Steve Jobs’ Legacy: 10 Thoughts on Leadership

A millionaire at 26, he was one of the brightest and most original minds in the technological field (EPA / MONICA M. DAVEY)

Steve Jobs doesn’t need too much introduction: He was the creator of Mac computers and multiple Apple devices; founder of Pixar, producer of the first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story. He was born in San Francisco, California, the February 24, 1955, and was Foster son from a middle-class marriage: he, a railway engineer; she, a housewife.

A millionaire at 26, he was one of the brightest and most original minds in the tech field. Its products stood out for being innovative and easy to use, which made them massive and they became aspirational items, gadgets that millions of people want to access.

His biographers emphasize that it was a visionary man, whose contributions were key in the field of personal computers, cell phones and digital music. Controversial in nature, his way of leading his companies left a legacy that continues to exist.

Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft, his great competitor, recognized Jobs’ great talent for generating empathy between his products and people through his presentations. Many, among those who worked with him or not, consider him a genius.

A shortly after the 10th anniversary of his death, here a memory of 10 of his thoughts on leadership that somehow summarize your experience as an entrepreneur:

1-Eliminate distractions: focus

In 1986, 10 years after the founding of Apple, Jobs distanced himself from the company’s board of directors and was fired from the company he created. In 1997, he returned to the firm when it was in a financial crisis. He immediately decided to abandon several of the organization’s projects and focus on only four, which he considered a priority. “Let’s do four things and do them spectacularly well”, said.

2-Simplify everything

In line with the above, Jobs preached the optimization of resources, the abandonment of the superfluous and the valuation of the essential. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

3-Take responsibility

Jobs believed that leading was taking responsibility for the entire process of each creation. This maxim is related to the fact that Apple products have generally been and continue to be incompatible with other brands. That, he said, is the only way to take full responsibility process, flow and user experience.

“Focus on creating a great product, the benefits will come” (APPLE / TWITTER)

4-If you are left behind you must jump forward

When Microsoft overtook Mac by adding to his computers the CD recorders, Apple decided to take a leap that was revolutionary. He created iTunes, a multi-device storage system that changed the music industry.

5-The first thing is to create a good product, then you will think about the profits

“Focus on creating a great product, the benefits will follow.” Jobs took for granted that good generates profit, therefore, that The impulse of any great idea must be the idea itself and not the eventual profits, this will come in addition.

6-Do not trust too much in the focus groups

Jobs felt somewhat enclosed by the results of the opinion groups to which each product was subjected. At that moment one of his most famous phrases emerged: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” He believed that if they only stuck to market research they would repeat the devices they created because the human mind always tends to make associations with previous experiences. Therefore It was necessary not to give so much importance to these studies because there was a risk of repeating themselves and only doing what people already know.

7-Distort reality to demolish the impossibles of life

In a moment, your partner Stephen Gary Wozniak (Woz, cofundador de Apple) had to advance in a new project and considered that It would take 6 months. It was when other of the famous phrases of Jobs emerged. “Do you need 6 months to develop that? You can do it in 4 days! “ And Woz did it. Mental models and self-imposed limits are often the greatest impediments to leaders.

There is no such thing as perfection in life, but I wanted it to be close enough for Apple devices
There is no such thing as perfection in life, but I wanted it to be close enough for Apple devices

8-Transmit permanently

One of its premises was that everything communicates and adds value. Apple devices generate an experience to the consumer since he wants to have one of them. He believed that even the seemingly trivial, such as packaging, should be given importance. Apple products are a design piece unto themselves. For example, a detail that Jobs imposed were the fonts that include the products created by his brand. He was a forerunner in including thousands of typeface models, from the simplest to the most sophisticated and eye-catching, something that was initially lacking in Windows, which had only a few letter variants, until the Bill Gates brand he must have imitated his competitor. The story of Jobs’s love for typography was related by himself. When he dropped out of systems studies at Reeds University, he took a calligraphy class. This knowledge, at the time, did not make any sense, since it did not seem to be a great contribution to his future. But he was fascinated by that aspect of graphic design and then it was shown how important it was to him.

9-Demand excellence

Jobs required that all the products of his brand be fully tested by all possible controls and tests before being launched. There is no such thing as perfection in life, but I wanted it to be close enough for Apple devices.

10-Hire the best

It was a way of admitting that all his projects were possible thanks to the team that accompanied him. The key to his leadership was to surround himself with great professionals, perhaps better than the leader himself, with experience in the necessary fields and allowing them to shine.

On June 12, 2005, Jobs was invited to speak at a graduation ceremony at Stanford University, California.. That exhibition quickly became famous and its recording has thousands of views on YouTube. At the end he said one of his most prominent and repeated phrases, which speak of his concept of leadership: “Stay hungry, stay foolish. Go for more. Question. Discover. Creates”.

When he gave that brief lecture, he believed that he had been cured of a pancreatic cancer that had been diagnosed more than a year before.

“I had a surgery and now i am fine. This is the closest I’ve been to death, and I hope it’s the closest I get to it for a few more decades. Having lived through this, I can now tell you this with more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: Nobody wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destiny that we all share. No one has escaped from it. And that’s the way it has to be, because death is possibly the best invention in life. It is the agent of change of life. Remove the old to make room for the new ”.

Jobs died on October 5, 2011, from the same disease that overshadowed him for eight years, leaving a huge legacy.


From Napoleon to Steve Jobs: 35 Inspiring Leadership Thoughts From History’s Great Drivers
Elon Musk: the 6 keys to the philosophy of life of one of the richest men in the world
The 8 mistakes leaders must avoid to strengthen the confidence of their work teams
The 3 keys to deactivating the internal “tyrant” who boycotts work and personal achievements