Steve Jobs had a simple theory about great leaders

Steve Jobs had a simple theory about great leaders

“Michael, my dog ate that report.”
When a child makes excuses, it can be cute. When an adult does, it’s not.

Likewise, as a company leader in any capacity, you’re probably used to not making excuses.

The legend of Steve Jobs endures in a recent book by John Rossman, Think Like Amazon. According to the book, Jobs had a habit of telling employees a short fable any time they were promoted to a VP role at Apple.

The tiny version: If a janitor can’t get into a room to empty the trash, he or she might say, “Well, I didn’t have a key.” Fair enough. But as you grow into a leadership role, you better find a way to empty the trash. No one wants to hear your excuses; they just want it done.

Jobs believed that leaders have to be fully accountable for their actions. No one cares if the luggage was misplaced before an important conference or the system crashed while payroll was happening.

I work with a lot of leaders in my role as Managing Partner, and I can attest that they are not big on making excuses. They typically just get it done.

By Michael Barros, Managing Partner, Prestige Scientific, Inc.