Leadership lessons or common sense for any good leader?

It was inevitable that someone would write Steve Job’s biography so I recently bought Walter Isaacson’s official work. Having started to read it over the weekend, I was surprised at the coincidence this morning when I received my Silicon.com “CEO Essentials Newsletter” with an article entitled “Ten leadership lessons from the Steve Jobs school of Management; What Walter Isaacson’s biography of Apple’s co-founder can teach about doing business the right way…

First I laughed because it is just another list and it reminded me of the blog post I wrote last month where I alluded to the propensity for leadership bloggers to offer advice in the form of lists (10 ways to becoming a more effective leader, 5 ways to create loyalty, etc.)  However, Steve Jobs is serious stuff. After all, he was one of my heroes; I aspire to be as visionary as Steve Jobs; so I read the article and would encourage anyone to do so. Better still, buy the book and read that!

Isaacson describes Steve Job’s leadership, management style and business sense as being as “distinctive as his personality.” While, having met Steve once during his all too short life, I can agree that his personality was certainly distinctive, I am not sure that Isaacson’s list of 10 could not be applied to any strong leader.

Isaacson’s list from the article is:

  1. Decisions: Don’t sit on the fence
  2. Communications: Cut to the chase
  3. Focus: Less is more, simpler is better
  4. Details: The devil is in them
  5. Design: Comes first, second and third
  6. Structure: Collaborate, integrate, connect
  7. HR: Don’t suffer any “bozos”
  8. Meetings: Love them – but hate PowerPoint
  9. Negotiating? Take a long walk…
  10. What’s next? Think about tomorrow today.

I will leave it to you to read the detail in Silicon.com’s article but I think it should be fairly clear to any successful, or aspiring, leader that with a little bit of tweaking to fit your situation, this list reflects how we all work. Perhaps circumstances and that distinctive personality gave Steve Jobs the edge?

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About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.


Peter Borner
Peter Borner

Not to worry... I copied your comment to the correct post. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I look forward to following your blog.

Ted Coine
Ted Coine

Peter, I'm honored - and enthused! Clearly from what you write, you've already embraced one of the key aspects of management: that your role is to build your team with winners and protect it from poaching. The only way to do the latter is to instill in them the desire to stick with you, regardless of enticement. That is no easy matter, but - as you clearly realize - there's little competition in the space of employee hearts and minds! Keep at it. They'll come back, I'm sure.