If a leader pushed you to the limits of your knowledge and then demanded more, is this a good leader? For Jay Elliot, former Apple insider the answer is an affirmative YES! This is also why we have put his new book on the top of our night stand as a must read.
Jay Elliot was Steve Jobs’ right hand mind while at Apple in the ’80s. In his new book, Apple with Steve Jobs: Management Lessons from a Controversial Geniu, he highlights Jobs’ admirable leadership and management qualities and illuminates their time together.
“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to take the great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be…My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do”. – Steve Jobs
As the fascination with Apple continues, many are still unclear about the man responsible for creating the iProducts. Steve Jobs was often criticized for his management style, yet many Apple insiders would argu his leadership was nothing more than admirable. In fact, he was dedicated to motivating his employees to exceed their expectations and execute the best work of their lives in teams.
Elliot is now the Founder and CEO of Nuvel, a software development company based in Los Gatos, CA and had the privilege to manage side by side with Jobs as a former Senior VP at Apple from 1980-1986. Jay Elliot was personally hired by Jobs, just in time to accompany him on the last of his historic visits to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center—visits that changed the course of computing. From spending time with Jobs, Elliott believes there is a great deal that the average manager or leader can learn from Jobs approach to motivating people, pursuing excellence, and eading innovative teams.
In his book, Elliot offers a unique insider’s account, sharing Jobs’ basic strategies for leading teams, and the techniques that made them so incredibly innovative. This book is organized around key management and leadership lessons that Elliot learned from Jobs while at Apple, not chronological events in Apple’s history. He also shows us how leaders can brand their business through good book writing.
Most people don’t realize that Jobs cared as much about how Appleo perated, and how it motivated its people, as he did about creating great products. He used the phrase “Pirates! Not the Navy” as a rallying cry —a metaphor to “Think Different.” In the days of developing the Macintosh, it became a four-word mission statement. It expressed the heart of Apple and Jobs. The management principles that grew out of that statement form the backbone of Elliot’s book, including how to:
- Find talented people who will understand objectives and make a contribution to that effort.
- Identify the traits that determine whether a person will be so committed to the vision that they will provide their own motivation.
- Ensure that employees possess the ability to come up with original, nique ways to approach a problem and are self-guided with a strong sense of direction.
- Prepare someone who will be ready to take over for you, if and when.
It was obvious Apple was dominated by one man, yet Jobs made his case very clear in a 2003 interview with 60 minutes, “Great things in business are almost never done by a single person”. Jobs was a unique, charismatic leader and constantly acknowledged for his flaws, however, according to most people that worked with him, they did the best work of their lives.
Most books on Apple or Steve Jobs have been written by journalists and focus on Jobs’ colorful personality. Leading Apple with Steve Jobs offers an insider’s perspective, focusing on the management lessons many managers, executives and employees would be grateful to have had experienced firsthand.
Leading Apple with Steve Jobs provides the wisdom and inspiration business executives, managers, and employees need to shift their thought paradigm, manifest their vision, and inspire their team to achieve ground breaking innovations. Although considered to be a controversial leader, Jobs was an example of someone that always focused on enriching lives and making the world a better place. Elliot’s book is a good testament to not only Jobs as an icon but a teacher, and exemplary leader.
Who was Jay Elliot?
Elliot was a senior member of the original Macintosh development team and helped Steve Jobs develop the overall Mac design inspired by Xerox PARC. Becoming Senior Vice President of Apple reporting directly to Steve, Jay ran all corporate operations, including business planning, IT, facilities, and HR, for Apple worldwide. Jay was able to impart the management principles Jay had learned at IBM and Intel, which helped Steve build Apple into a multibillion-dollar company.
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