The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs

His story is one that will inspire many generations to come. Known as one of the most renowned entrepreneurs of his time, Steve Jobs helped establish Apple practically inside a garage owned by his parents back in 1976, exiled in 1985, Steve Jobs returned to save the company from falling into insolvency in 1997 (Isaacson, 2012). By the time Steve Jobs passed on, in October 2011, he had built Apple into one of the most respected companies in the world (Isaacson, 2012).

After his biography was published, many analysts tried to extract management teachings from it. Some of the analysts are generally insightful, however, most of them particularly those who do not have any training in entrepreneurial skills have focused much on the rough parts of Job’s character (Isaacson, 2012). However, his personality was vital in ensuring that Apple emerged as one of the top companies. In fact, Job’s impatience was characteristically part of his perfectionism. Some of the factors that can be considered as the keys to his success are:


Focus was a factor that was deep-rooted in his personality. Jobs was known to separate distractions from what was important. He had this laser like focus on only what was good for Apple as a company.


Contrary to what numerous companies would consider true, Steve Jobs believed in simplicity that is inspired from winning, rather than just overlooking, complexity (Isaacson, 2012). According to Jobs, attaining simplicity, would go a long way to produce machines that are user friendly instead of challenging the users.


Put Products before Profits

Jobs was known to concentrate more on the products other than the profits. For instance, when the original Macintosh was designed in the early 80s, Jobs’s goal was to ensure it was great. He never thought of income maximization. He directed the team leader to concentrate on the computer’s abilities other than its price.

Other leadership lessons include: (Isaacson, 2012)

  • Always take accountability end to end.
  • When behind, leapfrog. Job supported the opinion that an innovative company should not only create new ideas. It should also know how to leapfrog when it is left behind.
  • Don’t let yourself or the company become a slave to focus groups.
  • Always go for nothing else but perfection.
  • Allow only the “A” players.
  • Appreciate face-to-face interactions.
  • Always have knowledge of the bigger picture and the facts.



Isaacson, W. (2012), The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs. Retrieved on 17th March 2016 from




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