Leadership Lessons from Tim CookTim Cook stepped into the most challenging role in tech history, following in the footsteps of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO. In his first 16 months on the job, Apple has released next generation iPhones and iPads. Apple has also seen its stock price rise 43 percent.

Cook has changed Apple with his calm and steady influence. He’s showed a human side of the company with how he handled Jobs’s memorial service and putting out the company’s first ever public report detailing the environmental and labor conditions at its contractors’ facilities.


Eric Markowitz, contributor to Inc. said Cook’s interview with BusinessWeek offered a rare glimpse into his life as CEO of Apple.

He provides five leadership lessons you can learn from the CEO of the world’s most valuable company.

Diverse Background

Having a diverse team brings different experiences to the table. “Companies that can harness the most amount of creative experiences will be more innovative in their approach to business,” says Markowitz.

He goes on to say Cook recognizes this fact and has made diversity a cornerstone of his management philosophy.

Admit When You’re Wrong and Apologize

Every leader has these moments. Some things won’t work out despite your best intentions, plans, and efforts.

Cook overestimated the readiness of the Apple Maps app, but he admitted the problem and apologized. It’s more important to own a problem with humility than to attempt to prove your competence.

Be Transparent

Apple has had much criticism about the standards of their global employees, particularly through their manufacturing partner Foxconn.

Cook invited the world to see how Apple operations worked and by doing this he has created goodwill around the company. He has shown they don’t hide anything and in turn have set industry standards for other manufacturers.

Build Relationships with Customers

Take the time to read customer emails or, if you have a retail shop, talk to customers face-to-face.

Cook makes the time to do this and he says to not allow yourself to become insular. It was one of the most important things he’s learned as a CEO.

Focus On What You Do Best

Apple doesn’t have many products, even as large as it is. Cook says, “If you really look at it, we have four iPods. We have two main iPhones. We have two iPads, and we have a few Macs. That’s it.”

Apple knows they can only make a few products great and that is where their attention and focus goes.

When you inherit a leadership position from a visionary such as Steve Jobs isn’t an easy thing to do gracefully. Cook has risen to the challenge and is forging his own path for Apple. Whether you love the company or hate it, you have to admit Cook has imprinted his own leadership style and we can all learn a thing or two from him.

What leadership lessons have you learned from Tim Cook?

Image: aditza121 via Flickr, CC 2.0

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