The most intriguing bit of contemporary technological history is easily the rise of Apple Computer, and so of course, the most fascinatingly controversial person in that history is CEO Steve Jobs. A company doesn’t grow so large so quickly without stepping on a few toes, making the story of Steve Jobs’ rise, fall, and return to power at Apple a hotly debated topic among industry geeks as well as ordinary consumers. Particularly with the publication of William L. Simon’s unauthorized best-selling biography, iCON Steve Jobs, which notoriously skewered Jobs as a cutthroat overachiever, the debate over whether the “Stevian” style of leadership is worth emulating has become increasingly polarized.
Jay Elliot, former Senior Vice President of Apple who was responsible for corporate operations and overall business planning, reported directly to Steve Jobs during the company’s original boom and its subsequent renaissance. He is therefore in a unique position to dig into the truth behind the mythic man, and does so with the gleefulness of someone who has long been “drinking the Kool-Aid” of how awesome the Apple working environment is. Steve Jobs’ management style and his legion of loyal customers have often been compared to a cult, and Elliot has firmly bought in. In many ways, the subtitle for this book ought to be “A Staunch Defense of Micro-Management”. From his understanding of Jobs’ nit-picky methods as “attention to details” to his dismissal of innovations made during Jobs’ temporary absence from Apple, Elliot’s positive spin never wavers.
At first, it seems surprising that William L. Simon co-wrote this book. As the listen progresses however, similarities between The Steve Jobs Way and iCON become clear. The anecdotal evidence is largely the same for both books, and the main distinction is that Simon previously used these stories to vilify Jobs, whereas Elliott and Simon’s joint effort here glorifies Jobs. When it’s merely a matter of tone that separates these two perspectives on the same history, the choice of narrator is particularly important.
Christopher Hurt is a very solid choice, as most of his voice work is in classics and nonfiction. What could have been a very shallow and sugary take becomes in Hurt’s audio a beguiling and ultimately fairly persuasive portrait of a misunderstood guru. Entrepreneurs looking for insight will enjoy a very sensible-sounding listen, while Apple devotees will still feel that Hurt is on their side. He is careful to keep both feet on the ground, even when the text itself seems to be veering into the territory of simply singing Jobs’ praises. The Steve Jobs Way successfully tips the scales back against the recent spate of Jobs-bashing, but it’s the way Christopher Hurt takes this Apple love-fest with a grain of salt that makes it a worthy listen. Megan Volpert
In iLeadership, Jay Elliot gives the listener the opportunity of seeing Steve Jobs as only his closest associates have ever seen him, and to learn what has made him - and the mystique of his management style - capable of creating tools so extraordinary that they have remade three industries and have transformed the way we create, consume, and communicate with each other.
Jay Elliot worked side by side with Steve as Senior Vice President of Apple and brings us his deep insider perspective of Steve's singular iLeadership style - which encompasses four major principles: product, talent, organization, and marketing.
Jay shares the lessons that come out of Steve's intuitive approach to show how the creative and technological brilliance of iLeadership can be utilized to drive breakthroughs in any organization, irrespective of size.
©2011 Jay Elliot and William L. Simon (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
“There have been so many books about Steve Jobs but none that have the vantage point of an insider like this one. The narrative is very engaging and I could not stop reading.... Jay has done a fantastic job to provide insights that we all can use from the man who has inspired two generations of entrepreneurs.” (Naeem Zafar, Lecturer, Entrepreneurship, University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business)
"Steve Jobs is a revolutionary leader and thinker who has been written about by many people. But for the first time, in The Steve Jobs Way, Jay Elliot brings a deep, insider perspective of Steve Jobs' unique leadership style, which has forever changed our everyday lives and the world around us.” (Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks Coffee International and author of It's Not About the Coffee)
“Christopher Hurt gives an outstanding narration of this insider’s analysis of Steve Jobs’s one-of-a-kind leadership at Apple. Hurt’s casual gravitas is perfect for an analytic business biography; he’s superb at using his vocal tone and phrasing to emphasize crucial points.” (AudioFile)
I am a working Mom of 2. I have no time to read like before. I am an IDer. I can listen to books while I design or travel. I love listening to my favorite parts over and over.
There are so many people in charge that aren't ultimate consumers. They take the fun out of making product. After being in the biz for 14 yrs and always getting beaten down by corporate this was very encouraging and refreshing.
His voice, tone and delivery.
When they were presenting to the Japanese and they all had they're eyes closed.
Yes. There are a number of great points on leadership that I would love to spend time digesting again.
It was told from a close associate's viewpoint.
did not read print version
Provided a great insight to Steve Jobs and his leadership skills
Jays personal contact with Jobs throughout their careers
I was inspired by the entire book
This account of Steve Jobs and his approach to business was written by a close associate at Apple. It is generally laudatory and forgives Steve for some of his more troublesome characteristics -- excessive abrasiveness, fanaticism in areas that probably didn't deserve it -- but it also summarizes Steve's "way" of doing business clearly. The book would be helpful to anyone in the product development business and very interesting to general readers. It is an excellent companion to the definitive biography by Walter Isaacson.
7 Times Entrepreneur in 7 Different Industry Sectors...Has 5-Generation Team...Works Primarily with Founders | Owners Of Smaller Businesses
I've already listened to this twice through, and eventually will tune back into it again. I knew the original Steve Jobs during the early-to-mid 80's and several of his staff, including in the Apple department, then later the Mac one.Of all the books about him -- I believe this best captures the realities of working side-by-side with him, competing with him, and learning with and through Steve.
That stated, I've read a number of others, plus many articles about Jobs, heard his keynotes, et al.
Realistic descriptor of sequences of actual experiences author had with Jobs and Apple - as an Apple insider himself. Also the fact he seemed realistic in presenting the positives & negatives.
hmmm...given i 'heard' the book i really wasn't thinking of scenes at the time. i did like the various examples of how Job's persistence ran through most all his relationships he did speak of and the factor it played in his successes. Japan scene comes to mind most specifically.
iLeading: leading self, leading others, leading edges
This book felt more like it was written for the right reasons (vs just to jump on the publishing bandwagon at time of death), in the right timing - during the last year of Jobs life -- and like he really participated in the process of the captures shared.
Found out so much about this enigmatic man - I found the narration very good and the information contained in the book very informative. I'm glad I purchased the book, thoroughly enjoyed it.
No. I rarely listen to the same thing twice.
The author who played himself. He was Steve's righ hand man for several years and he gave good insite into how Steve Job's ran things and what he expected out of people.
No. He was good.
No. It was expected.
Elliot does a really good job of connecting us with the principles of management that really made Apple and his own successes. Great listen and, I thought, better than Steve's official biography from that standpoint. Jay really sheds light into the leadership aspects, as well as delivers a back ground look at the beginnings of the industry that introduced us to what we never knew we needed until they made it. Not pedantic.
It was a fun audio book. Informative and worth the money.
Pirates. Not the Navy.
If you're into tech this is a good read. I don't think it really teaches you a lot about leadership, but it is inspirational. It's pro apple and pro Steve Jobs, if you're looking for something more objective then look to the Steve Jobs biography. With that said, it's interesting and a good book. I've heard most of the stories before, but it was nice hearing them from someone close to Jobs, and it was neat to hear the perspective of someone who started businesses after being inspired by Jobs. Some of the stories had slight differences from the biography and other sources, such as the story of the twiggy drive for the mac.
This was one of the best biographies I have listened to or read in a decade. Everyone knows Steve was a visionary, a thinker and amazing change agent. This biography tells the story about the man, his stuggles and his triumphs!
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