What makes someone achieve you

How Steve Jobs manipulated people to get what he wanted

Steve Jobs died in 2011 at the age of 56. He founded two of the most valuable companies that still stand for creativity today: Apple and Pixar, which is now a Disney subsidiary. But he didn't achieve any of this because he always played by the rules.

Jobs had to overcome many obstacles before he could launch Apple and Pixar. He had many unique ways of achieving his goals and realizing his own reality, a kind of skewed view to convince people that his view of things is actually facts. In this way he has further developed his companies and brought them forward.

He also used a mix of manipulative tactics to ensure his victories, especially when it came to convincing some of the most powerful business leaders in the world in boardrooms.

Many consider Jobs a genius, and anyone can learn a thing or two from his tactics.

We'll show you how to achieve what you want, whether it's a career goal or to help you move forward in your personal life, using examples from Steve Jobs' life. Most of the stories were taken from his biography, which Walter Icaacson wrote.

Always present your ideas with passion. People can be influenced by the display of strong feelings.

Presenting things was one of Steve Jobs' main tasks. You too should be able to do that. The process of selling something well is a key element in convincing others of your ideas.

Before Apple released iTunes in 2001, Jobs met dozens of musicians in hopes of convincing music labels of his plan. One of the musicians to whom he presented the idea was the famous trumpet player Wynton Marsalis.

Marsalis said Jobs talked to him for a full two hours. "He was like a man possessed," he said. "After a while, I stared at him instead of the computer because I was so fascinated by his passion."

Jobs shared his ideas with his advertising team with a similar passion, "to make sure that every ad they created was infected with his enthusiasm." The resulting ads, such as the "1984" ad and the iPod Siluette ads , helped Apple step over its shadow and become more than a pure computer company.

Be brutally honest, it will help you generate a strong following

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he immediately began breathing new life into the company he founded, which was suffering from too many products and too few trend-setting ideas. He gathered all the top employees and asked them in shorts and sneakers "what's wrong here".

After some whispering, mumbling and bland answers, Jobs interrupted the staff. “It's the products! What's wrong with the products? ”Again, there were no correct answers. “The products suck! You're not sexy anymore! ”Jobs finally yelled.

People have always supported Jobs' ideas because he always meant it when he said something. He later told his biographer, “I don't think I'm going to be too harsh on people, but if something sucks, I say it in their face. It is my job to be honest. I know what I'm talking about and I'm usually right about it. That is the corporate culture that I practice. We are brutally honest with each other and anyone can tell me that I only talk shit and I can tell them the same thing. That is the prerequisite for being in a room with me: You have to be able to be super honest. "

Work hard and the others will respect you. Respect is the crucial first step in helping you achieve what you want

Steve Jobs had a great work ethic. Jobs told his biographer that when he returned to Apple in 1996, he worked from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., every day, as he was still running Pixar's business at that time. He worked tirelessly and also suffered from kidney stones. But he insisted on motivating both companies by always stopping by in person. He knew how to get the best out of people in order to develop the best products. People loved him for it.

Disarm people with seduction and flattery 

Whether people work for you or you work for them, people are always looking for validation for what they are doing, so they always respond well to affection.

If these are given to you over and over again, then they will desire your affection.

From Isaacson's biography:

“Jobs could flatter people if he wanted to and he liked it. People like former CEOs Amelio and Sculley let Jobs flatter them because it meant he liked and respected them. It was felt that he sometimes promoted it by showing reluctant affection to those who hungered for it. But Jobs could be nice to people he hated just as he could offend those he liked. "

Claim that all good ideas come from you - and if you change your mind, stand behind them with all your might. Memories from the past can be manipulated easily.

Jobs wasn't always right, but he was a master at convincing people that it was. how did he do that? He took a position and if your opinion was more plausible than his, he not only found it good: He took it and passed it off as his to throw you off the beat.

