April 16, 2012 dovbaron

Steve Jobs, Leadership Dinosaur?

When Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs died, people left loving notes at every Apple store around the world. There was tremendous gratitude for the innovations and advancement Jobs had brought to our planet.

However, there was something else going on in direct response to Steve Jobs’ passing– “The Canonizing Effect.”

Apple Store Memorials

This is an odd phenomenon that often occurs when someone dies. We instantly erase all their “sins” and turn them into some kind of saint. Once they are gone, we suddenly seem able to say only “nice” things about them and what they did. We don’t feel like we can bring up any of their faults or flaws. (don’t speak ill of the dead etc)

As a result of this canonizing of Jobs, one of the things that I experienced was that I began hearing people in the leadership community speak of how they wanted to be the kind of leader Jobs was.

Really?  People wanted to emulate Jobs’ leadership style?

Let’s be clear–there were many things about his leadership style that were highly admirable. For instance, his single-minded drive for innovation was remarkable. However, there was another side, to Jobs as a leader.  He was oftentimes nothing short of cruel to those under him and very much isolated and unapproachable. (You can read all about this in the book Steve Jobs)

You might argue, “Yeah, but his style of leading worked. Apple Inc is a vastly successful company and the #1 recognized brand in the world!”  Of course, you would be right.  Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world. However, the question that rises here is not one of Steve Jobs’ innovative genius, (which I highly respect), but rather his ability to effectively lead now and in the future.

Therefore, we are left to consider:

Was Steve Jobs a Leadership Dinosaur?

We have to consider what it takes to be a leader, more specifically an Authentic Leader in this, the new economy.  As we move forward, we must face the fact that the old model of leadership, based on being unapproachable and speaking down to those under our leadership will no longer work. It does not build loyalty either with our teams or with our customers. Fake relationships, which in many ways were the back bone of the old boys club are the kiss of death for doing business in the new economy.

Unless you are completely ignorant of the economic changes and the impact of how business is operating today, you now know that business is and will be done via relationship, real, nurtured relationships.  (This is one of the fundamental reasons, and rightly so,  why women are becoming the dominant force in business)

Now hold on a minute!  Don’t let that little Chihuahua in your head start yapping about how you already know all that.  We aren’t talking about the old fake smile, pat you on the back, and then badmouth you behind your back kind of relationship.

That is the old model.

The outdated model.

The model that just won’t work anymore.

In the new economy you better be willing to “show up” and let people actually see you. Transparency and Authenticity go hand in hand.

Authenticity will be—and already is—the hallmark of leadership today.
The question comes down to this: Do you have the heart, soul, voice, balls (or ovaries) and willingness to be transparent to make it?

 I trust that you found this article valuable, if so feel free to send this to your friends.

I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please share, like and comment below!

With gratitude,

Dov Baron Speaks internationally on leadership in the new economy. He is the Leading expert on Authentic Leadership and is the world’s Only Corporate Cultural Strategist. To bring Dov in to speak to your group or organization please contact Baron Mastery at +1 604 436 2063

P.S. Have you heard “The Accidental Guru” Radio Show yet? The Very Best in Personal and Professional Leadership. DOv is the Host and Executive producer every Thursday Morning from 10:00 AM (PST) 1:00PM (EST) Details are at: http://radiodov.com



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Comments (4)

  1. Tanyareilly

    Good for you to teach people it takes more than the ability to earn money to earn hero status. I think people are starved for others to look up to.

  2. Excellent points Dov. As much as Steve did – he left so much “Potential’ revenue and success on the table.  One example is that He dramatically limited himself with the Safari browser on all of his apps and most websites use Adobe Flash and Shockwave software as a standard for playing videos while Safari uses their Quick Time only.

    This has made it very hard to view many sites in their full capabilities and also a huge reason why Google was able to come up with the Droid operating system now owns 74% of the market and counting. Android is “Open Source’ which means anyone can use the “kernel” of the program and customize it to build applications.

