Steve’s A Player

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

I just finished Steve Jobs biography and WOW… what a story! It certainly confirms that all geniuses have got their quirks (Mozart, Einstein, Freud, Elvis, Michael Jackson) and we mere mortals can only compensate with our ingenuity for our failings.

Here are my personal top 5 learning’s:

  1. His love for what he was doing: Never Start a Company with a Goal of Getting Rich.
  2. His amazing attention for design and making things clear: Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.
  3. His foresight in knowing what we as consumers would want: The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Invent it.
  4. His ability to focus on what was important and cut all the rest out: He Cut the Number of Products from 9600 to 4.
  5. His conviction to make sure he hired only “A-Players”: You Have to be Ruthless if You Want to Build a Team with “A-Players.”

Of course the last one is closest to my heart, but unfortunately this is not common practice. Many bosses are afraid to hire “A-Players” as they think that they might be gunning for their position; of course this breeds mediocrity over mediocrity. However, the truth is the opposite. Bosses with “A-Players” will shine more and their bosses will single them out for their ability to recognize talent and therefore keep them in mind for even higher positions. Why? Because they have built a team that will deliver results, are confident enough that they are not intimidated by their “A-Players” and because they have secured a list of possible successors in place who can take over their position and not miss a beat.

Get the best people for your team and you will find that your own career will spur into action.
Good luck finding your “A-Players!”

– Paul Keijzer


3 thoughts on “Steve’s A Player

  1. This is so true about the last point. People here develop some sort of insecurity while hiring A-Players. I personally believe there is lack of vision amongst them. You will always be as good as your team. Alas! they fail to understand this.

  2. Thanks for your comment Kisa. The interesting thing of course is that it is like a performance flywheel. The better the leader, the more confident he is to bring A Players in the team and as a result she / he becomes even better!

    – Paul

  3. Org issue is only A players can hire A players, if u hv mid and exec full of B players why would they risk themselves by hiring smarter lot. As the saying goes people leave managers and not organisation makes even a stronger case for having A mangers, if u want get this right starting looking from the top

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