Bud Tribble, a former Mac engineer, made the following statement about Job's biography:

“Just because he tells you something is terrible or great doesn't mean that he will think the same about it tomorrow. When you presented him with a new idea, he usually said that he thought it was stupid. But then he came a week later, when he actually liked the idea, and presented it to you as if it had been his idea. "

An example: When Apple decided to open Apple Stores, Ron Johnson came up with the idea of ​​building a “Genius Bar” that should be staffed with the most intelligent Mac people. At first, Jobs called the idea "crazy". "You can't call people geniuses, they're geeks," he said. "These people do not have the skills that are needed to deal with people so that the whole Genius Bar can scold each other." The next day he announced in a large group that the name "Genius Bar" should be registered as a trademark.

Make quick decisions and stand behind them. You can usually change this again later.

When it came to new products, Apple rarely relied on studies, surveys, or research. It was rare for major decisions to take months. Jobs got bored quickly and made up his mind quickly.

In the case of the first iMacs, Jobs immediately decided that they should appear in candy rainbow colors.

John Ive, Apple's chief designer, said, “In most companies, such a decision would take months. Steve decided that in half an hour. "

On the same computer, iMac engineer Jon Rubenstein has tried to argue that the iMac should work with a pull-out CD tray; but Jobs hated it and wanted a high-end solution with a CD slot drive. Jobs was wrong in that decision because you could only use CD drives to burn a CD, but when that trend flattened out, it became the first Generation of iMacs dropped. Because Jobs could make decisions quickly, the first iMacs shipped and the second generation already had a CD drive that could read and burn music. That is what Apple needed to be able to market iTunes and the iPod.

Don't wait to solve problems. Solve it now.

When Jobs was working with Pixar on Toy Story, the first full-length 3D animated film, Woody the Cowboy was a real idiot. That was mainly because there were changes to the script by Disney. Jobs refused that one of the largest companies in the world ruined Pixar's original story.

"If something is wrong, you can't ignore it and say we'll fix it later," said Jobs. "Other companies do that."

Jobs insisted that Disney return the reins to Pixar, and eventually Woody became a very affectionate character in Toy Story, which became a monumental success.

Another example: When Jobs was designing the first Apple Store, his retail boss Ron Johnson woke up at night with a nagging thought: You have organized the stores completely wrong. Apple had set up stores to sort them based on the type of device, but John realized that Apple had to arrange them based on what people wanted to do with the products.

Johnson shared his inspiration with Jobs the next morning, and after a brief burst of anger from Jobs, the Apple executive told everyone in the meeting that Johnson was absolutely right and that they would have to redo the entire layout, resulting in a 3–4 delayed opening Months. "We only have one chance to get it right," said Jobs.

There are two ways to deal with problematic people: Either you meet them directly ...

Jobs often saw the world in black and white: "A person was either a hero or a fool, a product was either great or sucks." He wanted Apple to be in the top division, which meant he had to cut off worse employees on a regular basis or he pushed them to the limit with great zeal so that they too could play along at the front.

Before Apple released the Macintosh, one of the engineers tasked with making a mouse that could move in any direction, not just up, down, left, and right, believed that it was impossible to make such a mouse commercially . When Jobs found out about this over dinner, the engineer was able to pack his things the next day. The new engineer's first words were, "I can build a mouse like this."

... or you follow the "path of least resistance" and ignore it completely

Jobs did not like overly complex issues, especially when they expected a certain concession from him. So he distanced himself from it when the opportunity was favorable. As Jobs biographer put it: "Jobs became calm and ignored situations that made him uncomfortable."

Jobs used this tactic, which worked very successfully, on many occasions: When Apple's then managing director Gil Amelio asked what role he wanted to play in the company, Jobs couldn't say “I want your position.” Even when his daughter Lisa, who had become a stranger, knew he doesn't know how to deal with the situation.

