How to lead like Steve Jobs

One of the most important parts of modern business theory is the necessity for innovation, but there is a slightly different component that is often overlooked, the importance of adaptation. Being dedicated to pushing forward in a variety of directions is a powerful tool of finding new avenues for progress and filling gaps in the consumer market, but being adaptive means taking more precise and surgical approach to product development and company vision. The world is changing, and in response, the business world has had to adapt accordingly. However, the massive wave of innovation and technological leaps often occur so quickly that the market becomes deluged with too many options and promises. A cool, modern leader should have the presence of mind to take their company out of the proverbial rat race and slow things down, following the mantra of quality over quantity.

By focusing on smaller number of products, the short term can look bleak, and most risk assessment teams would advise against slowing down productivity based on a far-fetched dream. The theory of diversification behind umbrella corporations is based primarily on the idea that constant movement is far better than stasis, so spreading assets around to diverse industries will always keep a solid flow of profits coming in. However, for a leader with the confidence and intelligence to lead a dedicated team of innovators on a small number of extremely significant projects that could alter the entire landscape of the modern world, than brief starts and stops in productivity are probably worthwhile.

Take Apple – Steve Jobs, for example, the technology titan that specifically focused their efforts on a small number of products, perfecting and releasing them only when they were far superior to other products on the market. Being a detail-oriented individual is another factor of strong, modern leadership, particularly if you are involved and invested in the creative process. Leaders should not be afraid of getting their hands dirty and being heavily involved in the development, testing, and approval process of their products and services. This may seem “beneath” leaders of the Old Guard of the business world, but this is the sort of personal investment and genuine interest that makes modern leaders so successful, admired, and knowledgeable about the services they offer.

The ancient dichotomy of quantity vs. quality has arguments on both side of the coin, but for a handful of visionary and confident leaders, the choice is clear. By leaping into the future with design concepts that function within the times, a company can change not only the industrial landscape, but also cultural behavior as a whole. That is an important ability, and one that can raise your company to unimaginable heights.

As you can see, being adaptive can be risky, but also hugely rewarding, yet that is only one of a dozen other qualities that define some of today’s most influential and successful business leaders.

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Can Akdeniz

Can Akdeniz is the author of seven books and founder of Business Hacker, a popular business blog. His books such as Go Nuts, Cool Boss, Happy Company and MBA 2.0 have changed how people think about business, productivity and work.

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