Steve Jobs: Ability To Express Ideas For Realisation.
I was reading this master piece titled Steve Jobs: A Leader Who Defied The Rule Book by Shaji Kurian, Asst. Professor, OB, Institute of Finance and International Management, (IFIM), Bangalore and I could not keep it to myself. The beauty of weaving the story of Steve Jobs in a simple yet conclusive language is what I find adorable in this script. Below is an excerpt from the article and am sure you will surely love it.
John Warnock of Adobe, Apple’s biggest software provider, once said, “I don’t know if the previous CEOs at Apple had any effect on that company. We would have meetings with all those CEOs and nothing would happen, no traction, unless the group responsible went for the idea. The energy just dissipated into the organization, where the first person capable to make a decision is the one who makes it. But with Steve, he comes in with a very strong will and you sign up or get out of the way. You have to run Apple that way – very direct, very forceful. You can’t do it casually. When Steve attacks a problem, he attacks it with a vengeance. I think he mellowed during the NeXT years and he’s not so mellow anymore” (Allan, 2000).
Jobs would certainly not have been hailed as an employee-friendly CEO. However, he was great at motivating his core team to achieve the impossible. An indication of this can be seen in the following statement, “My job is not to be easy on people. My jobs is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better”.
Steve was different the way he managed his business. Certainly, his understanding of the technologically possible, combined with a visionary gift helped him to develop his visions and efficiently communicate them to his employees for execution. He knew exactly what he wanted, and never hesitated to communicate the same, at the risk of being blunt. This is quite obvious from the following story.
Mike Evangelist recollects one of his first meetings with Jobs in 2000. This took place just a few months after Apple purchased the American division of Astarte, a German software company where Evangelist was an operations manager. Phil Schiller, Apple’s longtime head of marketing, put Evangelist on a team charged with coming up with ideas for a DVD-burning program that Apple planned to release.
His team went to work creating beautiful mock-ups depicting the perfect interface for the new program. On the appointed day, Evangelist and the rest of the team gathered in the boardroom.
They’d brought page after page of prototype screen shots showing the new program’s various windows and menu options, along with paragraphs of documentation describing how the app would work.
“Then Steve comes in”, Evangelist recalls. “He doesn’t look at any of our work. He picks up a marker and goes over to the whiteboard. He draws a rectangle. ‘Here’s the new application’, he says. ‘It’s got one window. You drag your video into the window.
Then you click the button that says BURN. That’s it. That’s what we’re going to make’”.
“We were dumbfounded”, Evangelist says. This wasn’t how product decisions were made at his old company. Indeed, this isn’t how products are planned anywhere else in the industry.
We know that there are basically two types of organisational leaders – the transactional and the transformational. Transactional leaders are the ones who work with the safety of the status quo. Transformational leaders strive with all their might to change the existing order of things. They are the ones who bring about major, positive change for a group, organisation or society. We have seen that Steve Jobs was able to direct his people and make them do things which they had never done before, but these things were also essential for the realisation of his vision and plans.
Interestingly, Jobs may not be the embodiment of an effective leader – in a way, he was far from being a classical ‘text-book’ example.
Nevertheless, his charisma, self-confidence and passion for work overshadow all his flaws, making him one of most successful CEOs of the decade.
Copyright @ 2016