Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Trust the Art, Not the Artist

A thought provoking article for those of you who are fans of Steve Jobs. Not of his work, but of his leadership style. This article answered a lot of questions that went through my mind while studying "Trait Theories" last semester, especially "The Great Man Theory". Mr. Jobs was the first leader who came to my mind the moment I heard it. And then, as most would probably do, I wondered, "If this theory is a challenged as inaccurate, how did Steve Jobs become so successful?". This article answered that question too. Good read.

Decoding Steve Jobs: Trust the Art, Not the Artist - Bill Taylor -
"Leaders who want to both change the game and stay in the game for the long haul have come to appreciate the power of "humbition" over blind ambition. What's humbition? It's a term I first heard from Jane Harper, a nearly 30-year veteran of IBM. It is, she explains, the subtle blend of humility and ambition that drives the most successful leaders — an antidote to the know-it-all hubris that affects so many executives and entrepreneurs.

Humility is not part of the Steve Jobs leadership repertoire — and that's worked out fine for him. But humility has become a crucial part of the job description for leaders who aren't Steve Jobs. So marvel at his products, applaud his feel for design, wonder at his capacity to cast such a large shadow over so many industries — and, by all means, pray for his speedy recovery and long health.

But don't think you'll do better as a leader by acting more like Apple's leader. Trust the art, not the artist."