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The power plays of Steve Jobs: How he persuaded people to follow his vision

Here’s how Steve Jobs diverted to the common notion of leadership.



The Business Insider takes a searing look at how tech visionary Steve Jobs and his power plays persuaded a lot of people to fall in line with his vision. His methods literally debunked one of the sacred business tomes,  Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” 

Many successful professionals had sworn by this. Carnegie’s ways on wielding influence were based on cultivating friendships and generating widespread popularity. Jobs’ techniques were significantly different. He valued individualism to the point of bullheadedness. He was not afraid of courting hostility if it meant achieving a certain goal.

steve jobs

Steve Jobs speaks at his keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. Taken by Ben Stanfield (CC BY-SA 2.0) (Source)

The Apple founder died at the age of 56 after steering his organization back to the top of its field. His groundbreaking products like the iPhone and the iPad were pushing envelopes and capturing entire markets. The man has long been recognized as a genius by his own competitive peers who, like him, were out to win. However, aside from that intellectual firepower, Jobs was also a master manipulator who could convince people to see things his way.

Here are the power maneuvers that helped Steve Jobs do it:

  • Brutal honesty. He developed a corporate culture that pushed for transparency and savage openness in the quest for high quality, even if it hurt.
  • Claiming credit. He owned other people’s ideas and suggestions as if they were his, and made them actually believe it.
  • Rapid decision-making. He didn’t dither and waited for a consensus to come to a decision if events called for it.
  • Leverage. He seized on his advantages and used them.
  • Passion. His intense belief in his vision won over even the cynical.
  • Perfectionism. Nothing was ever good enough. He always raised the bar and exerted every effort to make sure his products set the standard higher than anything else on the market.
  • Quick problem-fixing. If things went south, he wanted things remedied and put back on course ASAP.
  • Flattery. He charmed people he hated and didn’t respect if it meant pushing their buttons to get the job done.
  • Striking hard once the iron was hot. He didn’t relax after a victory but kept on working and pushing himself to reach higher goals.
  • Hard work. He came to work at 7 a.m. and left at 9 p.m. every single day. He put in more hours in the office than any employee.
  • Smart reversals. He wasn’t afraid of reversing his positions once he saw he was wrong—without necessarily owning up to the mistake.

Olivia McCall is passionate about education, women and children’s rights, and the environment. A long-time investor, she covers news about the latest stocks (lately marijuana and tech), IPOs and indices, and is always on the lookout for socially responsible startups. She also writes about the food sector, and has a keen interest on cryptocurrencies.