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.
Some people are lucky enough to find a mentor who plays a big role in shaping their personal management style and validating their beliefs. Steve found a mentor in Bob Noyce, who was one of the pioneers of today’s technology as co-inventor of the microchip and cofounder of a leading manufacturer of the chips, Intel. I worked with Bob at Intel and in hindsight believe he may have been the closest visionary to Steve, and Steve’s best example of what it means to be the leader of a development team.
Bob’s perspective was, “You can’t really understand what’s going on now unless you understand what came before.” I always felt that Steve’s leadership style was the kind of thing that you can’t learn in a classroom but that he came to intuitively. I would define it as an absolute commitment to the product, supported by an intuition for leading people.