    Additionally as much as I like Steve (he’s not as heartless as many purported though) he was known to be tyrannical and often alienated people and many a person left Apple and went on to be legends elsewhere like Guy Kawasaki their Former Chief Evangelist (his real title) Guy has written many books, founded a Tech VC firm called Garage.com and the ultra popular site Alltop.

    Other Prominent Apple alumni include:

    ~ Marc Benioff – founder of Salesforce.com

    ~ Trip Hawkins, who started Electronic Arts

    ~ Andy Rubin, Found the Android operating system and now leads
    mobile efforts at Google

    ~ Reid Hoffman, Co-founder LinkedIn

    ~ Evan Doll, a former iPhone software engineer, left to
    co-found iPad reader Flipboard.

    ~ Loren Brichter left Apple and created the popular application
    Tweetie, which Twitter acquired and turned into its official mobile app.

    ~ Dave Morin co-created Facebook Platform, which enables
    developers to build apps on the social network, and Facebook Connect, which
    allows people to sign in to other websites using their Facebook profiles.

    Imagine if THOSE were owned by Apple. And Apple is in the BEST position of anyone to own its own mobile network and Wireless 4g network for Streaming TV PLUS they could have the World’s largest Social Network but never had the Cohesive Teamwork to get it done.

    I created the first Social Network for kids at Disney Interactive and Michael Eisner, like Steve Jobs, ran the company by fear, intimidation and massive control and they too had the chance to be of MUCH greater service to Customers, have REVOLUTIONARY people with technologies and platforms that could literally change the course of humanity in so many ways that I would digress to mention them.

    The “New Economy” CAN NOT and WILL NOT allow the likes of these individuals to have such a disproportionate amount of power – equivalent almost to that of World Dictators who have had their day and People are beginning to understand that THEY have much more power than they were TAUGHT to believe about themselves and “It is to that end” that anyone ever hoping to succeed anywhere in the arena of tens to hundreds of thousands of Customers MUST understand that “The ‘King’ (Absolute Power) is dead – Long live the New King (Co-operative, Synergistic Teams).

    • Thank you Sterling for your very clear and insightful feedback…now you got me thinking…and that’s a good thing!

  3. Lennart

    It takes its time but I have advocated your thoughts for decades. Being a European (25 years in the US) it was rather clear to me early in my career that what you guys are saying is correct. I do not know that Steve Jobs did a lot to move the process further, neither did he sabotage the progress. I do recognize his result and can admire them as well as agree that he is worth a lot of the canonizing as in the end result is what counts. 
    I’d say producing TV programs like “The Apprentice” keeps the old culture alive. I do not think Steve Jobs had a negative impact on the progress – Donald Trump does. 

    Now when we understand how a great leader needs to be. Isn’t it time to see what type of organization we need? I agree it is a chicken and egg situation. However, to pay attention to what needs to happen with the organization will be crucial.

    In my opinion the only reason we have those large companies and government entities is that once upon a time it were shortage of qualified workers. We simplified the jobs so the unemployed farm workers could mange the jobs. That required a large companies with many simple tasks. The US and western Europe has since long lost a competitive edge when it comes to production with that model. However, we have a well educated workforce able and willing to take initiative. We have knowledge and technologies to handle tasks of a very complex nature better than any of the nations we are competing with manufacturing labor intensive products.

    An effective modern organization is depending on small entities combining resources and utilizing our technology advantage for short periods of time. A just in time process in regards to manpower (intelligence) as well as for material. Flexibility and authentic communication is the only way in small organizations. 
    We need to break down those large permanent organizations we have built the last 150 years. They are unnatural. They are almost impossible to lead. (I.E. the government, HP 350,000 people) – it must be obvious that the message disappear in the matrix and stupid policies are used as crutches to support the vision, but they ultimately just verifies Nietzsche’s statement; “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs , it is the rule.”
    Combine that with the facts we are given on an everyday basis:
    a. employees are dissatisfied with the jobs.
    b. when asked people do not say they need higher pay first of all they ask for being part of the process.
    c. all NEW jobs are created within small organizations.

