Leadership Lessons from Steve JobsIf you want to build a truly great company, you need to be aware of the legacy you will leave behind.

Before Steve Jobs, there hasn't been a CEO whose presence has meant more to the value of a company than Job’s second reign at Apple.

This article on his plans to build a spaceship in a peach orchard in Cupertino, California, got me thinking.

While everyone was worried about his health and Apple stock, Steve Jobs quietly built his greatest product of all time: A team at Apple that can thrive in the absence of their great leader.

Three Leadership Lessons From Steve Jobs

Actively plan for bold and ambitious things that will live beyond your reign.

The iSpaceship is an architectural marvel and has the space to hold more than 13,000 employees. It will be a testament to the Apple design aesthetic, and will create a work space where a love of beautiful things (the Apple trademark) will flourish.

Pass on your DNA.

Behind the scenes, Jobs was training the future leaders of Apple to think and create like him. Of course, like everything else at Apple, the exact details of this experiment remain a secret. They have Apple University (modeled after a program he created at Pixar), which covers everything from products, vision, and strategy.

Create your most ambitious product before you leave.

Jobs said the iCloud will relegate PC and Mac devices to “just a device.” Their goal is to move the digital hub of your life into the cloud.

Just as we’ve seen before, competitors will have a tough time keeping up as Apple doesn’t stop at creating and improving their core products, but focus on transforming the entire ecosystem that their products touch.

Why It Matters

If you’ve read Good to Great, you’ll remember the distinctions made between Level 4 and Level 5 leaders.

The best way to build an enduring organization, Jim Collins said, was to have a leader who had enormous professional will but that was humble at the same time.

Nobody would accuse Steve Jobs of being humble, yet he was building an organization that will serve as the model of enduring innovation.

Here’s the question we should be asking: Is there another level of leadership above Level 5? Is it possible that charisma and a distinct personal vision for your company will lead you to greater success than a Level 5 leader would?

Apply It to Your Business

Think about what you want your legacy to be. Get started building that vision well before the clock starts to tick close to midnight.

Find the secrets to your success and share them with your entire team so they can start to think and act like you.

Are you the next Steve Jobs? Probably not. But that doesn't mean you can't learn a thing or two from him.

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram