I woke up today to the news of the departure of Steve Jobs. As many technology enthusiasts and people in business I was in shock. Just last week I used video clippings from his product demos in my Public speaking workshop in Jeddah. For some he was a man of contradictions, for me he was a genius and the greatest CEO of all time. This is a man who accomplished his vision in his own way, and nobody denies that he has “changed the world” or at least he has changed the way we communicate with each others, contributed in making our lives easier and set new standards for innovation.
What makes Steve Jobs in my view the greatest CEO of all time are the below 5 Leadership traits.
Having a vision: Steve Jobs had a clear Vision “To change the world” for a lot of people this might seem as an unattainable dream, however through persistence focus and self trust, Steve Jobs made his vision possible by innovating his first vision “Think Different”. He had a strong belief in his goal and all the challenges he has faced didn’t not stop him from achieving it.
Being genuine: Steve Jobs was truly charismatic, and the way he had all this charisma was by being himself, being different than anyone else and not trying to fake his feelings. In his public appearances he showed a lot of enthusiasm and that was contagious because he was genuine.
Building a team of experts: Although Steve Jobs was the most iconic person in Apple; he could not have done it by himself. He had the ability to attract the best people around him and made sure that Apple and Pixar both had the best people in the best positions and most importantly people that work well together.
Selling skills: To be a great Visionary CEO it is crucial to have great selling and influencing skills. Steve jobs wasn’t born as a great sales person, on the contrary he worked on sharpening his skills. It was his entrepreneurial drive that made him create ways of convincing people, be it convincing people in working for him - the famous sentence that he has said to John Schuley: Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” - or in introducing a new product.
Challenging the status-co: Steve Jobs was very well know for his risk taking, as a matter of fact he was fired from Apple because of his risky ideas. As Alisson Linn from MSNBC puts its “He has taught us that it is ok to fail.” Steve Jobs was always good as figuring out what people wanted and never backed away from trying new things.
An icon to be remembered, the world will miss you Steve Jobs.
Camil El Khoury
“I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life,”
Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford commencement speech.