    In my opinion we need the new type of leaders NOW. We need a large number of them as we need to have smaller and more flexible organizations. We cannot bring back unqualified tasks but the market is screaming for effective handling of complex matters. Just look upon our taxes at the best 50% goes toward the issue it is supposed to solve. The rest is lost because of an ineffective organization. Time to CHANGE.

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Video Introduction

Full Monty Leadership: Bring Dov In Today – Click to Book Now

The Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” are losing their Star Players!

The Top 3 Reasons
“Leaders” are losing their Star Players!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the recession has aggravated what already was a deteriorating relationship between employers and their employees. While things weren’t rosy before, now everyone knows someone (or has experienced it themselves!) who has been caught in layoffs, buyouts, downsizing, capsizing, and reductions in benefits, not to mention freezes on new hires, pay raises, and promotions.

And you also know the result: People are willing to abandon companies like the proverbial rats on a sinking ship because no one feels safe!

The reason isn’t rocket science. If you even suspect that the ship you are on could go down and something else comes along, there’s a good chance you’d jump ship too. Think about it.  The fear doesn’t have to be based on facts; a nasty corrosive rumour can have people racing toward the exits just as easily.

A Wharton School of Business article says that most companies can expect to lose anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of their employees in any given year. Few things are more disruptive and costly to your business than an unexpected exodus from your talent pool.

If you want loyalty, you must focus on culture over rhetoric!  Regardless of position, title, or even office size, employees who volitional walk away, generally do so because they perceive some type of disconnect with leadership and/or the values of the company. (This is best reflected in the corporate culture)

It’s no surprise to any of us, but employee loyalty is not what it used to be. In a recent survey of employee benefits, trends, and attitudes, MetLife found that employee loyalty is at a seven-year low.

So what are the Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” lose their Star Players?

Leaders must learn how to deal with conflict.

Be honest, I mean really honest. Are you comfortable with conflict?  By that I don’t mean that you are aggressively looking for some form of fight, but when conflict comes up, can you confront it with compassion and empathy? Do have the skills to resolve the issues?

If not, you can be certain that your team’s morale is going to tank faster than a preschooler who needs a nap because conflict is the nature of relationship.

You’ve got to understand that crappy moral is contagious!  Problems that don’t get addressed, be they feuds between departments (silos), interpersonal quarrels, or performance issues all negatively impact employee enthusiasm, motivation, and ultimately loyalty.

Before we go any further, I want to set something straight…small problems do not go away. Small problems that are ignored develop into resentment, and will develop into bigger problems. (Don’t believe me? Ask the person you live with…Go on, I dare you.)

A leader who does not–or cannot–deal with conflict will immediately start to lose the trust and respect of her/his employees. And you and I both know that you can’t lead without trust and respect.

That being said, a leader who is a master of conflict resolution knows that healthy conflict creates a deepening bond. (Again, if you don’t believe me, ask the person you live with if, after you have actually stopped avoiding the conflict and got it all out on the table, they inevitably feel closer to you.)

Leaders must become masterful at dealing with generational diversity.

Generational bias has always been an issue, however, now more than ever in a global economy, it can be a crippling one.  As a discerning leader, I am going to ask you an important question. Do you believe that a Baby Boomer (people born between 1946 and 1964), Generation Xer (people born between mid 1960s to the early 1980s), Millennial (people born between 1982 and 2000) are all treated equally in the climb to the top?

Here’s an example from way back in the last century. I can remember when I first started speaking to individuals and organizations of influence back in the 80s. At that time, I came across research that said it took a rookie over 100 hours to learn the skills to become a fighter pilot.

It was estimated that that same level of training could be completed to competence in around 20 hours by a GenXer because of their much higher exposure to technology. Then came the Millennials. These latest members of the work force have grown up with even more electronic interface than the generation X group, and as a result their TQ (technical intelligence) far exceeds those of the last two generations.

The challenge can be that as a leader you are likely to be either a Boomer or an Xer, have likely climbed through the ranks and invested a considerable amount of time in getting where you are today. Now you are likely to find yourself leading Millennials, while having an empathetic bias towards your own generation.

