Steve Jobs (1955-2011) co-founded Apple Inc

Subject: Business / General Business
Answer should be 400 words:
Steve Jobs (1955-2011) co-founded Apple Inc. and reinvented the PC, music players, phones, tablets, and digital publishing. He is regarded as technology industry’s most notable luminary. He continuously managed remarkably innovative projects—extremely successful ones as well as many failures. Although widely recognized as a marketing and technology guru, Jobs was largely successful because of his project-based approach for managing his business and producing new products. His approach to executing projects ultimately changed the business world. Jobs’ shared vision project management style offers lessons to help managers focus and motivate their team to get projects completed on schedule.

Shared Vision and Accountability

A significant part of what made Jobs successful was his persistent push to keep projects moving while communicating with his team to ensure they were working toward the shared vision. He stressed accountability and did not let anyone slide on that principle. He got to know everyone on the team and actively inspired them.

Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s chief evangelist and liaison to the Mac developer community, said Jobs appreciated great work. He was well known for giving employees feedback—publicly telling them if they were great or lousy. His bluntness infuriated some people but also motivated them to either do their best or leave.


Structure, understanding, and inspiration depend on the one irreplaceable management skill: communication. Part of what made Jobs so successful was his constant push to keep projects moving while communicating with his team to ensure they were working toward a shared vision. He held regular meetings to avoid wasting time with long e-mail chains and having to address the same concerns multiple times. Do Not Just Listen—Understand There is a big difference between listening and understanding. Jobs made sure he understood everyone on his team and that they understood him. This is done by making people demonstrate that they understand and not simply asking them if they understand. When everyone confirms they are on the same page, they will keep moving forward. Sources: Darton Group (2012), Isaacson (2012), and Kimbrell (2014).


What lessons can project managers learn from Jobs?
Research Steve Jobs’ management style from reputable sources. What did you learn about how people reacted to Jobs’ style?
Create a checklist of effective project management practices.

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