The word used most about Steve Jobs is VISION. His vision that the Apple computer be an extension of what people do was amazingly fulfilled during his life. The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context, says, “Steve Jobs has a vision that the Apple computer is an extension of what people do. He wants every kid in school to have access to one. Mission fulfillment starts with someone in leadership envisioning what can be.”
Steve Jobs envisioned that the medium of the computer would capture, store and carry our messages, whether they be medical research, literary analysis, art or music. He also inspired and led others to achieve the development, design and marketing of the medium. The medium resonates with us because it enables us to capture and express so much of who we are, and what we want others to know about us. In many ways Steve Jobs’ devices help me be me, and they help you be you.
Mission fulfillment requires that vision be negotiated into a set of circumstances that are favorable for a company to succeed at innovating goods and services that others are willing to pay for to benefit from and enjoy. Arguably, Steve Jobs did this better than any person in the world. Apple computers and products are functional, portable, reliable and because of these features they also are fairly ubiquitous.
Steve Jobs legacy includes leaving us a medium that assists us to do what we want to do. It enables each of us to extend our intellectual and creative capacities, and whether those messages are entertaining or enlightening, today because of Steve Jobs, they are more accessible and perhaps more relevant. That is a legacy that is incalculably beneficial, and for which I Salute Steve Jobs.
To get teams to perform well requires leadership to obtain synergy from the members’ diversity, so they work together to achieve “collective competence” as a team. Consider football teams. A football team needs people whose physical nature and psychology make them excellent offensive linemen. It also needs some people whose bodies and mental chemistry make them good defensive linemen. Teams need quarterbacks that are good at throwing, and tight ends and wide receivers whose bodies have longer limbs and arms that are great for running swiftly and catching things coming at them from various angles. Football teams also need running backs who bodies are powerful and agile to dart in and out of tight spots to outmaneuver others. There are other smaller, skinny people on football teams who are good at kicking. Without this diversity, a football team cannot be successful.
The challenge for a team getting synergy from its diversity is that each of the different players approaches the mission from varying psychological viewpoints. An offensive lineman is wired to protect. The running back is wired to avoid others and run over those who can’t be avoided. The mind-set of a defensive lineman is to catch and tackle others aggressively. The mental focus of a quarterback is to hang tough and do whatever it takes to deliver the ball to another player. A kicker is focused on accurately placing the ball onto various sections of the field or through the goal posts.
A leader must understand the gifts, perspectives and roles individuals can contribute, and must motivate and inspire them to participate as effective team members. to achieve the mission that matters most. Are you the type of leader who can coach your team’s diverse perspectives and viewpoints so they achieve cooperative synergy to win for the organization?