The Leadership Qualities of Steve Jobs

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The Leadership Qualities of Steve Jobs

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Innovative, determined and genius are just some descriptions commonly attached to the legacy of Steve Jobs. This is a man who helped ressurect one of the now most loved companies on earth from the ashes. He is a man from whom much can be learned. However, the richest lessons of his life are not visible in his products and fame, but in his journey. Below are a couple astounding leadership qualities of Steve Jobs.

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Table of Contents

Steve Jobs’ Leadership Qualities:

Adaptability

This may be the most subtle and easily missed quality of Steve Jobs, yet is possibly the most important. Documentaries and tribute articles sing praises all day about Jobs, so it can be easy to forget his humanity. He wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t magical. Forbes Contributor, Dave Coursey, even wrote “Jobs was busy changing the world and minor annoyances like people’s feelings didn’t fit into his plan.” Coursey isn’t the first to acknowledge Jobs’ struggle with empathy and leadership skills. In fact, in Let’s Get One Thing Straight — Apple Had No Choice But To Oust Steve Jobs, published by Business Insider, Henry Blodget describes Jobs’ actions as “out-of-control disruptive behavior and incompetence as the leader of the Mac division.” This is why Steve Jobs was stripped of his operating role at Apple and subsequently departed from the organization.

Keep in mind; these are descriptions of 30-year-old Jobs. Leaping 12 years into the future, Jobs returned to the company a changed man and went on to pioneer world-changing technology. His struggle with emotional intelligence was life-long, but it was his continuous efforts to grow that made him great. Had Jobs not been open to criticism and able to admit his flaws, he wouldn’t have grown to be a better leader. Without determination and adaptability to change, Jobs would never have left such an amazing mark on the world.

Steve Jobs’ Leadership Qualities:

Adaptability

This may be the most subtle and easily missed quality of Steve Jobs, yet is possibly the most important. Documentaries and tribute articles sing praises all day about Jobs, so it can be easy to forget his humanity. He wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t magical. Forbes Contributor, Dave Coursey, even wrote “Jobs was busy changing the world and minor annoyances like people’s feelings didn’t fit into his plan.” Coursey isn’t the first to acknowledge Jobs’ struggle with empathy and leadership skills. In fact, in Let’s Get One Thing Straight — Apple Had No Choice But To Oust Steve Jobs, published by Business Insider, Henry Blodget describes Jobs’ actions as “out-of-control disruptive behavior and incompetence as the leader of the Mac division.” This is why Steve Jobs was stripped of his operating role at Apple and subsequently departed from the organization.

Keep in mind; these are descriptions of 30-year-old Jobs. Leaping 12 years into the future, Jobs returned to the company a changed man and went on to pioneer world-changing technology. His struggle with emotional intelligence was life-long, but it was his continuous efforts to grow that made him great. Had Jobs not been open to criticism and able to admit his flaws, he wouldn’t have grown to be a better leader. Without determination and adaptability to change, Jobs would never have left such an amazing mark on the world.

Focus

In a world full of possibility, one important trait to absorb from Jobs is the ability to focus. This is part of why his products have become some of the most loved in history. He picked a need, developed a product and spent every ounce of energy perfecting the product. He picked technology and made technology his life. His ability to set a goal and stay committed gave way to tremendous success.

Urgency

Steve Jobs had a sense of urgency that gave him drive. Many times, he spoke of life and death; time being one of life’s greatest tools for success. He knew that not grabbing onto an idea or waiting “until it’s the right time,” would never cut it. This is why he sought innovative solutions and built products before a customer realized they needed it.

Vision

Like many innovative game-changers, Jobs wasn’t looking to replicate what’s already been done. He didn’t like to play the “I can do it better game.” He played the “I’m going to do something completely different game.” This thinking is illustrated with the iPad. Before its introduction into the market, no one would have wanted a cross between a Smartphone and a computer. But now, it has stolen the hearts of consumers and revolutionized business operations.

At the 2013 Teen Choice Awards, Ashton Kutcher surprised fans when he channeled Steve Jobs in a memorable speech. He said “everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. You can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one; build one.” This is possibly the most rewarding mentality for leaders, and Steve Jobs proved that. Leaders who can channel Job’s ability to continue improving, hone in on their passion, live with a sense of urgency and see what could be, rather than what is, will go far.

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