Management is a set of activities directed at an organization's resources with the aim of achieving organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner. The first function of management is planning and decision making. Planning is setting and organization's goals and deciding how best to achieve them. Decision making is part of the planing process that involves selecting a course of action from a set of alternatives. Bill Gates used this by first deciding what business to initiate, then what software to develop. The second function of management is organizing. This is defined and the grouping of activities and resources in a logical fashion. This included whom Gates chose to start the business with and with what capital they used. The third management function is leading. This is the set of processes used to get members of the organization to work together to achieve the goals of the organization. Gates fosters communication throughout the organization and stresses the need to keep the firm lean and nimble, always wanting to avoid the bureaucratic procedures that saddle many big companies. The final function is controlling, or monitoring organizational progress toward goal attainment. This is done by keeping a close eye on the bottom line at all times and closely analyzing monthly and quarterly sales reports.
Managers have ten basic roles to play: three interpersonal roles (figurehead, leader, and liaison); three informational roles (monitor, disseminator, and spokesperson); and four decisional roles (entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator). In many ways, Gates' biggest role at Microsoft today is as its public persona. He appears at all major news conferences, makes all major announcements, and travels extensively to keep in touch with suppliers, computer manufacturers, customers, strategic allies, and government officials. He typically works sixteen hours a day, and seldom takes any time off.