I’m working on a business question and need an explanation to help me learn.
Below the Surface Appreciate Communication Style Differences
At the beginning of this chapter you learned how Steve Jobs communicated with his team, in a style that was direct and what some may describe as abrasive or insensitive. On the other hand, Jobs was also described as having a deep sense of empathy and intuition for customers. He learned the importance of focus and gained a deep appreciation for intuition while studying Buddhism in India. “Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
For example, when a member of the original Macintosh team asked if market research should be done prior to a retreat, Jobs said, “No, because customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.” Quoting Henry Ford, he said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’”*
Biographer Walter Isaacson said people tend to focus on the “rough edges” of Jobs’ personality, when in fact his communication style was the essence of his approach to business. His intensity led him to not just create great products, but to transform seven industries. Can you imagine a world with the iPhone, iPad, iMac, iPod, IPod nano, OS X Lion operating sytem, the iTunes Store, or the animation films produced by Pixar? We can’t either.*
- There is no doubt Steve Jobs was a great visionary. He was also a great entrepreneur who created one of the world’s most valuable companies. But how would you describe his communication with others? Would you say Steve Jobs was an effective communicator? Provide support for your answer, whether yes or no.
- Imagine you are hired to work at Apple on a team reporting directly to Steve Jobs. How would you respond to working for a boss with his communication style? How would you need to change the way you give and receive communication when communicating with Jobs?
- Imagine you are hired by Steve Jobs to mentor him on how he communicates with his staff and employees. What advice would you give him? How do you think he would respond?