“You know who the best managers are? They’re the great individual contributors, who never ever want to be a manager, but decide they have to be a manager because no one else is going to be able to do as good a job as them.”Steve Jobs
The greatest people are self-managing.
They don’t need to be managed.
If they know–
Once they know what to do,
they’ll go figure out how to do it,
and they don’t need to be managed at all.
What they need is a common vision,
and that’s what leadership is.
What leadership is having a vision,
being able to articulate that so the people around you can understand it,
and getting a consensus on a common vision.
We wanted people that were insanely great at what they did,
but were not necessarily those seasoned professionals,
but who had at the tips of their fingers
and in their passion the latest understanding of where technology was
and what we could do with that technology,
and we wanted to bring that to lots of people.
So the neatest thing that happens
is when you get a core group of, you know, ten great people,
it becomes self-policing as to who they let into that group.
So I consider the most important job of someone like myself is recruiting.
We agonized over hiring.
We had interviews.
I’d go back and look at some of the interviews again.
They would start at 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning and go through dinner.
A new interviewee would talk to everybody in the building at least once
and maybe a couple times,
and then come back for another round of interviews,
and then we’d all get together and talk about it.
And then they’d fill out an application.
No, they never filled out an application.
The critical part of the interview, at least to my mind,
was when we finally decided we liked them enough
to show them the Macintosh prototype
and then we sat them down in front of it.
If they were just kind of bored, or said “This is a nice computer,”
we didn’t want them.
We wanted their eyes to light up
and for them to get really excited,
and then we knew they were one of us.
And everybody just wanted to work.
Not because it was work that had to be done,
but it was because something we really believed in
that was just going to really make a difference.
And that’s what kept the whole thing going.
We all wanted exactly the same thing,
instead of spending our time arguing about what the computer should be.
We all knew what the computer should be,
and we just went and did it.
We went through that stage in Apple where we went out and thought oh,
we’re gonna be a big company, let’s hire professional management.
We went out and hired a bunch of professional management–
It didn’t work at all.
Most of them were bozos.
They knew how to manage,
but they didn’t know how to do anything!
And so, if you’re a great person,
why do you want to work for somebody you can’t learn anything from?
And you know what’s interesting,
you know who the best managers are?
They’re the great individual contributors,
who never ever want to be a manager,
but decide they have to be a manager
because no one else is going to be able to do as good a job as them.
[male narrator] After hiring two professional managers
from outside the company and firing them both,
Jobs gambled on Debby Coleman, a member of the Macintosh team.
Thirty-two years old,
an English Literature major with an MBA from Stanford,
Debbie was a financial manager with no experience in manufacturing.
I mean, there’s no way in the world anybody else
would give me this chance to run this kind of operation,
and I don’t kid myself about that.
It’s an incredible, high risk
both for myself, personally and professionally,
and for Apple as a company,
to put a person like myself in this job.
I mean, they’re really betting on a lot of things.
We’re betting that my skills at organizational effectiveness,
you know, override all lack of technology,
lack of experience, lack of, you know, time in manufacturing.
So, it’s a big risk,
and I’m just an example in every single person on the Mac team,
almost to your entry-level person,
you could say that about.
This is a place where people were afforded incredibly unique opportunities
to prove that they could do–
–they could write the book again.
[narrator] Inscribed inside the casing of every Macintosh,
unseen by the consumer,
are the signatures of the whole team.
This is Apple’s way of affirming that their latest innovation
is a product of the individuals who created it,
not the corporation.