Posts Tagged ‘ Apple ’

What are Your Secrets to Being a Revolutionary Leader?

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How quickly things change in 10 years

Think about this: the first iPhone came out in 2007.

Technology changes so rapidly that it is incredibly difficult to keep up with the rate of change. But looking at leadership, have there been as many revolutionary changes in the last seven years as there have been in technology?

Mobile World Congress was this week in Barcelona. For those who don’t know, it’s a huge annual conference where some of the top smartphone manufacturers introduce their latest products. Though Apple was absent, Samsung announced their latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5. Some advances from the previous version include improved battery life, updated camera, faster processor, a heart-rate monitor, and a new fingerprint scanner (a la iPhone 5s), but despite all of these, its reception has been generally lukewarm because the changes weren’t quite revolutionary.

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The response to the S5

Consumers of technology these days demand constant innovation from products. Why shouldn’t your direct reports, the consumers of your leadership, demand the same? Would you be able to keep up?

Let’s get the ball rolling on change. Are you currently doing something differently from other leaders to improve your leadership skills and/or meet the needs of your direct reports? Perhaps that thing you do is actually the game-changer that will revolutionize leadership as we know it. Share it in the comments.

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Image Credit: 1 | 2 | 3

Think Different—An Ode to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is the Thomas Edison of our era!

There, I said it. Now all of you Apple haters can stop reading the rest of this post and go back to texting or your version of surfing the Web in bitter disgust. Regardless, Steve Jobs is one of the most prolific visionaries of our era. His influence is cross-generational and has transcended time and space as the leader of one of the most innovative companies in American history, Apple, Inc.

Think Different, Steve Jobs

When Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of the world’s largest tech company late Wednesday, I felt compelled to offer an ode to his career—a salute to the inspiration he has been to many people over the years. But rather than make this article a cheap commercial for Apple products, we should focus on the genius behind the products—not the actual iconic imagery we think of when we think of an Apple product.

One of the most impactful quotes on my career was found within a February, 1996 Wired magazine interview with Steve Jobs. I still have the magazine in my office to this day and remember it well because I was a young dreamer living in the Silicon Valley, just starting my career during the height of the Internet revolution, when I came across this article—and the essence of what he said within that article still drives me at work to this day.

“Design is a funny word,” Jobs said. “Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” Apple’s attention to the design of its products has been as revolutionary at the turn of the 21st century as Edison’s communications advancements were at the turn of the 20th century. Nothing short of epic!

Apple’s uncompromising pursuit of simple and effective designs of communication devices, under the visionary leadership of Steve Jobs, has transformed the computer, Internet, film, and music industries. The sleek and savvy look and feel of their products are only surpassed in their ease of use and practical application to professional and personal life. While the MacBooks, iPods, iPhones, and iPads are sexy in their look and feel, what has truly made them so successful is how they work on the inside. Simplicity, without being overly simple.

When it comes to designing ideas, stories, products, or projects you need to think different! You need to think from the inside out. You need to start with the essence of what you are trying to achieve for greater good and then add the look and feel later. If the inside of your project doesn’t work, than it won’t matter what you make it look like on the outside. Whether you’re designing a Website, creating a video, writing a book, or developing a product, how it works will ultimately determine how effective it will be.

Thank you Steve Jobs for your inspiration and unshakable will to think different. I wish you the best and lasting health in your new role as Chairman of the Board of Apple, Inc. “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Jason Diamond Arnold
Co-Author of Situational Self Leadership in Action

Taking on the “R” as a Leader

I’ll admit it…I’m a technology nerd.  I enjoy reading about technology news on a daily basis.  Usually, the articles I read are about the latest and greatest gadgets, software updates, etc…  However, lately I’ve been seeing more and more news articles and blog postings about high level executives and developers slinging mud at their competitors. 

Last week, I read an article from Jean-Louis Gassée, a formal Apple executive, assaulting Steve Ballmer, the current CEO of Microsoft, for the recent shakeups at Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices division.  Whether Robbie Bach and J Allard chose to leave Microsoft, or whether they were let go, we may never know.  Jean-Louis went on to blame Steve Ballmer for various problems Microsoft has been facing since Ballmer took the reigns as CEO.

While I don’t entirely agree with his stance, he does mention one thing that makes sense: “Ballmer’s view of executive leadership doesn’t admit standing up and taking responsibility.”  While I doubt Steve Ballmer would agree with that statement, there’s a valuable lesson in this quote.  It’s one which we all know, yet we seem to never remember it on a regular basis. 

If those who report to us as are failing in their duties, it is not just their responsibility, but our own as their leaders, to help them succeed.  Letting our own direct reports fail is a reflection of our failures as leaders.

Think about this:  Are you the type of leader that simply punishes someone for their mistakes, or are you a leader that helps that person work through their issues with proper support and direction?  The leader that constantly punishes people will find that they may soon be “opening the third envelope,” as Jean-Louise mentions.  As for the leader that shares the responsibility with their direct reports, they will find that they’re surrounded with loyal, trusting, hard-working employees.

My own manager calls this “Taking on the “R,”” or in other words, the responsibility.  What will you do this week to take on the “R?” Let’s hear your comments!

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