Tim Cook’s leadership style, and the contrast with that of Steve Jobs, is much discussed. Inc picked up on an email from the Apple CEO responding to the complaints of a developer that was made public as part of recent antitrust hearings and rather summed up his style and emotional intelligence. The email only contained one word.
How would Cook respond to the lengthy message? He forwarded the email to three of Apple’s highest decision makers, senior vice presidents Eddie Cue, Phil Schiller, and Craig Federighi, with a one-word question: “Thoughts?” On the surface, you may think there’s nothing special about that type of email. After all, it’s a single word. But let’s break it down. First, Cook, the CEO of one of the most valuable companies in the world, could have dismissed the original message as a small-time complaint coming from a programmer who didn’t understand Apple’s overarching goals and strategy. But he didn’t.