1. Know your capabilities, delegating tasks accordingly
In Apple’s early days of expansion Jobs sought an experienced executive to serve as Apple’s CEO. Having been described at the time as an erratic and temperamental manager, he wooed John Sculley from Pepsi-Cola, asking: “Do you want to sell sugar for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
2. Do not be too proud to collaborate with ‘competitors’ if it is your best interest
Upon his return to Apple Jobs made the decision to partner with their rivals Microsoft. Under the deal Microsoft agreed to produce software for the Macintosh, significantly aiding the launch of Apple’s new products.
3. Be a perfectionist
After initially returning to Apple as interim chief executive, Jobs lead the company through one of the most dramatic transformations in business history, increasing their stock almost a hundredfold. Known for his aggressive and demanding personality, Apple employees were said to be afraid of encounters with Jobs.
4. Maintain occasional personal interaction with your customers
As the news of Job’s resignation transcended around the world and social media platforms, the majority of mentions were positive. In particular, Apple customers are appreciative of the ‘urban legends’ of Jobs’ personally replying to emails. No doubt, as workload increases not everyone will be able to do this, but occasional interaction is well received.
5. Do not get comfortable
Jobs’ career has been a rollercoaster, and he has never been afraid to move on or try his hand at a new venture. After being dismissed from Apple in 1985 he went on to start another company, NeXT, as well as buy the company which would later be known as Pixar. He also became the largest single Disney shareholder when it bought Pixar. He returned to Apple in 1996.
6. Stay grounded
The cult image of Jobs’ in his trademark jeans, black shirt and trainers, created a down-to-earth perception of the inventor. His engaging and dynamic manner of exciting crowds during keynotes speeches even lead to them being renamed ‘Stevenotes.’
7. Keep people guessing
An archetypal part of Jobs’ Stevenotes was his trademark phrase at the end of presentations. After his concluding remarks, Jobs would turn to leave the stage, before turning back and saying: “But there’s one more thing...” after which he would unveil a new Apple product. Products unveiled at this stage include the MacBook Pro, iPod Touch and Facetime video calling for the iPhone 4.
8. Work relentlessly, maintaining a hands-on approach with your company or products
Jobs has been named as inventor or co-inventor on over 230 patents and patent applications. The array of products he has worked on include: computer and portable to user interfaces, speakers, keyboards and power adaptors.
9. Aspire to position your company at the helm of your industry, anticipating emerging trends
Apple is known for their innovative and groundbreaking products, especially under Jobs’ leadership. This is due to the visionary approach the company takes towards design and usability. Jobs has summed up this sentiment, stating: “There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ’I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.' And we've always tried to do that at Apple, since the very, very beginning. And we always will.” Apply these sentiments to your field and you’ll be onto a winner.
10. Know when to step down in the interest of your company
Jobs letter of resignation to Apple Inc. states “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” Of course, we now know the reason for the resignation was due to his decreasing health, and Steve sadly passed away two months after resigning.
Despite his death, the legacy Jobs left means that we can continue to learn from his work, as well as benefit from his visionary and creative genius every time we buy an Apple product. He was leaps and bounds ahead of technology markets and the business world will still need time to catch up with him.