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The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation Hardcover – March 8, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Elliot's] amiable account contains some fascinating nuggets." (The Guardian) "If you are keen to learn what it is that makes this maverick CEO tick, and how you can apply some of that logic to your own company, The Steve Jobs Way is surely worth a look." (Irish Times)" --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Jay Elliot served as the Senior Vice President of Apple Computer, responsible for all corporate operations, including HR, Facilities, Real Estate, IT, Education, and Pacific Rim Sales, plus corporate business planning, reporting directly to Steve Jobs, Chairman of the Board. Also, as a member of the Macintosh organization he helped Jobs develop the Macintosh computer from development to introduction. Elliot's articles and interviews have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Time Magazine, and Fortune. He lives in California.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; First Edition edition (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593156391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593156398
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Phillips VINE VOICE on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
OK, I'll admit it. I am a sucker for anyone who can decipher or decode Steve Jobs. After all, the guy is a repeat Icarus. He has flown too close to the sun not once, not twice, but at least three times and every time has come out better than before. The effect he's had on Apple upon his return has been nothing short of a resurrection followed by a seating at the right hand of the Father.

Jobs is an interesting, mercurial creature, and I often wonder if he is simply one of a kind, a kind of idiot savant who understands how to tap into our wants and needs, and who has an almost messianic vision that we need to follow. Sometimes I suspect that books about him are probably best read to illuminate how different we are from Steve rather than how we can become more like Steve.

I've read several books about Jobs, but in many regards The Steve Jobs Way is probably the best. The subtitle for the book is iLeadership for a New Generation, which is a bit unfortunate, for reasons I've just presented above (I'm not sure we can easily emulate Jobs) and for the hackneyed use of the "i". But Jay Elliott, who was present at the beginning, knows Jobs probably as well as anyone, and gives insights that few can do from the outside looking in. And if the first few pages where Elliott describes how he first got the job with Jobs doesn't hook you, then really nothing will.

Here's the plain, unvarnished truth about what Elliot has to say: Steve Jobs is unlike just about everyone you'll ever meet. After founding Apple and wowing a bunch of venture capitalists and business people, Jobs had visions of a different kind of computer and become a disruption in his own company, and was eventually thrust out (first Icarus moment).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not worth the money and time to read this book.

I am an Apple enthusiast and I don't mind reading books that are, let's say, overly in favor of the company and its products. But this book is so overly positive and diplomatic, avoiding any kind of controversial issue, that it's simply not worth reading.

For example Jay Elliots "analysis" of the smartphone market consists in an anecdote of a friend who bought a Motorola Droid that his friend didn't like. And he claims Windows Phone 7 is a total failure, because it does not run Windows Software (Windows Mobile did neither). Therefore, Jay Elliot concludes, the iPhone must the clear winner. It hurts to read this.

Also, he defends the iPhone 4's antennagate issue by explaining that the overlord Steve Jobs was on medical leave during its design and had handed responsibility to some other VP during this time. Obviously, the responible person had been laid off after the incident. What kind of explanation is that? And isn't that just a weakness in Apple's company structure, that everything has to go through Steve's approval process? These are the kind of questions I would like to have seen answered!

The first chapters of the book are a memos of people the author met during his career at Apple. He must have gone through his address book and decided to write a small chapter on every person he met. Obviously, every person was a genius and the best at his field, which is fine, but becomes rather boring to read after a while: "Person X was hired to do Y. Person X is the best on his field. Apple only hires the best people".

Steve Job's secret of success? He's a perfectionist and loves his products -- things I definitely would not have known without reading this book (thank you, Mr. Elliot).
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Format: Hardcover
I chatted with author Jay Elliot before reading his book. After reading it, I see that Steve Jobs powerfully impacted his former Sr. V.P. You can find my interview with Jay on the Leadership Freak blog.

"The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation," is several books in one.

It's the personal story of staggering success, painful failure, persistent struggle and white hot passion for products. Sometimes it reads like a documentary, at others a soap-opera. In my opinion, Jay presents Steve Jobs as a man of two extremes with no middle. He is an over the top visionary with an obsessive compulsion for every imaginable detail.

Second, it's a brief, selective history of Apple with references to NeXT and Pixar.

Ultimately, it's an insider's explanation of innovative, sometimes excessive, leadership/management practices that propelled Steve Jobs to global celebrity. More than that, practices that enabled Steve to change the way people work, play, consume, and communicate.

iLeadership encompasses four topic areas: product, talent, organization, and marketing. I'll touch on the first two here.

Product

Steve's leadership is motivated by an unquenchable desire to create the simplest, most elegantly functional product that meets customer need. "Every opportunity starts with an unmet need." Beyond that, Steve awakened customers to products and features they didn't even know they needed.

Passion for product, in some cases translates into becoming the product. Jay recounts how Steve became the product in order to energize innovation. His approach impacted everything from packaging to user experience.

Talent

I found the talent section most interesting and applicable.
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