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

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A Leadership Challenge

Innovation has nothing to do with how many R and D dollars you have in your budget. When Steve’s team developed the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R and D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, and how you lead.

Steve never faced a greater leadership challenge than when he returned to Apple. He had to turn himself into a leader who could establish methods to manage a complex strategic change in direction. Holding on to the Mac computer when he returned to Apple was one of these decisions. His predecessors had tried to sell the software, sell through distributors, and encourage other companies to license the technology and manufacture clones of the Mac. The idea of allowing other companies to offer inferior, lower-quality versions of the Mac or to market ill-designed products based on the Mac operating system simply wasn’t in Steve’s concept of how the universe should work. It simply didn’t match his mantra of always giving customers the best products you could conceive and create. Imitations by companies that didn’t adhere to Steve’s high standards would contradict everything he stood for.

Steve’s strategy was not about market share or finances; it was finding the next great product for his customers.

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