iLeadership by Jay Elliot

The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation,” is several books in one.

It’s the personal story of staggering success, painful failure, persistent struggle and white hot passion. Sometimes it reads like a documentary, at others a soap-opera. In my opinion, Jay presents Steve Jobs as a man of two extremes with no middle. He is an over-the-top visionary with an obsessive compulsion for every imaginable detail.

Additionally, It’s a brief, selective history of Apple with references to NeXT and Pixar.

Ultimately, it’s an insider’s explanation of innovative, sometimes excessive, leadership/management practices that propelled Steve Jobs to global celebrity. And beyond that, practices that enabled Steve to change the way the world works, plays, consumes, and communicates.

iLeadership encompasses four topic areas: product, talent, organization, and marketing. I’m hitting the first two here.


Steve’s leadership is motivated by an unquenchable desire to create the simplest, most functionally elegant product that meets customer needs. “Every opportunity starts with an unmet need.” Beyond that, Steve awakened customers to products and features they didn’t even know they needed.

Passion for product, in some cases translates into becoming the product. Jay recounts how Steve became the computer-in-the-box in order to energize innovation. His approach impacts everything from packaging to user experience.


I found the talent section most interesting and applicable. Steve made people feel it was a privilege to sell-out to the product.

You can be like Steve Jobs if you:

  1. Schedule three or four product-focused retreats per year
  2. Always look for specifics. Don’t accept generalities.
  3. Reject smoke-blowers and incompetence.
  4. Frequently pause and celebrate.
  5. Let best ideas rather than organizational structure control meetings.
  6. Create Stimulating offices that include social gathering places.
  7. Hold weekly product review meetings.


What do you know about Steve Jobs and his leadership style?


About the author:

Jay Elliot is an entrepreneur and author of, “The Steve Jobs Way: ileadership for a new Generation.” Released today, 3/08/11.

More about Jay on Pt. 1 of our interview: Plan execution: From an Apple Sr. V.P.


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