My Favorite Steve Jobs Quotes on Strategy and Leadership

In this fourth and final installment of my homage to the genius of Steve Jobs, here are my favorite quotes from him on the subjects of strategy and leadership.

Note: If you missed Day One on Life and Work, or Day Two on Innovation and Creativity, or Day Three on Design and Simplicity, then just click on the appropriate links.

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.”

“I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

“It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much.”

“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.”

“We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets. “

“Apple’s market share is bigger than BMW’s or Mercedes’s or Porsche’s in the automotive market. What’s wrong with being BMW or Mercedes?”

“My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.”

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” Steve when recruiting John Scully to leave Pepsico and come to Apple.

“Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”

“You know what’s wrong with this company? The products SUCK—there’s no sex in them.” Steve to the Apple board when he returned to Apple. He then cut their product line down to four and focused on creating great products once again before adding number five.

“The iPod mini has been the most successful product launch in the history of Apple, which is why, today, we’re killing it! [Pregnant pause] And introducing the iPod nano!” Note: Who else would kill a successful product in its prime?

In light of what you just read, what will you do differently today?

To your accelerated success!

P.S. I hope you use the print friendly button to print out these four posts of quotes from Steve Jobs. They’re worth returning to over and over again because they’re words that could make a significant difference in your life and business.

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