What Managers Can Learn from Steve Jobs
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Much is being written and discussed on the many significant accomplishments of Steve Jobs and his phenomenal record in pioneering technology. The almost mystical product launch presentations and gift for “showmanship” are legendary. In the Economist, October 11, 2011, the article A Genius Departs, started me thinking about what managers can learn from Jobs rein.
For those of us who manage business units and desire to build high-performance teams, what can we learn a lot from Job’s example?
- What can we uncover in out own operations that have undiscovered potential? Jobs had an uncanny ability to find the untapped gem in what was already going on in the industry.
- Are we as dedicated and passionate about our business? Managers have been given specific responsibility and objectives. Developing that “Job like” passion and focus to take charge lead the team is a requirement for high-performance.
- Are we really as technically knowledgeable about our business, product or service. Jobs was technically smart enough. He may have surrounded himself with top technical people, but he understood the technical enough to innovate ideas.
- Have we taken the time to have a Vision of where our business or team could go? Jobs was perceived as a visionary. That sounds so mystical and unique but what is singular about it is that he took the time to think about the vision.
- Are we looking at things through the eyes of our employees and the lens of our customers to gain insight. What would our product or service look like if we were the user. Jobs thought this way. Not just once in awhile but constantly.
Crafting the Vision for Your Business
Comprehending a real vision and innovating toward it are functions of having a breadth of experience and viewpoints that get us outside of the business. Managers should take advantage of opportunities to learn new aspects of their profession or industry. They need to network and really expand their perspective. Jobs is quoted as saying that “(people) don’t have enough dots to connect.” We need to work on expanding our points of connection and insisting that our team members do the same. Managers need to ask themselves, “what have I done to insist that my people continually network to expand their connection in our industry?”
Take the time to read one of the many books already out, or about to be written, on the life and legacy of Steve Jobs. Think about inserting your self into your business or profession in many of the ways Jobs inserted himself. Legacies are there for the taking.
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