Thoughts on Leadership: The Steve Jobs Way

“You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs Last week, I had dinner at Sino in Santana Row, San Jose, with Jay Elliot, former Senior VP of Apple Computer and author of "The Steve Jobs Way – iLeadership for a New Generation."

"The Steve Jobs Way" is a captivating book that offers interesting and inspiring insights into the leadership style of Steve Jobs. This is a must-read book for all who are working to improve their business and their lives.

Jay gives readers the opportunity to see Steve Jobs in a way that only his closest associates have seen him. You learn what has made him, and the charisma of his management style, capable of creating tools so extraordinary that they have remade three industries and have transformed the way we create, consume, and communicate with each other.

Jay Elliot has more than 30 years of operations experience with leaders of IBM, Intel and Apple Computer. He worked side by side with Steve as Senior Vice President of Apple and brings us his deep insider perspective of Steve's remarkable leadership style – which includes four major principles: product, talent, organization, marketing.

I asked Jay to put together a list of leadership points that could apply to the technology business and the real estate business as well. The following are 10 leadership points that you could apply today:

  • Passion for the product: Agents need to fully understand their products and know all about the homes they are selling or buying. They need to become the home buyer or seller themselves.
  • Success in the details: Be totally familiar with all aspects of their products and buyers and be involved in all the details of their products and process.
  • Talent rules: Select agents and managers for the talents they display for selling and managing clients.
  • Team culture/small teams: Create a strong culture of teamwork with small teams or offices that all work together.
  • Horizontal communications: Create a strong communication system to communicate all information needed for teams and individuals to effectively do their jobs.
  • Rewards, ownership: Give employees a sense of ownership through a reward system.
  • Product-driven organization: Organize your company around the success of the company vision, goals and products.
  • Branding: Ensure everyone understands the company's mission/goals and achievements and how they are presented to the public.
  • Embrace technology: The use of modern technology is critical to showing the company is part of the growth in its industry.
  • Content is king: What information your present about products and product support and how you present it to consumers is critical.

Jay shares the lessons that come out of Steve's intuitive approach to show how the creative and technological brilliance of "iLeadership" can be utilized to drive breakthroughs in any organization.

There is no doubt that Steve Jobs reigns supreme in the worlds of product innovation, brand building, marketing, presenting and leadership. Many believe that Steve Jobs is a leader of the most outstanding company in the history of business.

The one question people always ask and that Jay brings up in his book is, “What is it that has made Steve so unique in the way he runs an organization that brings such convenience, time-saving, and pleasure to so many people around the world?” And that is the question Jay Elliot sets out to answer in his book.

After reading through the stories and examples that he provides, you can reflect on your own experiences and then think about ways that you can implement Steve Jobs’ way as part of your own.