If you create a list of the most influential leaders in business, it wouldn’t be a complete list without Steve Jobs. Even if you’re not familiar with all he did to turn Apple into one of the biggest tech giants, you know enough to understand how much of a creative, passionate innovator he was.
Whenever someone asks me to name one of my business role models, I always mention Steve Jobs. And whenever someone asks me to recommend an inspirational book to help them along their entrepreneurial or leadership paths, I recommend Steve Jobs’ autobiography. There is a lot to unpack in the book, and I suggest taking the time to read through it on your own, but below, I’ll share six of the biggest leadership lessons I learned after reading through it a few times.
1. Simplify everything
Leaders tend to overcomplicate things, and I think it’s because we’re held to such high standards that the only way to live up to these standards is to think you have to make everything a complicated, challenging process. But this is only going to hold you back from reaching your full potential. Instead, keep things simple, and do them well.
2. Take responsibility
As a leader, you are responsible for everything that happens at your company. This applies to your culture as much as it does to the products or services you provide to your clients. Yes, you’ve hired talented staff to help delegate some of your tasks, but at the end of the day, everything falls on your shoulders. If something bad happens, take ownership and do whatever it takes to fix it and prevent it from happening in the future.
3. Prioritize products over profits
You should care more about your products or services than you do about money. If you’re solely profit-driven, it will become tempting to take shortcuts that will ultimately sacrifice the quality of your business. If you build a great product or offer unparalleled service to your clients, money will follow.
4. Never settle for less than perfection
It’s no coincidence that Apple is a leader in tech. Steve Jobs never compromised on perfection, and now Apple has set the standard for what other tech companies hope to one day achieve. This wouldn’t have been possible if Jobs settled for anything less than what he deemed perfect.
5. Be a risk-taker
In order to strive for perfection, you have to be willing to take risks. There will always be hardships in taking risks, of course, but it’s these moments that create opportunities that lead to unimaginable growth.
6. Hire people who are smarter than you
One of Jobs’ most important outlooks is that he knew that achieving greatness meant hiring the best of the best. This means that your employees should be smarter than you, and leaders shouldn’t only be okay with this, but will do anything necessary so those people can shine.
When it comes to learning how to become a great leader, what better person to learn from than someone who accomplished more in his lifetime than most people ever will?