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Team Building the Steve Jobs Way

Former CEO of Apple Steve Jobs inspired a lot of people to think differently.

While so many people think of him as the single force of change for the technology industry, this couldn't be further from the truth. Over the years he built a team of incredibly talented people who worked collaboratively to keep the company at the forefront of innovation. Any manager would be mad to not want to have such a team! To celebrate the launch of the new Steve Jobs movie we're looking at what lessons we can learn about team building from the great man.

“A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

Apple is a juggernaut but that wasn't always the case. Look back to what the company was like pre-1997 and you can see a visibly smaller difference in the team compared to other businesses the same size financially. It's the reason why so many bosses will scratch their heads at giant teams they've invested in recruiting turning out worse work than a small team of people completely in sync with each other, working at their best.

“There's tremendous team work at the top of the company, which filters down to tremendous team work throughout.”

A company doesn't just fall in line behind one guy. There needs to be great team work at the top of the business, which sets a great example for everyone else to follow.

“Team work is dependent on trusting the other folks to come through with their part without watching them the whole time.”

Leadership in the style of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is counter-productive. Nobody likes to feel like someone is looking over their shoulder. It creates an air of paranoia. People will spend half their time worrying rather than actually focussing on their work. There has to be trust in your team.

“We have wonderful arguments.”

With trust comes listening to the ideas and opinions of others. Sometimes, this will lead to heated conversations, which can be just what you need to produce the best possible work. Remember, you have valuable knowledge to contribute just like everyone else, so don't be afraid to contradict others. Your knowledge and skills can help them make something great.

“You have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy.”

Customers do not see team work, they see the product you make or the service you provide. Both of which come from great ideas. Let ideas run your business.

Written by Jim Alexander

13th Friday November 2015