Steve Paul Jobs, such his full name, perhaps never imagined the global impact generated by being a leading entrepreneur in the computer world: he was the creator of sophisticated and easy-to-use products, the founder of Apple, a world leader in its sector.
His different biographies put a thick emphasis on his character and the way he leads. Everyone recognizes him for having had visionary ideas, which made momentous contributions in the field of personal computers, cell phones, and music in digital format.
Undoubtedly, like all great minds, it is loved and hated in the same proportion. Bill Gates, his Microsoft competitor, once noted his admiration for the way of telling and creating empathy between the person (Jobs) and the products through their presentations; and many of those who worked alongside him at Apple in those years remember him as a true genius.
As a legacy, in addition to his products, he left thirteen practical leadership lessons that emerge from his business experience:
1 – Beam focus: Eliminate distractions. After he was fired from his own company, Steve Jobs returned and one of the first decisions he made was to cut projects and leave only the priority four. He said, “Let’s do four things and do them spectacularly well.”
2 – Simplify everything. In today’s world, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Optimize resources and value the essential; leave the superfluous.
3 – Take responsibility. If you lead, you are responsible for the entire process; so much so that Apple always created products that, in general, are not directly compatible with other brands; It argued that it was the only way to take full responsibility for the process, flow, operation, and experience of each user.
4 – If you fall behind, jump forward. Mac computers didn’t come with CD recorders, which its Windows competitor Microsoft did. Jobs and his team went ahead by creating iTunes, a multi-device storage system that changed the music industry.
5 – Think first of the products, before the profits. The origin of every great idea is the idea itself, and the money will come in addition. Steve said, “Focus on creating a great product, the benefits will follow.”
6 – Focus Group just there. At one point, Jobs claimed that he felt a bit enslaved by product review groups. And then his famous phrase emerged: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” The human mind tends to immediately associate with its previous experience. Without disregarding market research, if you just stick to that you will be doing more of the same, that is, what people know.
7 – Distort reality to knock down the impossible in your life. Once Jobs was with Woz (Stephen Gary Wozniak), co-founder of Apple, who forced him to break with something that seemed impossible: “Do you need 6 months to develop that? You can do it in 4 days! ”. And Woz did it. This means that mental models and self-imposed limits are often the greatest impediments to leaders.
8 – Transmits permanently. Everything communicates and adds value, or not. In the case of Apple products, the experience is transmitted from the moment the consumer yearns to have your product; packaging – design pieces themselves – and even typefaces and graphic design – something Jobs discovered almost by chance when he dropped out of systems studies at Reeds University and took calligraphy classes, which ended up being Another hallmark of their products: thousands of different letters versus a few that Microsoft offered.
9 – Demand excellence as high as possible. Never less than that. While the concept of perfection that Jobs alluded to is not achieved on this physical plane, he made sure that products were not released until everything is checked and they have gone through all possible controls and tests.
10 – Hire the best for your team. He simply admitted that every project he undertook would not have been successful without the team he had in each case. The key to the leader is knowing how to surround himself with people who are better than him, with more experience in certain fields, and let them shine.
And, to finish, one of his most famous phrases: “Stay hungry, stay foolish. Go for more. Question, Discover, Create. “, an excerpt from the famous speech he gave at Stanford University to the students who admired, perplexed, that thin man, weakened by his illness, and who transmitted to them what he did best: the passion to make his dream come true.
Text by Daniel Colombo. Facilitator and Executive Master Coach specialized in senior management, professionals and teams; mentor and professional communicator; international lecturer; author of 30 books. LinkedIn Top Voice Latin America 2019. Certified Coach Member of John Maxwell Team.