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What You Can Learn From Steve Jobs

October 4, 2011  

"Few of us have the chance to achieve 1/100th of what Steve Jobs has achieved," writes Bill Taylor at Harvard Business Online. "But all of us can look at his body of work, and the reaction to that body of work, and use it as an opportunity to ask more of ourselves as leaders and innovators with a chance to make a small positive difference for our industry, our customers, and our colleagues." To get there, Taylor suggests asking questions like these:

Why would exceptional people want to work with me? You can provide money or status, but Jobs gave his top-flight employees something that mattered even more: exciting projects. People want to feel that they're part of something great.

Do I know how to identify and hire outstanding talent? "Steve Jobs was as picky about the people he let into Apple as he was about the features that went into Apple's products," notes Taylor. When you evaluate candidates, he argues, character is as important as credentials. And that means you'll doggedly pursue the right person—even when she's not looking for a new job.


Do I teach my employees how the company works and wins? Everyone who works for Apple has a clear sense of the overall mission—and how the roles they play contribute to success. Be sure to give your team a similar level of insight.

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