You see, part of the challenge is that we often (even unconsciously) use the time we’ve put in, rather than effectiveness, as a standard of measure. Furthermore, even if we are measuring the effectiveness of our top players, our leaders, it’s important that we examine whether our criteria for measurement may also be outdated.

The challenge is that if the criteria by which we measure authentic leadership remain the same as it was for old school leadership, we won’t be able to recognise the value that is in front of us.


Leaders must learn how to lead in new ways.

The most important of the Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” are losing their Star Players is because of Inauthentic Leadership!

There was a time when a leader could lead through image, reputation, experience, force or any combination thereof…However, hold on to your seats. Ladies and Gentlemen, because that train has already left the station!

Today, if you want to keep your star players, you had better find out who they are, what they care about, what “really” motivates them, and how they want to be rewarded for great work. (Check out my special report called: The Full Monty Fierce Loyalty Generator http://FMLoyalty.com)

What this means is that if you want to generate fierce loyalty in your team (and ultimately in your customer and supplier base,) you have to show up and let them see you…warts and all.

I realize that this flies in the face of what you originally learned about being a leader and elevating yourself away from your “underlings.” Although that might have worked at some point in time, that outdated model will have your Star Players deserting you and your company so fast it will make your head spin!

Of course, there are far more than three reasons Leaders are losing their Star Players. I have just focused on the top three so that you can begin incorporating change right away.

In summary, if you want to keep your Star Players you must become a master of dealing with conflict in a healthy way. You will also need to seek to understand the other generations you are working with, remembering they likely have different values and priorities than you). And finally, you must be willing to let your people in, let them see that you are more than your title, or even your experience. Let them see you as a person!

Despite what you’ve been told, the truth is that Vulnerability is Power in the new global economy!


For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 (778) 379-7517

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

Business Growth What’s Your Business Doing?
I need to ask you an important question. What’s your business doing?  Is it growing, staying about the same or losing ground?  Now let’s be brutally honest—and I suspect if you are like most business owners, you may be tempted to deny this–but if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying!

Now that you’ve caught your breath, let’s get clear about what I mean by growing. Growing in this context is NOT about experiencing 1%-3% growthdue to the fact that you laid off a bunch of people or radically cut cost and potentially the quality of what you do/produce. That’s not growing. That’s slowing the dying process.

Real growth is more than temporarily increasing the profit margin. If we are going to talk growth in business, one of the key areas we have to discuss is the quality of the leadership.

It could be argued that leadership is the most important quality for any business professional to have. With quality leadership, nearly any and every task can be accomplished.  Think about a leader you have known in the past.  This could be a boss, a teacher, a pastor, a congressman. Did this person inspire you? Did they make you angry, or did they not affect you at all?

If you said they didn’t affect you, you’d be wrong. Despite what you may believe, there is a powerful and somewhat destructive impact of having leaders who don’t inspire us.  And the main reason leaders don’t inspire is because they are disengaged.

We know from a 2011 Gallup Poll that 71% of American workers are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” in their work. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just the worker bees who are disengaged. Many top level C-suite executives are just as disengaged.  These leaders close their office doors and distance themselves from the group they are supposed to be leading.

Obviously, this sort of leadership is not the kind you desire in your organization.  But I hate to break it to you, but there’s a very good chance that you have leaders like that in your own organization. These “leaders” have positions of authority and you may even be assuming that they are leading in the direction of growth. However, where they are really leading is in the direction of keeping their position, title, status and or lifestyle. They are not mission, purpose or growth driven. They are not actively engaged in the corporate value system. They are, however, tremendously engaged in increasing their own personal bottom lines.

They are disengaged leaders!

Now you may still want to argue that it’s not the leadership that is the problem with lack of growth in your company, but with employees who don’t care.

Let me let you in on a dirty little secret. Employees disengage for one of three reasons:

  1. 1. They are being led by a disengaged leader.
  2. 2. They are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values.
  3. 3. They are a bad fit for your corporate culture. (Assuming your company actually has a corporate culture that’s more than a concept.)

