Ten Leadership lessons from Steve Jobs

From Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, I have extracted the following ten principles of leadership.

  1. Start drugs early
  2. Smell
  3. Screw the friends that got you started
  4. Tell people they’re assholes
  5. Steal the ideas of the two or three people who are not
  6. Occupy handicapped people’s parking spaces
  7. Ignore your father, abuse your girlfriends, abandon your daughter
  8. Cartelize industries
  9. Post-date corporate options
  10. Despise philanthropy

Will anybody ever want to teach leadership after Steve Jobs?

(HBR article by Isaacson)

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2 Responses to “Ten Leadership lessons from Steve Jobs”

  1. Luke W says:

    Ooft. Contentious! Great to hear a viewpoint outside the default channel of product leadership fawning though ..

  2. Ryan C says:

    Still laughing after reading you post Francis. I ran across this Forbes article a few weeks ago. It’s entitled, “Seven habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives.” Guess who exemplified all of these 7 habits? I guess that’s why he is the fringe case and not the text book example

    Habit # 1: They see themselves and their companies as dominating their environment
    Warning Sign for #1: A lack of respect

    Habit #2: They identify so completely with the company that there is no clear boundary
    between their personal interests and their corporation’s interests
    Warning Sign for #2: A question of character

    Habit #3: They think they have all the answers

    Habit #4: They ruthlessly eliminate anyone who isn’t completely behind them

    Habit #5: They are consummate spokespersons, obsessed with the company image

    Habit #6: They underestimate obstacles Warning Sign of #6: Excessive hype

    Habit #7: They stubbornly rely on what worked for them in the past


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