Since almost the dawn of time, people have been trying to figure out the exact right combination of leaders/managers to make a company or idea successful. Extroverts? Introverts? Hard-chargers? Listeners? Etc.
For almost the same amount of time, people have been breathlessly trying to analyze Apple’s success.
Well, maybe we can accomplish both of these things at once.
“People who are very similar in personalities and values can work better together,” says Wozniak. “Steve and I were very similar in values [wanting] to use technology to improve the lives of human beings and make them more masters of their destinies. In personality, he wanted to be out in front, be master of a company, make something in life, and be important, while I really just wanted to design computers and be a great engineer. I wasn’t into all the politics and the way businesspeople think, whereas Steve was. You need both of those, but you need other disciplines as well. Our company was not just two people.”
There you have it on the humble origins of Apple:
- The values were similar (use technology to improve the lives of human beings)
- The personalities were different (Jobs wanted to be involved in the business, Woz wanted to build computers)
We have a big problem often with senior leadership in that we select people similar to ourselves for those roles, and, uh, that’s not good. You can actually get your best ideas from people who are very different from you.
It would be awesome if more people realized that.