Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics.
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Our information exchange this week highlights the book, “ The Steve Jobs Way: ileadership for a New Generation” by Jay Elliot & William L. Simon.
The Steve Jobs Way provides a rarely seen, intimate glimpse into the Steve Jobs you won’t see on stage at one of his legendary presentations at Macworld. Readers will see the real Steve Jobs, the “Boy Genius” who forever transformed technology and the way we work, play, consume and communicate. Although difficult to highlight all of Steve Jobs’ leadership attributes in a short summary of the book, below are some keys.
Steve Jobs survived, thrived and changed society by following his own passions. His product passion went through the entire corporation – from the receptionists to the engineers to the members of the board of directors. If the employees of any company do not feel the passion as passed on from the leaders, then the leaders need to be asking, “Why not?”
Steve’s passion was one of the great underlying secrets of his success. He’s been described as exacting, demanding and, yes, at times, inconsiderate. It’s all a reflection of the fiery passion that drove him.
2. SUCCESS IS IN THE DETAILS
Steve Jobs understood something that a lot of companies try to do, but are rarely successful at. The more he advanced, the simpler his products became. It did not happen by cramming in more, it happened through creativity and innovation, with a relentless pursuit of perfection. He thought through everything with the laser-focused goal of making it intuitive to the user. This takes more work, more detail-oriented planning. Steve’s level of focus on details was one of the most crucial aspects of his success and the success of his products.
3. TALENT MANAGEMENT
- Forming a Team Culture – Every leader and every manager wants his or her people to work together; all pulling in the same direction, supporting each other, everybody pitching in to do their part in achieving the goal of the group.
- Encouraging the “Artist” in Everyone – Steve took advantage of the artist sensibility in his engineers. The goal was never to beat the competition or to make a lot of money; it was to do the greatest thing possible, or even a little greater and his engineers knew this. Steve found unique ways to build a cohesive team that would bond and rely on one another.
4. REWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Most corporations acknowledge employees by holding a little celebration for birthdays, employment anniversaries, and so on. Apple focused around the company’s stars: its talent and its products. The most memorable example came when Steve decided that the signatures of the original engineering team members would be etched on the inside of the cases of the first Macs after all – “Artists sign their work” therefore engineers need to sign theirs.
Steve Jobs had a master craftsman’s ability to create a consistent, positive product image in the minds of his customers. He understood that it is not just a question of how well the product is designed and how smoothly it works- (although these are critical factors) rather how the product is perceived by the user, which, of course, is the key to product success. Products that people truly want and great branding, which is the door opener for waking people up to the products.
6. SETTING A VISION
There is nothing more desired in the world of business than creating a product that millions of people immediately want. Creating a series of these products not as separate and isolated efforts but all parts of a high-level overriding concept is phenomenal. At Macworld 2001 Steve laid out a vision that many people found to be a brilliant view of where the world was likely to be going.
Steve Jobs’ was an amazing individual. We can all learn something from this great icon.
“I want to put a ding in the universe.” ~ Steve Jobs