Top executives sometimes exhibit peculiar habits.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates has a habit of rocking back and forth in a chair whenever he’s in deep mental concentration.
The more agitated or excited he gets, the harder he rocks. The pace is determined by his interest.
This happened so often during meetings that Microsoft employees started imitating Gates.
A profile piece published in Fortune magazine in 1990 described this scene with Microsoft employees:
“As discussions get animated, they hunch forward, prop their elbows on their knees, and start rocking back and forth in their seats, just like Chairman Bill,” it reads.
An excerpt of Gates’ undergraduate years from author Walter Isaacson’s upcoming book mentions Gates’ rocking habit several times. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen shares his memory of young Gates rocking:
“I can still see him alternately pacing and rocking for long periods before jotting on a yellow legal pad, his fingers stained from a rainbow of felt-tip pens,” said Allen. “Once my simulator was in place and he was able to use the PDP-10, Bill moved to a terminal and peered at his legal pad as he rocked.”
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