Wired: Steve Jobs’ Management Style Bucks Trends

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Over the last 100 years, management philosophy has gone from enslavement to empowerment, according to Leander Kahney at Wired Magazine . Steve Jobs has bucked that trend with what seems like tactics from the Industrial Revolution, and it has worked. The results have allowed Apple to leap ahead of the competition.

"In the 1940s, Bill Hewlett and David Packard pioneered what business author Tom Peters dubbed imanaging by walking around,i an approach that encouraged executives to communicate informally with their employees. In the 1990s, Intelis executives expressed solidarity with the engineers by renouncing their swanky corner offices in favor of standard-issue cubicles," Mr. Kahney wrote.

In contrast, Mr. Jobs has gone against that trend, ruling with an iron hand, attending to every little product detail, and keeping employees on a roller coaster of praise and fear.

Despite Mr. Jobsi tirades, Apple employees are devoted. "Thatis because his autocracy is balanced by his famous charisma ? he can make the task of designing a power supply feel like a mission from God. Andy Hertzfeld, lead designer of the original Macintosh OS, says Jobs imbued him and his coworkers with imessianic zeali."

Also, thereis that thing about changing the world, and Apple employees believe they can do it.

Mr. Kahneyis five part article recounts some old stories about Mr. Jobs and his Apple parking space and adds some new insights from Apple employees. The net result, however, is not just an understanding of how Mr. Jobs thinks, but how thatis translated into huge success against brutal competition in Silicon Valley. Guy Kawasaki summed it up:

"Steve proves that itis OK to be an asshole. I canit relate to the way he does things, but itis not his problem. Itis mine. He just has a different OS."

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