The true measure of Steve Job's greatness

in General Discussion edited January 2014
The impact of Steve Jobs at Apple is simply extraordinary.

No other business leader anywhere in the world has so single-handedly impacted the fortunes of a global brand to greater effect. (Even Bill Gates has Steve Ballmer.) In short, Steve Jobs is the Henry Ford of his generation.

There is no doubt that Steve Job's has a vision and focus: big picture ideas translated into very real, incredibly well-conceived products. But behind that vision is a set of beliefs and a view of the world that are as important as the ideas he generates. Perhaps this is what elevates him above the rest of his peers within the technology world.

In fact, the respect that SJ commands is almost God-like. So much so, that some people would say Apple is a one-man show and that without him it will fail.

I think this view is totally wrong.

This question is somewhat pertinent because a number of observers have pointed out that Steve Job's health may not be good as it should be. While i sincerely hope that he is fine and wish him the very best if he isn't, there will come a point when he inevitably steps aside, if only through well-deserved retirement. Whenever this day comes, I don't think we should unduly worry about Apple.

In addition to developing product after amazing product, Steve Jobs vision has extended to building a company that is as well-designed as the things it makes. When you begin to understand this man, you see someone committed to creating an organization that is infinitely bigger than any single person within it, including himself. Apple's success is due in no small part to people who share Steve Job's vision, but who also possess the extraordinary talent required to bring it to life. Apple is a team of people has done this by hiring really brilliant people who share is passion and commitment. Part of SJ's genius is an ability to recognize talent, to nurture it, to give it the freedom it needs to flourish and the good sense to reward it. The environment he has created is perhaps most indicative of what has made Apple the success it has become today.

Apple is not therefore merely about Steve Job's ideas, it is about his facilitation of excellence. Thus, a great man isn't one who does everything himself but who empowers better people than he to do all the things he wants done, but better than he could ever do them himself.

Apple is chock full of people who could be excellent CEOs of other Fortune 500 companies. But they have chosen to be at Apple and to stay at Apple because of the culture Steve Jobs has engineered. That loyalty is not just to the man, but to his values. This is what makes SJ a great leader.
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