The Dark Side of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is arguably one of the most successful businessmen in modern times. He started Apple and NeXT, took a majority ownership stake in Pixar for $10M and after ten blockbuster films sold the company to Disney for over $7B, and around the time of his death Apple had a market cap greater than the gross domestic product of Poland. Apple is one of the world’s most recognized brands and the company’s products have won numerous awards for their technical capabilities, functionality, ease of use, and aesthetics. Because of these results many view Steve Jobs as the personification of the successful business leader, yet Walter Isaacson’s biography paints a picture of a complex and highly flawed individual. 

As experts in executive assessment, reading Isaacson’s book prompted us to ask three questions about Steven Jobs and current hiring practices. First, would Jobs have been hired to be the CEO of a start up or a Fortune 500 company if he had to go through a formal assessment process?  Second, what would an assessment have revealed about Jobs’ watch outs or development needs? Third, what can we learn from Steve Jobs and his leadership style? This last question is important, as Job’s tremendous success as a businessman has overshadowed some of the critical lessons about leadership.

Read the full article by guest bloggers, Gordon Curphy and Rocky Kimball.