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Leading Apple With Steve Jobs: Management Lessons From a Controversial Genius by Jay Elliot

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Chapter 14

Flowers at His Doorstep

The Heritage of Steve Jobs

It’s not just a job, it’s a journey. Let’s never forget that. . . . Your customers dream of a happier and better life. Don’t move products. Instead, enrich lives.

—Steve Jobs

In his bestselling biography of Steve, Walter Isaacson, in my opinion, looks too much at the negative side of the man, without really understanding the artist side. Isaccson, like other outsiders, paints Steve as “incorrigible, bullying, belittling, and lying.” What he misses is that Steve the Artist was getting 150 percent out of people. And though many at Apple felt the humiliating sting of his wrath, very few left because of it. They stayed because it was such a uniquely gratifying place to work. Who wouldn’t want to know he had had a hand in creating the iPad, the iPhone, or iTelevision?

The big difference between Steve and other corporate executives is that Steve was like a rock star. He had instant success, lots of money, and was riding high on his fame for being the darling of Silicon Valley. What Steve did not have was a grounding in business or education. His social skills were not what most high-flying executives are expected to possess. When he was starting out, his résumé would not have landed him a job at General Electric or Olivetti, Ford or Gucci. His management style was not the stuff of university textbooks. He wasn’t known for his consultative or consensus-building approach.

Instead, he was a product artist, a man who related to ...

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