What Steve Jobs Knew Before the Great Resignation

It’s been 10 years since Steve Jobs has moved on, but his management practices that made him successful are still not common practices. Quite a few people prefer to criticize him for being a bad leader and a mean, manipulative and cold person.

A jerk, in one word. But a truly special one: he could control his narcissism.

Narcissism is rampant today and it kills the engagement of many professionals – almost like a parallel pandemic that we are enduring now and it is one of the principal drivers of the Great Resignation.

Jobs realized that we have entered what Peter Drucker called “knowledge economy.” That means treating the new “knowledge worker” as a “resource,” albeit human, is not effective any longer. Even more so if you run a knowledge-intensive hi-tech business.

But there’s one psychological detail that, arguably, helped him a lot. Arrogant as he was, Jobs surrounded himself with people who were admittedly smarter than him in their respective subject-matter areas – something that no true narcissist has ever been able to make oneself do.

Allegedly Steve Jobs said:

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Deriving from this wisdom, his three management principles were very simple – but not many organizations can honestly say that this is, indeed, how they work today:

1.     Employees should be involved in decision-making on the basis of their knowledge — in part, they should make decisions independently.

2.     In order to build the strongest possible team, cooperation should be encouraged.

3.     The boss should listen more and speak less. If the work of the individuals is respected, this has a positive impact on morale and, as a consequence, on the success of the company as a whole.

Thanks to Business Insider for the article