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Leadership the Steve Jobs Way

March 20, 2012

Here is a summary of a recent HBR article that I think does a great job of outlining Steve Jobs’ leadership secrets.

He was not perfect (are any of us?) and was clearly a very difficult boss. But in reading Isaacson’s biography of Jobs it’s clear that many of those who worked for Jobs would likely do so again if given the opportunity. That to me is a clear sign of someone’s leadership.

Here is a list of the high level characteristics. A link to the article is at the bottom of this post:

(1) Focus – one that is difficult for me but so very important.

(2) Simplify – he says you have to go very deep to effectively simplify. I believe this to be very true with the most successful and effective (eight word or less) vision statements. You have to go deep into strategic planning before concluding with an effective vision.

(3) Take responsibility end to end. Very few people do this.

(4) When behind leapfrog. I think laser focus is required to successfully leapfrog.

(5) Put products before profits.

(6) Don’t be a slave to focus groups. I really enjoy the Henry Ford quote, “If I had asked customers what they wanted they would have said, ‘A faster horse.'”

(7) Bend reality – this was one of his key tools to getting the most out of people.

(8) Impute.

(9) Push for perfection. I find this interesting. Particularly in technology where businesses focus on shipping their minimum viable product in order to get real life customer feedback and then improve, ship, improve, ship.

(10) Tolerate only ‘A’ players. I think this comes directly from passion. If you’re passionate about what you do then you’re already a long way toward setting yourself up to be an ‘A’ player. Conversely, I don’t believe you can be the best at something without being totally passionate about it.

(11) Engage face-to-face. I couldn’t agree more!

(12) Combine humanities with the Sciences.

(13) Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Enjoy the article: http://hbr.org/2012/04/the-real-leadership-lessons-of-steve-jobs/ar/1

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