Steve Jobs’ leadership secrets

The essence of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, according to his biographer, is that his personality was integral to his way of doing business. For one thing, he acted as though the normal rules didn’t apply to him, and he poured his passion, intensity and emotion into Apple products.

Here are a few of his top lessons:

  1. Focus. In 1997, Jobs slashed a review of Mac devices down to four: “Consumer” and “Pro,” “Desktop” and “Portable.”
  2. Simplify. It takes hard work to make something simple. Or, as stated in Apple’s first marketing piece: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
  3. Take responsibility end to end. That is, back what he called “the whole widget.”
  4. Put products before profits. Jobs believed that obsession with profit happens when sales and marketing people take over a company.
  5. Tolerate only “A” players. Jobs’ roughness with people came from his passion for perfection. He wanted to prevent a “bozo explosion” in which mediocre staff felt comfortable sticking around.

— Adapted from “The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs,” Walter Isaacson, Harvard Business Review.