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Bill Gates Reveals His Biggest Weakness and Teaches a Valuable Lesson in Leadership

Bill Gates Reveals His Biggest Weakness and Teaches a Valuable Lesson in Leadership

Ambition and vision are important. But they're not everything.

You have to hand it to Bill and Melinda Gates. As billionaires, sitting down for an hour long, unfiltered Q&A session with an auditorium full of debt-burdened college students took some guts.

But sit down they did, and answered even the toughest questions with honesty and authenticity.

One of the questions Bill faced in the session, held in February at CUNY's Hunter College was about his biggest weakness when it comes to running a business.

His Achilles' heel? "Dealing with the hiring issues and the management issues... how we were going to build up the team."

To hear that from the founder of a company that now employs over 100,000 people is staggering. It also reveals an important truth about leadership.

Building the right team is just as important as having the right vision.

Having a great vision is the first step. But you can't excel at every skill needed to bring your vision to life, even if your day wasn't constrained to a mere 24 hours.

You need a good team around you.

Plus, if you hire the right people, the breadth of experiences and creativity they bring to the table will help you hone your vision -- then break it down into strategies and tactics to pursue.

Different problem-solving approaches and backgrounds inform how people arrive at solutions, and lead to a better product or service.

If your team has a balanced representation of genders, ethnicities, and other attributes, you've got a fighting chance at being surrounded by diverse ways of thinking.

But let's say that, like Gates, you struggle with recruiting, interviewing, and people management in general. In that case, hiring someone to lead the rest of the hiring should be your first move -- you'll already be ahead of the game compared to where Gates was.

What if you can't hire someone to do the hiring?