Throughout his life, the late Steve Jobs was known as being one of the most influential and innovative leaders of his time. Jobs is not only the founder of Apple and Pixar but he was able to lead several organizations into being some of the most powerful in the country. He was known for being demanding and hard working, yet possessing a certain Zen and simplicity. While many of us will never be able to mimic the unique characteristics that made Steve Jobs such an inspirational leader, there are a number of lessons that any individual can learn from his unique leadership style.
Good Leaders Have Confidence
While most individuals know that it is important to have a certain amount of confidence in a leadership position, Steve Jobs showcased just how important this was with his own efforts with his products. If there was one thing that Steve Jobs had it was confidence and it is something that gave his team members the self-assurance they needed to break barriers and create some of the most innovative pieces of technology in our world today.
One of the most famous stories involving Jobs’ confidence is when he wanted a special type of glass for the front of the iPhone and he wanted it quick. When an employee told him it was impossible, Jobs simply said “Yes you can do it. You can deliver, don’t be afraid.” This type of confidence not only in himself and in his products, but also in others is what made Jobs the leader so many know him as today.
Good Leaders Are Adaptable
While Steve Jobs’ adaptability is a more subtle quality than his confidence, his ability to be adaptable is something that Jobs used to his advantage in multiple situations. When Jobs was ousted from Apple when he was 30 years old for his lack of empathy and leadership skills, the innovator spent the next 12 years adapting his skills and his unique style of leadership to better fit the needs of the company. He was known by many for being too focused on work to care about others’ feelings which was one of the reasons Apple cut ties with him in the first place, but he adapted, came back and went on to pioneer some of Apple’s greatest creations ever.
Good Leaders Act With a Sense of (Controlled) Urgency
Steve Jobs was known for acting with a sense of urgency and many found that this is what gave Jobs his incomparable drive. He was known for wanting to grab on to a moment and an opportunity right away and never just “waiting until the right time.” This is what allowed Jobs to create innovative solutions and cutting-edge products before customers ever knew they wanted or needed them. Looking at the iPad, many thought that the device was a waste and that no one would ever need one of the tablets because they had smartphones. Now they are one of the most owned personal electronics on the planet.
Steve Jobs acted with a sense of urgency in all he did, as it allowed him to look to the future and motivate his team towards success, but it was always a sense of controlled urgency and one that was backed by a great deal of thought.
Good Leaders Have Vision
Above all things, Steve Jobs had vision and this creative vision challenged his employees and drove them to act with vision as well. He was always thinking of the future and always had a clear idea of what he wanted to move towards. This vision helped Jobs pull his team together and helped them work towards a common goal whenever he had a new idea for the future of Apple.