Here’s the hard line truth behind all three of these reasons: employees disengage because leaders are disengaged at some level and therefore not authentically leading!

Let’s take a closer look at those three reasons.

First, if employees have a disengaged leader, you can pretty much guarantee they will become lazy themselves.  This is not necessarily because employees are inherently lazy, but rather, because employees (like children) do not do what they are told; they simply model the behaviour of their superiors.  If the leader doesn’t care about the growth of the company, neither will the employees.

When a team is led by a disengaged leader, there’s a good chance that team members will simply just do what they have to do in order to meet their job description, and not do anything to grow themselves or your organization.

Second, when employees are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values this again indicates poor leadership, because your leaders need to be crystal clear that every person who enters your employ fully understands the organization’s mission/purpose and or values. This is not possible if the leaders themselves do not understand it.

Let me give you an example. In 2006 a multinational company brought us to Europe to work with their leadership team. This was a dramatically impactful training that clearly rattled a lot of cages. Instead of my just coming in and doing the usual rah-rah, look how great you folks are, now let’s just pat each other on the back, I challenged the heck out of them.

Why did I do this? In my pre-interview with the individuals on the team, it became obvious that they were relationally disconnected from each other. This told me they were likely disconnected from the company as a whole and were therefore in all likelihood working in a silo mentality.

After a lengthy discussion with the global CEO about the need to break these silos and get the team to genuinely not only connect but bond, we went back into session.

I began by asking a single pointed question that they were required to answer out loud in fort of their peers and without the assistance of their peers. This simple question clearly caused the blood pressure of the CEO to rise. The question was:  “Would you please state out loud the mission statement of this company?” Each answer clearly demonstrated a challenge at the core of the company because no one (with exception of the Global CEO) actually knew the answer.

No wonder they were disengaged. You cannot expect your team to be fully engaged in the growth of a company when their only connection is a paycheck. Everyone in your organization must be aligned with the mission, purpose and vision of the company if it is to experience true growth.

Finally, if an employee is a bad fit for your culture, this again falls on leadership.  If the corporate culture isn’t lived by the leaders, it indicates to employees that the culture doesn’t matter and therefore it doesn’t matter if a person fits or not.  In a “momentum culture” there is congruence at every level from janitor to the C-suite.

It all comes down to this… For your company to grow you have to have all the obvious things like a rock-solid business plan, great procedural implementation and everything else we all know is the back bone of a business. However, for growth to have momentum, it must have legs. The three legs on which your company must be built in order to continue to grow are authentic, inspiring, and transparent leadership.  In other words, A Full Monty Leader.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea. The Full Monty Leader is not a rah-rah leader.  Absolutely not!  A Full Monty Leader will occasionally anger their team, not because they are being adversarial but rather because a Full Monty Leader is required to hold a greater vision of each of the individuals of the team than the members hold for themselves. Only then can team members begin to adopt the vision for themselves. This is an essential principle that will deeply inspire the people who are in your organization for more than a paycheck.

Full Monty Leadership is about developing a culture of authentic, engaged leaders at every level of your organization.  Leaders who feel deeply emotionally connected to the mission purpose and values of the company.

When you have that kind of leadership, you not only generate fierce loyalty but develop a company that is actively growing.

So let me ask you again– What’s Your Business Doing?

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 (778) 379-7517

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

Transparency THE Key to Successful Leadership
I have a question for you. What is the single most important key to successful leadership in today’s economy?

If you answered anything except being an authentic leader, you’d be wrong.

Being an authentic leader today is no longer a preference or an option. It is crucial!

Now let me be clear.  We are not talking about the idea of being authentic. We aren’t talking about the faux authenticity of sharing something that you think will impress someone.  No, we are talking about being real and genuine, being true to who you are and what you stand for.

An authentic leader is willing to embrace that they will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and what’s more, they are good with that realization. The leaders who are blazing the trail of new leadership are dedicated to developing deeper and deeper authenticity not only in themselves, their teams, but also in all their relationships on an ongoing basis.

They are willing to be who they really are.

