Steve Jobs: The Power of Vision
Steve Jobs was unarguably the greatest CEO of our time. Although he is mostly popular for his company Apple that gave iPhone, iPad, and iWatch; he was much more than that. He was a visionary who led two of the most innovative and valuable organizations in the world. One of these companies was on the brink of bankruptcy before he turned it around.
The first Mac hit the market in 1984. To say that it changed lives would be an understatement. Mac was the first PC to sport a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Computers used to exist prior to the Mac, but you had to type in commands to use them. The Mac made computing easier.
Interestingly, that idea wasn’t Jobs’ or Apple’s. Jobs reportedly stole it. He had access to the research lab of Xerox. The graphical interface was their idea, but the company didn’t know what they were supposed to do with that revolutionary concept.
Jobs was bowled over by that idea. Being a visionary, he could easily comprehend its possibility. He asked his engineers at Apple to discover ways to turn that concept into reality. And they started working on an idea that seemed crazy or impossible to the rest of the world. And thus the first Mac was born. As they say, the rest is history.
Jobs lacked the skill or expertise required to engineer that feat. However, he had a clear vision. He knew what the computer should be like. It was this vision that ultimately changed the way we work with our computers.
Having a great vision will make us great leaders. Here are some of the ways Steve Jobs can inspire revolutionary leaders.
Jobs lacked the technical skills or expertise required to build the innovative products he envisioned. He needed his team’s engineering skills. His vision was inspiring and so his people worked hard to turn that vision into reality.
Every revolutionary idea is a bit crazy. Very often, the fear of failure forces us to settle for something less remarkable or innovative. Fear prevents us from dreaming big. As a result, we settle for something less. Vision helps people to do the impossible. An innovative idea, however impossible or crazy it might seem, will encourage you to strive towards it. Want to achieve something remarkable? Don’t be afraid of being crazy.
When you have a clear vision, you will be able to make sound decisions. When the vision isn’t clear, we tend to focus on things that are unlikely to work. On the other hand, if our vision is clear, our decisions, too, will be clear. Then every step that we take will propel us to success.
If the idea is great, it will motivate people to work harder to achieve it. Jobs’ team worked hard to create the Mac because they knew that the idea was worth pursuing. That knowledge kept them motivated. It encouraged engineers to work harder and designers to test their own limits. If they hadn’t realized the potential of that idea, they would have lacked the motivation to achieve this feat.
Everybody at Apple knew that their product was going to leave a huge impact on the world. Since the idea was revolutionary, people who worked on it regarded themselves as revolutionaries. That realization motivated them to make sacrifices.
A revolutionary idea demands creativity. Jobs and his engineers knew they were working on a new technology. Although it seemed impossible, Jobs knew they would make it possible and his team trusted his intuition. If you are hoping to achieve the impossible, having a clear vision will help stimulate the creativity.
Jobs’ vision was clear and specific. That helped him build products that were perfect. His was a vision of excellence. Excellence is not something you can add to the mix later. It has to be there starting day one. If your products aren’t excellent, your vision, too, probably wasn’t excellent. We love strategy. While it is good, if it isn’t accompanied by vision, it is useless.
People always told Jobs that his dreams weren’t achievable. And he would ask, ‘Why not?’ His unwavering faith, perseverance, intuition, and vision helped people fall in love with his revolutionary products.
We should have a clear vision in life. We should know what we are trying to achieve. Of course, not everybody can be a Steve Jobs. However, that doesn’t mean that your vision is less important or less perfect.
Vision is what makes leadership effective. It helps companies stay on track. It helps them monitor their progress continuously. So, do you have a revolutionary idea that has the potential to change lives?
Please mark your calendar for the major Apple Event: WWDC14 at 10:00 AM PDT, June 2nd