Steve Jobs founded two of the most valuable and creative companies of our time — Apple and Pixar. But he would not have reached such heights without ever breaking the rules.
To get Apple and Pixar off the ground, Jobs had to overcome many obstacles. He had a gift to create his own reality — a “distortion field” which he’d use to convince people of the absolute truth of his personal convictions.
That is how his company moved forward. He also used various tactics of manipulation, which brought him victory over and over again, in particular at meetings with the most influential businessmen in the world. Many consider Jobs a genius, and everyone can learn something by analyzing his way of doing things. In this article we will tell you how to get what you want — whether in your career or life in general — using examples from Jobs’ life.
Pitch with Passion. Strong Expressions of Emotions Look Convincing
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Pitching was Jobs’s trump card, and it should be a key part of yours, too. The ability to sell— yourself or your product — is the key to ensuring that others want to invest in your ideas.
Before Apple launched iTunes in 2001, Jobs held dozens of meetings with musicians in the hope of partnering with record labels. One of those with whom Jobs pitched was the eminent trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Jobs talked to him for two hours straight.
“He was a man possessed. After awhile, I started looking at him and not the computer, because I was so fascinated with his passion,” Marsalis told.
Jobs also pitched ideas to his ad team with a similar passion to “ensure that almost every ad they produced was infused with his emotion.” The resulting commercials, like the “1984” ad and the iPod silhouette ads, helped Apple become much more than just a computer company.
Totally Honest will Help You Build an Effective Circle of Followers
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he immediately began to work on improving the company, which suffered from an excessive abundance of products and a lack of competent leadership.
Jobs brought together the best Apple employees, stepped onto the stage right in shorts and sneakers and asked him to tell him “what’s wrong with this place.” After whispering and evasive answers, Jobs interrupted the audience: “It’s the products! So what’s wrong with the products?” Jobs shouted: “Our products sucks! There’s no sex in them anymore!”
People bought and would buy into Jobs’s ideas because he was always sincere. “It’s my job to be honest,” he told his biographer.
Work hard, and others will respect you
Steve Jobs treated his work with incredible fanaticism. He told the biographer that when he returned to Apple in 1996, he worked daily from 7:00 to 21:00 (and at the same time continued to lead Pixar!). Jobs worked tirelessly and suffered from kidney stones. Nevertheless, he was in the office all the time and motivated the staff to create top products. He deserved their respect.
Disarming Flattery Does Wonders
People are always looking for approval and responsive to sympathy. And if you keep giving it to them, they’ll eventually crave it from you. Jobs could seduce and charm people at will, and he liked to do so. He could be charming to people he hated just as easily as he could be insulting to people he liked.
Make Decisions Quickly and Definitively
When it came to creating new products, Apple, as a rule, does not bother to get acquainted with research, surveys and opinions of third-party analysts. Key decisions are also made quickly — no waiting in a few months. Jobs quickly lost his patience and interest, so he made decisions instantly, relying on his instincts.
Aim for Perfection and Don’t Settle for Anything Less
Jobs did not want just Apple to outrun competitors or bring in more money: he needed the best product on the market. He was demanding in everything:
- He worked with countless artists and advertising agencies to make sure Apple’s ads had the right feel, and that the imagery and the audio synced up perfectly.
- Of the iPod engineers, he demanded the ability to access any function on the music player with three button presses, and no more.
- He insisted the production process for all Apple computers be shaved down from four months to two.
Individually, any of these solutions may seem like unnecessary fuss, but all together they helped made Apple a cult company that is second to none.