Lessons In Leadership: ‘Get Out There!’ Says Apple’s CEO Tim Cook


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So many business leaders get caught up in the ‘day to day’ tactical stuff that stops them ‘thinking strategically and moving things forward.

Others get stuck ‘up in the clouds’ so far away from the ‘real world’ that they get out of touch with their people and their customers.

The best leaders seem to get the balance right, but how do they do it? I like to learn (and share) the lessons from successful leaders and businesses and here’s a man who seems to fit in both these categories – it’s Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. He works hard at it.

Here’s how he does it:

“Not allowing yourself to become insular is very important—maybe the most important thing, I think, as a CEO.”

He goes on to explain how he consciously ‘gets out there’ to find out what his people think…

“We want ideas coming from all of our 80,000 people, not five or three. A much smaller number of people have to decide and edit and move forward, but you want ideas coming from everywhere. You want people to explore.”

Crucially, he proactively creates time to find out what his customers think too…

“So I’ll walk around our stores. You can learn a tremendous amount in a store. I get a lot of e-mails and so forth, but it’s a different dimension when you’re in a store and talking to customers face to face.”

This highlights two of the characteristics that we see in entrepreneurial leaders – Characteristic #4 ‘Get Engaged’ and Characteristic #6 ‘Fish In Different Ponds’ – you can find out more about them here

How much time do you spend ‘out there’ enagaging with the ones that count – namely, your people and your customers – and crucially, do you actually listen to them when you’re there?

ps. for more ‘nuggets’ of wisdom from Tim Cook, check out the Church Of The Customer website

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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