I recently read an interesting article concerning the late Steve Jobs. The article, written by Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, provides vivid examples that demonstrate why and how Jobs became so successful.
We’ve all heard or read stories about Jobs’ personality and the extreme emotionalism he brought to everyday life. In today’s blog post, I want to share with you the leadership tenets that Jobs embraced, and hold them up as best practices.
While there are several other tenets Isaacson refers to in his leadership exposé on Jobs (such as “take responsibility end-to-end,” “when behind, leapfrog,” and “stay hungry, stay foolish”), I want to end my post by sharing a brief story about Jobs that I find to be personally inspirational. I hope you feel the same way.
“One day, Jobs marched into the cubicle of Larry Kenyon, the engineer who was working on the Macintosh operating system, and complained that it was taking too long to boot up. Kenyon started to explain why reducing the boot-up time was impossible, but Jobs cut him off. ‘If it would save a person’s life, could you find a way to shave 10 seconds off the boot time?’ Kenyon allowed that he probably could. Jobs went to a whiteboard and showed that if five million people were using the Mac and it took 10 seconds extra to turn it on, that added up to 300 million or so hours per year, the equivalent of 100 lifetimes. After a few weeks, Kenyon had the machine booting up 28 seconds faster.”
As I have previously shared, leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, raising a person’s performance to a higher standard, and building a personality beyond its normal limitations. If you take to heart the leadership lessons above and execute them, I have no doubt that you will create real value for your organization.