And There Came Meetings And How To Run Them… Steve Jobs Style

Apple founder Steve Jobs helped create an entire culture around the products his company produces. What would it be like if leaders created a culture around the manner in which he lead his companies.

The Cinnamon Girl once told me that the average American family owned something like $2000 worth of Apple products and, before I could even begin to debate her – never a good idea, debating The Cinnamon Girl – my mind began to catalog the devices in our home and in our hands: computers, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, etc. The numbers added up very quickly.

Too quickly.

Apple makes quality products. There is no doubt of that. Apple delivers quality service. The is, likewise, little debate here. It seems to me that Apple is the only company that could make me even consider spending money on a watch (4.24.15 is coming, right?).

All that said, I do not consider myself a part of “The Apple Culture.” Perhaps this is a delusion, but I maintain it vigorously. Apple Stores drive me crazy. I bristle at Apple’s media saturation. I resist the pull of eating the fruit of the garden.

Obviously, I am not always successful in that resistance.

But I recognize there is something different and special about the company. That quality seems to come, at least in part, from the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder.

Image from Time Magazine - John Sullivan, Getty Images.

Image from Time Magazine – John Sullivan, Getty Images.

There’s nothing insightful in stating that. Jobs was an outside-the-box, premise challenging, pain-in-the-ass type thinker who seemed both uncomfortable in any status quo situation and unable to sit quietly within one. He did things differently and it’s no surprise that Apple and, later, Pixar – another company Jobs had a hand in founding, would adopt his way of proceeding.

Time Magazine published a piece this week on how Jobs ran meetings and it’s worth a read for anyone – any leader – who has ever had to convene a gathering and chair it. You can read the whole article (which includes video of a young Jobs) HERE but the highlights are:

  • Show Your Passion
  • Focus on Creating value
  • Challenge Your Team
  • Keep Everyone on Course
  • Define the Right Priorities
  • Know When to Interrupt
  • Learn from the Past but Don’t Let It Own You
  • Focus on the Positive

Sounds just like every meeting you’ve ever been in, right? Worse yet, it sounds just like every meeting you’ve ever run, correct?

As leaders, we could all learn a thing or two from Jobs. Our constituents might appreciate it if we did.


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Filed under Leadership, Meetings

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