Four Leadership Lessons From Steve Jobs

Posted by adaniels in Blog on October 8, 2012

October 5 marked the first anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death. Eric V. Holtzclaw writes for Inc. magazine about four leadership lessons he learned about the Apple founder after reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of the computing legend:

  • Jobs was “willing to start over”:  Holtzclaw notes that time and again, Jobs would scrap ideas that weren’t quite right. He says that “regrettably, I see the opposite of this with most companies I work with,” in which they will release products even though they have “a known flaw or inferiority.”
  • Jobs kept it simple:  Jobs believed that while simplicity was harder to achieve than complexity, he felt it was worth it. He once rejected a 125-page contract from IBM, saying that it was too complex. IBM rewrote the contract. Holtzclaw says that executives can learn from that in making sure to keep paperwork from being too confusing or complex.
  • Jobs said what he felt:  Not only did Jobs speak his mind, he wasn’t afraid to be a leader, or to be controversial. “You are the boss,” Holtzclaw advises. “You may be the only one who can make your team address the big problems.”
  • Jobs believed others could do great things: Some employers hire sycophants. Jobs hired an “A” team, with superstar employees. And his belief that they could do great things helped spur them on. Holtzclaw says that he adheres to that, saying that “I assume others can do things when given the task until they prove otherwise.”

Written by Lisa Swan

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