After watching the latest trailer of the Steve Jobs movie, I can’t wait to watch it.
I know what you are thinking. “Another Steve Jobs movie?”
Yes, I can hear you groan. There has been no shortage of books, movies & documentaries on Steve Jobs. However, I am willing to bet that this latest one will better.
Aaron Sorkin & Danny Boyle have a history of making good movies – so I know it will be good (keeping fingers crossed).
I heard about the movie early this year. The movie was inspired by Steve Jobs’s biography by Walter Isaacson.
So I decided to read the book. To be frank, it was one of the well-written biographies I have read.
I must admit I am not an Apple fan per se. They make great products; I agree – but I would rather pay for the same technology at a better value somewhere else ie. Google, Microsoft. (And I have an Indian background- so I am cheap).
However, one thing that strikes me about Apple is the leadership lessons I have learned from Steve Jobs. Like him or dislike him – but you will agree that he was one of the most influential visionaries of the last few decades.
Many industries – publishing, music, animated movies, phones were revived because of Steve Jobs and his leadership.
Here are some of the key Leadership lessons that I have learned from reading Steve Jobs’ biography.
1. Have a Strong Sense of Purpose
“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” – Steve Jobs to John Sculley
This is what Steve Jobs told former Apple CEO John Sculley to lure him to come work for Apple. “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” – Steve Jobs to John Sculley
At that time Sculley was working at Pepsi. In the book, it is revealed how hard Steve Jobs was trying to win him over as the new CEO of Apple. Jobs finally sealed the deal by asking this question. When someone asks a question like that, it is hard to refuse such a compelling vision.
Right from the moment, Apple was created, Steve Jobs’ vision was not to just sell computers – but to allow every person to improve their lives.
One thing you will read in any Leadership book is about the power of vision. Having a strong vision is important whether you are a leader or not. A vision gives provides you a strong pull towards the future.
However, having a strong sense of purpose magnifies your commitment to what you are doing even stronger. It becomes a sort of calling.
Right from the beginning Jobs inspired his early employees to build things that their customers would love to own. He wanted the computer (Mac) to be an extension of the end-user. So, the customers can feel a stronger connection to the product.
This strong sense of purpose was what propelled the so-called digital revolution that we experience today. There was a point where the computer was a privilege for the select few – Government, military, and universities that could afford it. Today almost everyone in the uses some type of computer.
As a leader, it is imperative to have a stronger sense of purpose. Our companies must have an underlying sense of purpose. Being able to change our customers’ lives is more motivating than just showing profits on the balance sheet. People are more excited to work for a leader who imbibes that sense of purpose onto them.
2. Attention to the Detail
“But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion, and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.” -Vic Gundotra, VP Engineering at Google
3. Set Very High Standards
“You know, making a product is hard but making a team that can continually make products is even harder. The product I’m most proud of is Apple and the team I built at Apple.” – Steve Jobs to Walter Isaacson
4. Keep It Simple
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Apple’s First Marketing Brochure in 1997
- Steve Jobs’ Seven Key Decisions
- How Steve Jobs’ Love of Simplicity Fueled A Design Revolution
- 5 Surprising Insights about Steve Jobs’ Management Style
- Walter Isaacson: Steve Jobs’ Favorite Product was the Team He Built at Apple
- A former Apple employee describes what it was like to work on the design team under Steve Jobs
- The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs
- Steve Jobs called Google’s Vic Gundotra on a Sunday About this Icon
What are some of the other leadership or management lessons you have learned from Steve Jobs?
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