Walter Isaacson reveals Steve Jobs' 14 management lessons - The Mac Observer (2023)

autor Bryan Chaffin

(Video) From the 60 Minutes Archive: Steve Jobs

Writing for the April edition of the magazineHarvard Business Review, has biographer Walter Isaacsonwrote a pieceA look at Steve Jobs' "real leadership lessons." Mr. Isaacson, author of the bookSteve Jobs, used a 6,824-word essay to break down this biography into the most important and salient aspects of Steve Jobs as a leader, for those who may have missed the message throughout the book.

Walter Isaacson reveals Steve Jobs' 14 management lessons - The Mac Observer (1)

Walter Isaacson or Steve Jobs
Image credit for Walter Isaacson photo:JD Wiesel

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"In the months since my biography of Jobs was published, countless commentators have tried to extract management lessons from it," Isaacson wrote. "Some of these readers have been insightful, but I think many of them (especially those without entrepreneurial experience) focus too much on the rough edges of his personality."

Isaacson pointed out that leaders who decide that the path to greatness is to be an idiot (like Steve) are missing the point. He verbally asserts that the "angles" of Mr. Jobs' personality are only part of the equation. More importantly, the biggest part of the equation is having a vision and the skills to back it up.

He shared his observations about mr. Jobs and his leadership in 14 different categories. Some of these categories may be more closely related to business models than management styles, but all should be researched by those who wish to learn from Steve Jobs' achievements.

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  • Concentration- In that partSteve JobsWalter Isaacson, focusing on his return to Apple and the last major phase of his business life, has written extensively about Mr. Jobs' ability to focus on unnecessary products, services, marketing, packaging, and even buttons on Apple (and Pixar) products. .

    In this section of his essay, he cites several specific examples of this, including Steve Jobs' meeting with Google CEO Larry Page, where he told the Googler that his company was in danger of becoming like Microsoft because it lacked focus.

  • Simplify- We can't think of any other company that has managed to simplify the user experience like Apple, and this is the bulk of Mr. Isaacson's essay. He gives examples of how Apple is simplifying its devices and software, noting that one of the tasks Mr. Jobs gave his managers was to find industries that were "ripe for disruption" because it made products and services for complex ones (eg, MP3s). player of the year 2000).
  • Take responsibility from end to end- This is one of the categories that is best considered a business model, as Mr. Isaacson represents Steve Jobs' preferred model for controlling the entire widget. Few companies do this today, and none in the computer industry. It's an uphill battle, but we'd love to see Apple compete in this area.
  • How can you be left behind, Leapfrog- Steve Jobs was horrified to realize that Apple had missed out on recording (music) CDs with his original iMac. According to Isaacson, his solution was to overtake the iPod and iTunes competition. The key lesson here is that managers shouldn't think about catching up (that's advice Apple's competitors need to heed today), but instead should outperform the competition.
  • Put products before profits- We believe that this is probably the most difficult lesson for business. Steve Jobs, then-COO and now-CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer have all spoken at length about how Apple's philosophy is to focus on making great products, and as a result, profits will take care of themselves. Salespeople and accountants focus more on profits than products, and Jobs believed that this was a recipe for mediocrity.
  • Don't be a slave to focus groups- When Steve Jobs was asked by a member of the original Mac development team if they should do something in a focus group, Mr. Jobs said, "No, because customers don't know what they want until we show them."

    It's good advice, but it takes a person of extraordinary vision to implement it. By definition, few people have extraordinary vision.

  • Bend reality- Another consistent point in Mr. Isaacson's book says that the people around Steve Jobs achieved great things - often things they did themselves.knewit was not possible - simply because Steve Jobs thought otherwise. It's amazing and we wonder how long it will be until we see someone who can do the same.
  • subordinate- Another way to think about this category is to make the cover really important (for young people reading this, we mean 'books' - look it up). Steve Jobs was obsessed with packaging and presentation, and this is another important lesson Mr. Isaacson's Essay.
  • Strive for perfection- Then Mac vs. Windows was the platform war that mattered, that we were inMac watcherIt is often and loudly argued that what separates Apple from the competition is that the problem with the Windows world is that it has settled for "good enough". In this section Mr. Isaacson that Steve Jobs' pursuit of perfection is the main reason why he was so successful.
  • Tolerates only "A" players- Here is the crux of the matter of Steve Jobs and his "crudeness". According to Mr. Jobs' brutal honesty (and often rudeness) was one of the ways he prevented the "B players" from gaining a foothold at Apple. In the book Mr. Isaacson writes extensively on the subject, but the main lesson is that this very madness had, at least to some extent, method.
  • Get involved in person- Let's boil this section down to the essentials: meet in person if possible and don't try to collaborate via email.
  • Get to know the bigger picture and the details- Here we have something else that we think makes Steve Jobs something special. He had great vision and the ability to focus on the smallest details that he felt were important. Good luck to anyone who wants to emulate that.
  • Combine the humanities with the natural sciences- Mr. Isaacson mentions an overarching ideal alongside this category. He claims that Mr. Jobs focused on the idea of ​​merging the humanities with science and identifies this concept as a key factor in why Apple and its products are so great.
  • get hungry get stupid- In this category Mr. Isaacson to set the record straight by talking about Steve Jobs' discovery of the bibliographic record and how he played a role in managing it throughout his life.

