Jobs believed that if you give smart and talented people the tools and resources to succeed, they'll wow the socks off of you. In Walter Isaacson's biography Steve Jobs, he told the author his goal was to build an enduring company that prioritized people. While still necessary, everything else--products and profits--would be secondary.
The simple advice
Jobs said in the book:
I've learned over the years that when you have really good people, you don't have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things.
Jobs had an uncanny ability to be inspirational, so his closest network of designers and engineers would have run through walls for him. He knew how to "infuse Apple employees with an abiding passion...and a belief that they could accomplish what seemed impossible," according to Isaacson's biography.
What does it all come down to? Four strategies that worked quite well for the co-founder of Apple:
1. Trust your team's abilities
Jobs' words underscore the importance of trust in a leader's relationship with their team. When you have a talented group of individuals, micromanaging is counterproductive. Instead, focus on trusting their skills and judgment. Provide clear expectations, set goals, and then step back to let your team shine. This trust empowers your team and fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.
2. Set high expectations
Expectations act as a powerful catalyst for performance. Jobs' philosophy suggests you challenge your team to reach new heights by setting the bar high. Mediocrity often stems from low expectations, but by expecting greatness, you create an environment that encourages individuals to push their limits. Communicate your expectations clearly and convey the belief that your team can exceed them.
3. Inspire a shared vision
Great leaders don't just manage tasks; they inspire a shared vision. Jobs was a master at articulating a compelling vision that could motivate his team. Take the time to communicate the bigger picture, aligning individual contributions with the organization's overarching goals. When team members understand the significance of their work, they are more likely to be driven to excel.
4. Celebrate achievements
Acknowledging and celebrating success is a crucial aspect of leadership. When your team achieves great things, recognize and celebrate those accomplishments. This boosts morale and reinforces the idea that excellence is not only expected but appreciated. Share the spotlight, giving credit where it's due, and watch your team rise to the occasion.
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