Born on February 24, 1955, to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave him up for adoption, Steve Jobs became the founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. An immensely successful company that has dictated the evolution of modern technology, he has played a vital role in the creation of groundbreaking devices such as the i-Pod, i-Phone an i-Pad.
Name: Steven Paul Jobs
Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, United States
Education: Cupertino Junior High, Homestead High School, Reed College in Portland, Oregon (dropped out after 6 months).
Family: Laurene Powell (wife) and four children (Lisa, Reed, Erin and Eve)
Roles: Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc., Co-founder and CEO of Pixar, founder and CEO of NeXT Inc. And board member of The Walt Disney Company
Religion: Zen Buddhism
Creations: iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad
Great leaders love what they do and Jobs loved Apple and was incredibly passionate about the products Apple created. His passion, energy and force of personality enthused those around him and fuelled the creation of brilliant products which have lead Apple to become one of the world’s biggest companies.
During his time as the Apple CEO, Jobs created a culture of accountability. All projects had a DRI – Directly Responsible Individual. This resulted in complete clarity in the company because everyone knew who was responsible for each project. It also meant that people could take the credit for overseeing projects successfully.
Having high standards is a pre-requisite for sustained success. Jobs did not settle for anything less than excellence in everything that Apple did under his leadership - “one must be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
A feature of Jobs’ leadership was focus. He passionately believed that Apple could only do a small number of things incredibly well. When Jobs’ returned as Apple CEO in 1997, he cancelled dozens of projects and focused all of the company’s energy on offering customers 4 amazing products. Jobs’ showed excellent judgement over which ideas to pursue and which ideas to disregard.
“We tend to focus much more. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done.”