Chrisann Brennon, the mother of Jobs' daughter Lisa, described this tactic to his biographer:

“There were a lot of people who wanted to keep his house on the edge of the forest because of its historical value. Steve wanted to tear it down and plant an orchard. Steve has let it rot and deteriorate so badly over the years that it was beyond repair. The strategy he used to get what he wanted was to interfere or resist as little as possible. So since he didn't do anything to the house and maybe left the windows open for years, it fell apart. Brilliant, isn't it? "

Strike when the iron is hot ... and strike hard

 Success usually leads people to believe that they can stop working. Jobs saw it very differently. When the Pixar deal paid off and the first Toy Story movie was a huge hit, both critically and financially, he decided to show the company publicly.

Investment bankers said it couldn't, especially since Pixar suffered financially for five years. Even John Lasseter, Pixar's creative mind, told Jobs to wait for Pixar's second film to go out. But Jobs insisted on his point of view.

"Steve overruled me and said we needed the money to get half of our films and renegotiate the Disney deal," said Lasseter Jobs biographer.

And that's exactly what happened. Pixar went public a week after Toy Story hit theaters and was a huge hit. It surpassed Netscape and replaced it as the largest IPO in 1995. More importantly, Pixar was no longer dependent on Disney to finance its films. Suddenly Disney, with its hackneyed animation studio, needed Pixar instead of the other way around. The Mickey Mouse company realized this and paid 7.4 billion US dollars to take over Pixar - with the result that Jobs now became Disney's largest shareholder, Pixar remained independent and at the same time the once large Disney animation branch was included saved.

If you have influence, use it!

It was a big deal when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the company he started but which was losing its magic. Jobs insisted that he was just an "advisor," but everyone around him knew he was in control. Apple's CEO at the time, Gil Amelio, needed jobs to develop the company.

On the first Thursday after Jobs returned, he used his new influence to his advantage: he called a meeting to review all stock prices by lowering the strike price to make them valuable again. It was legal at the time, but not particularly welcomed, at least for ethical reasons. But even when the board wanted to prevent the idea by saying that a study on it would take at least two months, Jobs opposed it.

“You brought me here to get things going again and the people are the key to it… people, if you don't want to do that, I won't be back on Monday. I have thousands of adjustments that are more important than this and if you do not want to support me in this matter, I will fail. So, if you don't want that, I'll be out of here and you can blame me and say Steve couldn't do the job. ""

Jobs got his way. But he didn't stop there: The next day he asked the entire board of directors to resign or he wouldn't come back on Monday. He said everyone had to get off the board except Ed Woolard, and it happened. Since he now had the power to elect his own board of directors and to act independently of it, he now had the opportunity to control Apple's next projects. This made devices like the iPod possible in the first place. 

Expect perfection and don't go for less

Jobs hated anyone willing to compromise just to get a product to market on a timeframe or budget. He found that something "sufficient" was morally acceptable. Job's goal was never just to beat the competition or to make money: he wanted to make the best possible product or "even a little more."

He was very demanding in everything he did:

  • If the Macintosh started up too slowly, it would agitate the engineer in charge and pretend it was a matter of life and death.
  • He worked with numerous artists and advertising agencies to make sure the ads felt right and that the images and sounds were perfectly matched.
  • He demanded from the iPod engineers that every function of the music player must be accessible with just 3 button presses.
  • He insisted that the production process for all Apple computers be scaled down from four to two months.

Each of these decisions could be described as trifles, but all taken together they were the cornerstone of Apple's cult following like no other. Unlike other tech companies that come and went, customers and loyal fans felt understood. Their needs were taken seriously and so they were willing to pay high prices for them.

"Steve invented the only lifestyle brand in technology," said Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, Jobs biographer. “There are people who are proud to drive a Porsche, Ferrari or Prius because it says something about me, what kind of car I drive. The same applies to people who use an Apple product. "

This article was published by Business Insider in September 2019. It has now been reviewed and updated.