Lessons on Leadership from Steve Jobs

 

Photo from zdnet.com
 
 
 
As many of you probably heard, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple recently took a leave of absence because of medical reasons. First of all, this is not his fist leave of absence attributed to health reasons. Back in 2004, Jobs took a leave of absence due to pancreatic cancer. Then in 2009, he took another leave of absence to receive a liver transplant.

Therefore, in the wake of this recent leave of absence, people are wondering what is going to happen to Apple. As I was reading up on the news, I couldn’t help but to think through some leadership principles that were involved in this situation:

1) As a leader, we must always assembly a great team. Even though much of where Apple is right now is attributed to Jobs’ leadership, we have to remember that there are a lot of talented and good people who work for Apple. Jobs might be the innovator and the visionary, but the key is putting together a great team of people, who are just as passionate about the things that you are passionate about.

2) As a leader, we must always prepare for transitions. We just never know what will happen in any organization or church. This is why we must always be ready for various transitions that we will have to face. It is really a forward-thinking kind of approach to the life of the organization. Change is the only constant; therefore we must always prepare for change.

3) As a leader, we must always remember our frailty. Great leaders are people who understand their weaknesses and their strengths. They recognize what they can do well and what they need help with. They usually have a good perspective about themselves, which causes them to be humble when it comes to their own shortcomings. When we see our frailty, it forces us to see the bigger picture better.

4) As a leader, we must always be making disciples. Apple’s COO, Tim Cook was given the responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations of the company. This is something that he did back in 2004 and 2009. It shows that Cook understands the heart of the company and the goals that it wants to accomplish. This did not happen overnight, but as Cook has been with the company for some time, he was able to develop and understand the ethos of the company – something that the leader has to pass down to other people in the company.

 
 
I have included below a video of Steve Jobs giving the commencement speech for Stanford back in 2005. This is probably one of the best commencement speeches I have ever heard. It gives a glimpse into this leadership legacy. It is definitely worth the 14 minutes.