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