The short version of all this is: if you think you can achieve the success of Steve Jobs just by being a jerk to people, you are seriously mistaken. It is true that the formula that made Mr. Such successful businesses are so complex that it is not easy to repeat them.

(Video) The Innovators | Walter Isaacson | Talks at Google

Walter Isaacson had more access to Steve Jobs than anyone other than his executives and family, but unlike those executives and family, his access was as an observer, not a participant.

Whether you love Apple products or think using them is a sign of an idiot, a fool, a loser, or worse, the man who started the company is a once-in-a-generation leader like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and perhaps even more so Leonardo da Vinci. This includes both his size and his character flaws.

Business schools and academics, businesses, and probably even governments, will be studying Steve Jobs and Mr. Isaacson's thoughts for years.Harvard Business Revieware good places to examine how and why he was so good at what he did.

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What are the leadership lessons of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson? ›

In this essay Isaacson describes the 14 imperatives behind Jobs's approach: focus; simplify; take responsibility end to end; when behind, leapfrog; put products before profits; don't be a slave to focus groups; bend reality; impute; push for perfection; know both the big picture and the details; tolerate only "A" ...

What are the leadership qualities of Steve Jobs and bring out how his leadership embodies the nature and elements of leadership? ›

'Steve Jobs' leadership style was autocratic; he had a meticulous eye for detail, and surrounded himself with like-minded people to follow his lead. ' His creative awareness, his 'meticulous eye for detail', was clearly a driving force in Apple's success.

What did Steve Jobs say about hiring employees? ›

Steve Jobs said, “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Hiring smart people will make your organization stronger and more innovative.

What were Steve Jobs weaknesses? ›

Yes, he could be rude, unreasonable, fickle, and arrogant. He even took credit for others' ideas. The list of his weaknesses is quite long.

What is one of the important lesson from Steve Jobs speech? ›

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

What does Steve Jobs say about leadership? ›

Steve Jobs' innovative leadership style

Great things in business are never done by one person; they're done by a team of people.” [Read our tips on improving the hiring process.] At the same time, Jobs knew he had to be the best leader possible to his teams.

What theory of leadership best describes Steve Jobs? ›

In terms of the more academic leadership styles, Steve Jobs' approach is best defined as autocratic. He had a “my way or the highway” approach to leadership, and he believed that he was solely responsible for the decisions and direction of his team.

What are the best leadership qualities of Steve Jobs? ›

Two, despite the observations of some about Mr. Jobs' arrogant style, I believe that he had at least three qualities that great executive leaders have: a clear vision, a passion for the company and its people, and an ability to inspire trust. This is what I would consider his leadership character.

What were Steve Jobs core values? ›

“Apple at the core – its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.” “That's what we believe. And we had the opportunity to work with people like that.

How did Steve Jobs treat his employees? ›

He created resentment among employees by turning some into stars and insulting others, often reducing them to tears. Mr. Jobs himself would frequently cry after fights with fellow executives".

How did Steve Jobs motivate his employees? ›

He directed efforts of others through tasks and structures. Steve influenced his employees with a strong desire for hard work, shared passion, and clear vision. Jobs was driven by his desire to create great products as opposed to what the customers thought they wanted.

What is the most ignored advice from Steve Jobs? ›

There are countless dots out there to connect, but if you are looking in the same places as everyone else, you're going to end up being just like everyone else.

What made Steve Jobs a bad leader? ›

Steve Jobs was a known bully and would often fly off the handle at those under him. He would publicly question the intelligence of anyone he found fault with. Steve would snap and bark at those under him, park in handicap spaces, flaunt the rules and more…

What was the dark side of Steve Jobs leadership? ›

And even after he had cleaned up his personal appearance, Jobs would have never tolerated going through a formal assessment process. His rebelliousness, hostility to authority, and impatience would have caused him to reject the process outright and see the assessors as bozos and the company as *&it.

What made Steve Jobs successful? ›

Some of his personal traits that enabled him to achieve success in his career were focus, passion and his exceptional imagination. Besides, his communication skills were amazing because he could entertain, inform and inspire his audience at the same time.

What is the most important thing about Steve Jobs? ›

Steve Jobs was a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer era. With Steve Wozniak, Jobs founded Apple Inc. in 1976 and transformed the company into a world leader in telecommunications. Widely considered a visionary and a genius, he oversaw the launch of such revolutionary products as the iPod and the iPhone.

