Micheal Dell Transformational Leadership


Michael Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell computer corporation that is the world’s largest direct computer company. He is also the youngest person ever to head a Fortune 500 firm.  Michael Dell founded DELL in 1984, and currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer.

In 1998, Mr. Dell formed MSD Capital, and he currently serves on the boards of several organizations including the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, the executive committee of the International Business Council and is a member of the U.S. Business Council, the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Technology CEO Council and the governing board of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India.

His Skills

1.    Visionary

Micheal Dell saw great opportunity to provide computing technology in a more efficient way. That was the core idea of what became Dell Computer Corporation. He started the business with a simple question “How can we make the process of buying a computer better?”

2.    Internal Locus of control and Ability to Learn

“One of the first things I learned, though, was that there was a relationship between screwing up and learning: the more mistakes I made, the faster I learned.” Micheal Dell

3.    Change-Oriented Behavior

Micheal Dell did care for neither only people nor only task, he cared for both.
He did not build the business solely on cost or price but also on a sustainable advantage. He cared most for sustaining loyalty among customers and employees, which, as he thought, could only be derived from having the highest level of service and very high-performing products engaging the entire company – from manufacturing to engineering to sales and to support staff – in the process of understanding customer requirements which then became a permanent focus of management energy, training, and employee education.”

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4.    Downward Consultation

Micheal Dell practiced downward consultation; he always gathered opinions about “What is the right plan?” where believed that it’s the one that helps identify what DELL needs to do to ensure success. It’s the one that rallies DELL employees around a few common goals – and motivates them to achieve those goals. It’s one that involves your customers’ goals and DELL’s suppliers’ goals and brings them all together in a unified focus.

5.    Develop and train People        


Micheal Dell knew that employees at every level can help DELL implement its company strategy and achieve goals beyond their immediate area of responsibility, but only if DELL is genuinely devoted to their long-term growth and development.

 6.    Action Oriented Leader

Micheal Dell believed that planning is nothing without execution. He thought respected planning but yet believed that outputs is what generates profits.

What Made Micheal Dell a Successful Leader

He knew his goal clearly and steadly focused on it. When he was in college, Michael Dell stated that he wanted to beat IBM. In the following years, he started his own business and constantly achieved his goal no matter what difficulties he faced .Today, Dell Company revenues are about $ 7.8 billion a year. He has passed IBM in annual sales, and is approaching industry leader Compaq.

INNOVATOR he was fond of doing something new and took risks. He worked hard to make them work. He also cherished difference and thought difference can breed innovation. He hired a diverse work force in his teams with different views on problems.

He has full responsibility either for business or for family and keeps good BALANCES between work and life. He worked hard to create great value for customers, employees and shareholders. He spent his spare time with his wife and kids and wanted to be a great dad and a great husband. Every day he drives his kids to school .he always makes pancakes for his kids.

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Michael Dell has a powerful vision for the future and develops unique business’s philosophy. He wants his company to have a supreme speed to market; a solid dedication to customer service; a severe assurance of producing high-quality, low-priced, custom-made machines.

essential change of his leadership composition

In the hyper market competition, Dell realized that he didn’t have all the right skills to change his company into a multi-product, multi-geography. And since he couldn’t manage alone, he should bring in the talent he needed. So, Dell made a decision that he will share his power with his long time partner Kevin Rollins. He developed a new leadership model” one company, two CEO’s”. Although this co-CEO involved a lot of leadership risks, fortunately, they have done well although they had lots of differences.

Micheal Dell Leadership Style

His leadership style belongs to transformational leadership because he has a strong ability and desire to break up laws and to change situation completely, and he also has ability to create something new and benefit himself and others.

Leadership is about coping with changes. More change always demands more leadership. And since the computer industry field is surrounded with volatile competition, leaders couldn’t cope with complexity and change very well, they would go bankruptcy. Fortunately, through his transformational leadership, the company can keep up with the changes of the market, and make more and more progress.

He started with nothing , but built a empire and created a fantastic wealth for millions of people. He led his team to create a lot of pioneering activities in the computer industry. He created a low cost, mail order model to sell computers, and helped more and more people realize the power of computing and the internet; he has a good self conscious of his disadvantages, and he knows what he doesn’t know. He has a strong moral responsibility for business and family, and keeps a good balance between life and work. He created a new image of young entrepreneur.

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Lessons Learned

  1. A successful leader must have clear goal and powerful vision for the future. He must use his entrepreneur personality to motivate people, communicate with them and influence his followers. He should be able to transform his personal goal and vision into all followers’ practice.
  2. A successful leader must be an innovator. He must be a flexible open mided person who respects difference and encourage his followers to have different ideas and different solutions.
  3.  He should have ability to handle change and extract opportunities from it.
  4. A successful leader must be courageous; he should have courage to take risks of doing new things and should be eager to pioneer in his field.
  5. A successful leader must have strong self conscious. He must admit and identify what he doesn’t know and face it. He should learn from mistakes and acquire talents he needs.
  6. A successful leader must have high ethical responsibility for both business and private life. He should keep good balance among them.

The vision makes Dell computer successful and unique in the world. What is more, Micheal Dell knows how to use the vision to communicate and motivate his employees and get people excited about what he is doing. Dell says  “A lot of businesses get off track because they don’t communicate an excitement”


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