leadership lessons from steve jobs

I’m not sure if many people know that I’m a huge nerd.  I follow the tech industry pretty closely, I even monitor new cell phones that are coming out on every carrier.  I was playing poker with the guys one night when I realized my geekness, I rattled off the make and model number of some guy’s cell phone.  Wow, I’m a geek but I just love new and innovated technology.

I also love leadership.  When technology and leadership got married they birthed Steve Jobs, the CEO and Co-Founder of Apple.  This man is totally intriguing.  I thought I’d share some leadership principles that I have learned from the man who wears the black turtleneck.

Failure is an option:

How many times do we look at times when we fail and never pick it back up again?  Mr. Jobs was ousted from the company he started in the 80’s and he started a new company called NeXT.  NeXT was at the forefront of technology and products, but the company was never really successful.  Jobs re-wrote the playbook on cooperate structure.  The company developed some amazing computers with some great software.  But they failed.  Ultimately their great product was too expensive and the company suffered.  The company was purchased by another failing company (Apple) to make one of the most amazing technology companies in the world.  NeXT was used as the foundations for what many of us now use on our computers.  Apple was resurrected as a company by an apparent failure called NeXT.

Stick to what your good at:

One day I read a transcript of a conference call that Apple had with its shareholders.  Questions that consumers have all the time is, why don’t you make _______?  Apple’s response was really simple.  “Because we can’t be the best in the world at it.”  Apple said that every product they make can fit on a coffee table and yet they have much larger profits than tech companies that try to do everything.  The huge leadership lesson here is to say, “no” to stuff that you can’t be the best in the world at.

Your internal barometer needs to be spot on:

One of the things that I love about Steve Jobs is his tenacity and his internal barometer.  Apple doesn’t market-test products.  They don’t get consumers in a room, let them have hands on play-date with their product and gauge their response.  They simply come out with a product because they love it.  It doesn’t matter to apple if everyone doesn’t love it, Steve Jobs and the Apple employees have to love the product.  If you don’t love what you’re doing, why would anyone else?

These are just three leadership lessons I’ve learned from Mr. Jobs (There are more to come).  All of these lessons in leadership can be universally applied, so I guess my question is why aren’t more churches applying leadership lessons from the tech world?


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