Among business leaders of the modern era, few are more prominent than the late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs.
As the chairman and founder of one of the largest companies in commercial history, Steve Jobs was a pioneer in technological advancement. With a complex leadership style that was uniquely his own, Jobs had a major impact on the advanced technology industry, which in turn has revolutionized the way all business work today. He was a true leader at every step and continues to inspire the next generation of exceptional people in all walks of life.
A Commitment to Excellence
Steve Jobs was known for having extremely – sometimes punishingly –high standards for those around him. Stories of underperforming Apple employees facing abrupt termination are commonplace within Silicon Valley circles. Conversely, top performers were known to be well-rewarded for their contributions. Simply put, he had a knack for making people better.
One former Apple contractor writes:
“…what (Jobs’ approach) did to certain people is it caused us to push even harder and try to be even better, but for some people it destroyed them. Fortunately for me, I was one of the first types and I am forever grateful to him actually for the experience because now I am so much better at what I do than I would have been without him.”
It is often said that Jobs’ had a “reality distortion field” surrounding him, causing the line to blur between goals and reality. His combination of charm, confident charisma, wit, and intelligence made seemingly impossible aspirations appear attainable in his presence. He had a signature way of grasping hold of his perceived reality and installing it on the real world.
Today’s business leaders in all industries can learn from the Steve Jobs reality distortion field when it comes to their own teams. Efforts to project confidence, passion, and unwavering leadership can go a long way toward inspiring your team to reach higher than ever before. Oftentimes, this is called the Executive Persona. Belief is half the battle; if Steve Jobs ever doubted his ability to lead Apple’s resurgence, very few people ever witnessed it. Instead, his leadership approach allowed his lofty perceptions of what reality could be to come to fruition, changing the course of Apple’s legacy – and indeed, changing the course of 21st century technology.
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