Postcards

How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Power Point: Embrace difficulty

October 8, 2008: 11:54 PM ET

"We like difficult."

- Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explaining why she and her husband -- who is no longer full-time at Microsoft (MSFT) -- chose to tackle the world's most intractable problems. These problems include U.S. education. Click here to watch a video highlight of my interview with Melinda Gates last week at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. She and Bill initially were "naive," she says, believing that if they invested in 10% of schools across the U.S., they'd make major strides in fixing education. Wrong. The Gates Foundation now puts its billions to work not just in schools but in education at the district, state and national levels. I profiled Melinda Gates in a Fortune cover story in January -- her first-ever profile. Click here to read more about Melinda and Bill and their partner in giving away billions, Warren Buffett.

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About This Author
Pattie Sellers
Pattie Sellers
Senior Editor at Large, Fortune
Executive Director of MPW/Live Content, Time Inc.

Pattie Sellers has written more than 20 Fortune cover stories including "Marissa Mayer: Ready to Rumble at Yahoo," "Muhtar Kent's New Coke," "Oprah's Next Act", "The $100 Billion Woman" (Melinda Gates), and "Gone with the Wind" (Ted Turner). She co-founded Fortune Most Powerful Women and oversees the Fortune MPW Summit, the preeminent gathering of women leaders in business and beyond—and programs such as Fortune MPW Entrepreneurs and the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Pattie also develops Live Content across Time Inc. Her blog, Postcards, is about how power players lead and navigate their careers. Pattie won Time Inc.'s prestigious MVP award for her performance in 2012.

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