Authentic leaders are dedicated to knowing themselves at deeper and deeper levels.  They embrace their own imperfections and they don’t pretend to have it all together.  They are transparent and they are honest about their imperfections, their inadequacies and the challenges they face. Where the old school leader would disown their failures or weaknesses, the authentic leader allows those things to propel them forward, because they understand thatVulnerability is Power.

As counter as it may seem to your original training as a leader, you need to know this at the depth of your being, so let me say it again:  Vulnerability is Power. Vulnerability is the power that will bond your star players to you and your organization. It will also bond your customers and providers to you with fierce loyalty.

I know what some of you are thinking. If you look and act confident that should be enough.  Let me tell you, if you think wearing your mask of confidence is going to work, you are dreaming! People can smell a fake a mile away.  That mask is screaming your insecurities so you might as well hang it up and become transparent.

So what is transparency?

Yes, transparency is about admitting your imperfections, your inadequacies and your challenges. However, it’s also about sharing your values, your mission, your vision and the meaning of why you do what you do. Transparency means opening up and sharing ideas, thoughts, goals, aspirations, values, worries, concerns and even downfalls.

Today’s workplace places high demands on both leaders and employees.More and more employees are now insisting on clearly stated reality and truth.  Apart from the need of a secure job and opportunities for career advancement, present workers desire to be part of a firm that prioritizes truth, trust and transparency. They desire to have proactive leaders who share with them the direction of the organization and are forthright about the future. They want transparency in order to plan for their lives.

Instead of just being content with having a job, today’s employee will often quickly jump ship if the leader they are supposed to follow is unwilling to demonstrate clarity of the future and transparent leadership.  (I go into detail about this in my special report on Becoming a Fierce Loyalty Generator. You can find it here: http://FMLoyalty.com)

Because many companies lack awareness regarding the needs of employees, they struggle to hold on to their star players. As stated in that special report–few things are more disruptive and costly to your business than an unexpected exodus from your talent pool. Despite the initial discomfort of removing the mask, in organizations where transparent, authentic leadership is made a priority, massive losses are prevented.

None of us can be authentic unless we are willing to admit our frustrations, insecurities and weaknesses. This is not to suggest that you should sit around moaning, complaining and whining about your problems—that would be a very poor career move.  However, in both our personal and professional lives, it is crucial that we open ourselves up to a close circle of people we can trust.

All that being said, transparent leadership starts with something few leaders have the cojones to do:  self-examination.

As leaders we can get carried away with knowing all the answers foreverything else outside ourselves and rarely do we take the time to know more about what’s inside ourselves.  In addition, all of us have a spot of denial about our own foibles.

Let’s face it, denial is far easier than facing the harsh truth that we may have some dysfunctional behaviors that we need to deal with. But if we are to become an authentic leader, we need to take off the self viewing rose-colored glasses, increase our self-awareness and uncover our blind spots. In short, you need to know your strengths so that you can capitalize on them. At the same time, you need to know your weaknesses so that you can delegate and deal with them.

Being an authentic leader means having an awareness of the true emotions behind what you feel. In Full Monty Leadership we say, “We are never just mad about what we are mad about.” What this means is your anger may be a cover up, a way to mask your disappointment, fear, shame, jealousy, embarrassment, shame or guilt.  Because authentic leaders are will to always go deeper into self-examination, they can recognize the root of an emotional reaction, and by doing so, gain the power to manage it. (This gives the Full Monty Leader exceptional relationship skills)

Can you honestly (not rhetorically) say why you do what you do in your position? Do you know what irritates you and what soothes you? Are you aware of your own dark side (we all have one) and how to deal with it? In order to be authentic and genuine in all your communications you must know yourself very well and be committed to remaining truly authentic even when it’s uncomfortable.

Because nothing generates fierce loyalty faster that an authentic leader.

Do you have the cojones to become one?

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 (778) 379-7517

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com



Sign Up Today and Receive This Special Report at No Charge (a $47.00 Value) The three sentences you, as a leader, can start using today to have your team hanging on your every word and happily go the extra mile for you and your organization to generate fierce loyalty.