I'm Steve freakin Jobs

When I see a fantastic leader I have a tendency to get a Bro-mance. [youtube 3tI4CbCniBI]

Block!  Building Kick!  Exxxxpllloooosssssiiioooonnn!

If you know me you know I might be a little gaga for Apple products, recently purchasing the iPad 2.  I waited months for the big unveiling and even blogged about my experience and what we can learn from Apple.  However, Steve Jobs captivated me more than the iPad did.  We know Steve has been battling some health issues but came out of seclusion to introduce the iPad 2.  I was so excited to watch the Keynote event where Apple shares with everyone what the iPad 2 would be able to do and what it would look like.  I don't know Steve Jobs.  He might be a jerk.  He might be a great guy.  What I do know is Steve exhibited some amazing leadership skills at the Keynote.

This was the quote that I loved hearing from him:

"It's in Apples DNA that technology is not enough.  That its technology married with liberal arts, or humanity, that makes our heart sing."

What!  Technology is not enough?  Isn't technology the only thing Apple does!?  According to Steve it's not!  Even Steve gets that the employees of Apple need to feel like they are part of something bigger than just a product.  I imagine there is some serious financial reward working for Apple right now if you're highly capable and creative.  Are you catching this as a leader?  Your product isn't enough.  Regardless of what your product is, or the end result of your mission is, if it doesn't engage your people's absolute best creative places than the job is not rewarding.  Is creativity and life change part of your DNA?

Steve kept going on and on with how captivated he was with the work and creativity of the Apple employees.  Over and over again, he pauses, and then he says, "Isn't it amazing?"  The final thing Steve does in the presentation is thank the families who have supported employees working so hard to a make the product!  As the leader are you giving people space to be creative and thanking those who have sacrificed do make it happen?

If I was Steve I probably would get up and say, "I'm Steve freakin Jobs, here's the iPad 2, it's going to blow your mind!  I have to go, my bank account is calling because it's full.  Peace out."  Luckily for us all, I'm not Steve Jobs.

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What can you learn from Apple

I started this blog sitting in a line to pick up my new iPad. The experience got me thinking but the writing took me a few days to finish. The piece in italics I wrote in line. So this is crazy...I'm sitting on a curb in downtown Kansas City waiting in line at a Apple store waiting to buy my first iPad.  I'm amazed that I can sit on a curb in the middle of the city, have wi-fi access, and update my blog.  Amazing!

We have so much to learn from the way that Apple launches a product. Here are some things I observed.

1. Apple doesn't just improve things, it's like they launch a new product every time. The difference between my 2nd generation iPhone and my iPhone 4 are so dramatic but I was dying to get my hands on both.

2. From Steve Jobs, all the way down to the guy who helped me check out with my iPad, they were all excited for me to get my hands on the product. That's crazy! That's an unbelievable amount of buy in.

3. From the moment I got in line, the Apple store was conscious of customer service. The iPad went on sale at 5pm, I was in line shortly before 10am. By 10:30am a manager was already checking on costumers and was willing to answer questions.

4. They were over-prepared for the launch of the product. There were at least 50 employees on hand to help people. The store doors reopened at 5:02pm. I was in the door by 5:03pm and back out the door with my iPad and cover by 5:08pm! Are all your people over-prepared for your launch?

What's something you could take away from how Apple launches a product? It's not too late for you to make a big change about the launch of your product!