What lessons do you believe our society can learn from Steve Jobs? ›

With yet another Steve Jobs film hitting cinemas, we've gathered some of his best career lessons.
  • Love what you do. Steve Jobs was successful because he worked hard, and he worked hard because he loved his work. ...
  • Give it time. ...
  • Surround yourself with the best. ...
  • Design is key. ...
  • Push for more. ...
  • Over-prepare. ...
  • Learn from your failures.

What was Steve Jobs personality type? ›

As an ENTJ, Steve tends to be charismatic, direct, and logical. Steve likely enjoys taking charge, working to achieve goals, and encouraging growth from others.

How did Steve Jobs impact the world? ›

Jobs's innovations made a profound impact. He redefined computing, enhancing the user experience, and created products and services loved by millions around the world. He reshaped the music industry with the iPod, the mobile phone industry with the iPhone, and the movie industry with Pixar Animation Studios.

Is Steve Jobs a situational leader? ›

Apple co-founder and chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios, Steve Jobs, is one of the most influential situational leaders. He had the knack for foreseeing trends. And, he is one of the leaders behind the technological evolution that we see today.

Why Steve Jobs is a transformational leader? ›

The results of our analysis show that people remembered Jobs as a leader per se, and that they ascribed at least three attributes to him that are commonly associated with transformational leaders: “creative,” “visionary,” and “passionate.” Indeed, Jobs' eye for design, his ability to imagine new products and ways of ...

What is a theory that sees leadership? ›

The Great Man Theory believes that the inherent traits that one is born with contribute to great leadership. Situational Theory recommends leaders to adopt a leadership style depending on the situation at hand, while the Behavioral Theory is all about the learning the skills necessary to become a good leader.

What trait theory says about leadership? ›

The trait theory of leadership suggests that certain inborn or innate qualities and characteristics make someone a leader. These qualities might be personality factors, physical factors, intelligence factors, and so on.

What are 3 positive qualities of Steve Jobs? ›

Steve Jobs was proactive and thrived on setting goals and working hard. He was determined, ambitious, self-motivated, energetic and enterprising, spearheading companies like Apple, NEXT & Pixar.

Was Steve Jobs an ethical leader? ›

Apple Company has remained a successful company under the leadership of Steve Jobs due to his charismatic ethical leadership that enabled him to motivate employees.

Who is greatest leader in the world? ›

Top 40 Famous World Leaders in History
  • Mahatma Gandhi. India, 1869-1948. ...
  • Vladimir Lenin. Soviet Union, 1870-1924. ...
  • Winston Churchill. United Kingdom, 1874-1965. ...
  • Joseph Stalin. Soviet Union, 1878-1953. ...
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt. ...
  • Benito Mussolini. Italy, 1883-1945. ...
  • Adolf Hitler. Germany, 1885-1945. ...
  • Mao Zedong. China, 1893-1976.
Jan 6, 2023

What was Steve Jobs main goal? ›

Jobs' goal when he re-joined Apple was to make the company he founded successful. But that goal only mattered in that it informed his work: Building beautiful products that solved problems, made people's lives better and easier, and (not coincidentally) made money.

What is Steve Jobs most proud of? ›

If you don't already know then Jobs' reply may surprise you. He said that he was 'most proud of his team – The Apple Team – that had created award-winning products time and again. '

What did Bill Gates say about Steve Jobs? ›

Gates later shared that he was jealous of Jobs, saying in an interview with Armchair Expert: "He was such a wizard at over-motivating people⁠—I was a minor wizard so I couldn't fall under his spells⁠—but I could see him casting the spells, and then I would look at people and see them mesmerised. "I was so jealous."

What was Steve Jobs suffering from? ›

The untimely death of Steve Jobs from pancreatic cancer at the age of 56 in October 2011 was highly publicized (Kane and Fowler, 2011; Markoff, 2011).

What was Steve Jobs IQ? ›

"Steve Jobs likely had an IQ roughly 160 or above. In Walter Isaacson's biography, near the end of 4th grade, Jobs was tested. Jobs said: 'I scored at the high school sophomore level. ' This means he was a 4th grader performing at the 10th grade level.

What is the arrogance of Steve Jobs? ›

There are countless examples of Steve Jobs's dismissive, arrogant and condescending behavior, due in part to his attitude of not caring what other people thought. He would ask flabbergasting personal questions in interviews to intentionally put prospective employees under stress; he would fire people without warning.

What was Steve Jobs best decision? ›

But the biggest and best decision that Jobs took was to change the focus of the company from being a computer manufacturer to being a consumer products company. Looking back on his history, it's no surprise that he was capable of making such a move. At NeXT, he eventually went from selling hardware to selling software.

