3 Lessons We Can Learn from Leaders Like Steve Jobs

Inspirational leadership is often represented by values-based leaders who inspire others through their actions to think and act differently in the world. When they are successful in elevating others, big transformations emerge.

One example of a values-based leader was Steve Jobs. And before you roll your eyes saying“Not Steve Jobs again…” I’d like to share with you a real scoop, and quite an interesting one.

We recently came across an old video of an internal and confidential meeting that Steve Jobs held with his extended executive team members and managers at Apple back in 1997, just a few weeks after he returned to the company as the new CEO:

His main objective was to win back the company’s glory. He talked briefly about changes at Apple — in the company’s pipeline, products, and distribution.

While he was talking about those topics, his primary message was that although Apple is one of the greatest brands, Apple needed to change in order to keep its relevance in the world. To do that, Apple needed to communicate its core values, and what the company stood for, to the world.

“It’s not about Plug and Play,” Jobs said. It’s about values, the soul of the company, and the core belief that “people with passion can change the world for the better.”

We all know what happened with Apple since Steve Jobs got his job back. It changed the world through its products.

So what can we learn — as leaders and managers in companies — from inspirational leaders like Steve Jobs?

1. Great leaders are values-based leaders. And they imbue the company with their values. They inspire their people and teams to act and make major transformations.

2. Inspirational leadership could be the engine behind phenomenal, life-changing ideas, products, and actions.

3. Inspirational leadership is contagious. Most people want to be inspired and when they do, you just need to get out of their way. They will do amazing things and will move the organization forward.

So when you’re thinking about launching a new idea, product, or service, think about the essence of the company and ask the following questions:

  • What is it that the company stands for, at its core? What are its values?
  • How can the company’s leadership carry these values and introduce them to the world in such a way that will inspire others?
  • Where does the company fit in the world?

After asking these questions, make sure that the company’s core values are part of the marketing strategy. There is a chance for big transformations to emerge.

At CCL, we share a similar belief that people with great passion can change the world — and we also believe that values-based leaders who know themselves are the ones that will lead their teams and company to a great future.

We invite you to explore our leadership programs to get inspired in our classes and accelerate your leadership potential and capabilities for a better world.

About the Author

Vered AsifVered Asif is a global professional and thought leader on leadership development and organizational development, leadership strategy, and organizational transformation. She has co-authored and published white papers and articles on various topics such as networks, leadership strategy, and societal impact.

Vered has held various global roles in Europe and Africa with the Center for Creative Leadership as faculty and manager within the Senior Leadership Solutions practice area.

She is currently Leadership Solutions Associate for the EMEA region with CCL. In addition, she has established her own consulting practice in her home country of Israel.

Vered holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology and a Master’s in organizational sociology and critical thinking, both from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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