Raising the level of your leadership

Steve Jobs Wannabe's

The WSJ headline was Bio as Bible: Managers Imitate Steve Jobs (WSJ 3/31-4/1, 2012; by Leslie Kwoh and Rachel Emma Silverman).

The gist of the story is how managers are reading Walter Isaacson’s excellent biography, Steve Jobs, as a “how to” manual and are trying to lead the same way Jobs did. Some have gone to the extreme of even dressing like Jobs—wearing black turtlenecks as their exclusive office garb.

Are you interested in trying it? Answer these questions first:

  • Are you a product genius who can envision products that are truly innovative and are unlike anything else on the market?
  • Are you both an artist and a techie who knows how to blend the two?
  • Are you a brand fanatic, willing to protect the brand at all costs?
  • Are you a perfectionist, willing to delay schedules and increase cost to achieve perfection?
  • Are you a control freak, wanting to make every single decision about everything?
  • Are you ruthless in how you treat employees?

If the answer to all of these is “yes,” you can make a run at leading like Jobs. Let me know in a year or two how it works out.

If the answer to any of these is “no,” you can’t lead like Steve Jobs, so don’t try. My suggestion is for you to adopt the good things about the “Apple/Steve Jobs Way” that are transferable to your organization (read my 3/12/2012 post, How Much Of The Apple Is Left? at www.hard-lessons.com), but don’t adopt the Jobs leadership style. Take to heart what Bill George emphasizes in True North:

“…no one can be authentic by trying to be like someone else.”

“No one” includes you and me.

[If this post was interesting and useful to you, please forward it to a friend. Thanks.]

© Copyright 2012 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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