Which company rejected Steve Jobs? ›

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston famously turned down Steve Jobs when Jobs offered to acquire the company. After the rejection, Jobs not-so-subtly implied that he'd have to put Dropbox out of business instead.

What did Bill Gates think of Steve Jobs death? ›

I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

Who is the most powerful person in the world Steve Jobs? ›

Steve Jobs once said, “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.

Was Steve Jobs emotionally intelligent? ›

It was Steve Jobs remarkable emotional intelligence that helped him truly figure out people and what made them tick. He was able to do it effectively and negotiate most situations to his benefit (Chauhan, 2021).

Was Steve Jobs an honest person? ›

Steve Jobs was legendary for a lot of things -- one was the value he placed on brutal honesty. That translated not only into him being sometimes painfully honest with those who worked for him. It also meant he demanded others tell him the unvarnished truth about what was going wrong at the companies where he worked.

What is the difference between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs leadership style? ›

Differences between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs offers an autocratic leadership style while Bill Gates applies a democratic and participatory leadership style. Steve Jobs's leadership style is described to be harsh; he is an authoritarian, a dictator, who solely takes decisions.

Which one of Steve Jobs motto was think differently? ›

Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they're not fond of rules

What are the components of Steve Jobs leadership? ›

Jobs' arrogant style, I believe that he had at least three qualities that great executive leaders have: a clear vision, a passion for the company and its people, and an ability to inspire trust. This is what I would consider his leadership character.

What is the theme of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson? ›

Theme of the biography was focus in what you believe in.Jobs had spent most of life just focusing on building to help people find the combination between the arts and technology of it all.

What are the three important stories from the life of Steve Jobs? ›

A drop out himself, his talk comprised of three stories from his life divided into his accidental adoption, his love for his job and ouster from Apple and ultimately being diagnosed with cancer. In between, he speaks extensively about what helped him survive it all: an enduring love for what one does.

What leadership lessons can business leaders draw from Captain Cool? ›

Leadership Lessons From Captain Cool
  • The Art Of Staying Calm.
  • Humility In The Face Of Both Victory & Defeat.
  • Learning From & About The Competition.
  • Leading From The Front.

What are the 4 elements of leadership? ›

People. Progress., nearly 300 C-level business leaders across the globe cite, 'leaders who lead by example,' 'clear purpose,' 'clear communication,' and 'trust' as key elements that influence highly effective workplace cultures. These four elements, when strengthened, build effective leadership skills.

What is the summary of Steve Jobs speech? ›

Jobs' speech followed three stories from his life: one, in which he tells an anecdote about dropping out of college; another, about the lessons he learned from being fired by Apple in 1985; and lastly, his reflections on death.

What is the summary of Steve Jobs first story? ›

In the first story, Steve jobs talked about his adoption and his college life at Reed College. He started out talking about how he dropped out of college after six months. Then, stayed around as a drop in for about eighteen months before he actually quit.

What is the character analysis of Steve Jobs? ›

Charismatic attitude, passionate demeanor, risk-taking temperament, and non-traditional conducts define Steve Jobs' personality who lived from 24 February 1955 to 5 October 2011. His work has often exhibited his fidelity towards his work.

What are the three life lessons that Steve Jobs gives to the students through his speech justify your answer with the examples from the speech in not more than 250 words? ›

  • 3 Life Lessons from Steve Jobs. Next time you are not sure what to do with your life, listen to Steve Jobs for 15 minutes. ...
  • Follow your heart. “Dropping out of college was one of the best decisions I've ever made.” ...
  • You've got to find what you love. ...
  • You have nothing to lose.
Feb 5, 2019

What are the 3 things Steve Jobs said about the first iPhone? ›

Jobs famously described the ‌iPhone‌ as an iPod with touch controls, a phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device, three distinct areas that no device at the time managed to tackle all at once.

What life lessons can one learn from Jobs third story? ›

The Steve Jobs Archive: 3 Key Lessons From the Inspirational Writings of Apple's Co-Founder
  • Be grateful for those around you. ...
  • Make mistakes, then keep working. ...
  • Don't lose your beginner mentality.
Sep 9, 2022

What are the 7 characteristics of leadership from the captain class? ›

Walker thinks there are seven traits they all have in common, and they are remarkably close to the language we use to talk about leadership in the army: Doggedness, rule-bending, servant leadership, communication, moral courage and emotional control.

What makes a captain a good leader? ›

Major Point: Captains embody 3 C's in leading their team: Caring, Courageous, and Consistent. Being named a team captain is quite the honor. The position of captain is given to those athletes whom the rest of the team respect and trust to lead the team in the right direction.

What are the core traits of successful leaders? ›

A good leader should have integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, empathy, and gratitude. They should be learning agile and flex their influence while communicating and delegating effectively. See how these key leadership qualities can be learned and improved at all levels of your organization.


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