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

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Power of the User Culture

It’s not enough that the values and culture of a company are embraced by the employees; they also need to be a reflection of the company’s customers. Walk into any Apple store and you can see and feel the Apple culture at work.

The same is true of some other values-oriented companies. Consider Starbucks: They have a published set of values that every employee is expected to know, understand, and follow—and their values statement is very customer oriented. I especially admire the way that the wording goes beyond pedestrian, everyday language, as shown by these excerpts:

Our mission is to inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

We’re passionate about ethically sourcing the finest coffee beans, roasting them with great care, and improving the lives of people who grow them. We care deeply about all of this; our work is never done.

And about the customers:

When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers—even if just for a few moments. Sure, it starts with the promise of a perfectly made beverage, but our work goes far beyond that. It’s really about human connection.

If you were to visit the Apple campus, one of the things you would likely find striking is the evidence of how committed the employees are to the Apple products. You would see that every Apple staffer carries an iPhone, has a MacBook or MacBook Pro, and has an iPad. If you are an observant person, you ...

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