Great leadership starts with passion

Every great organization needs a passionate leader. Apple’s Steve Jobs was one of these leaders. As one of the founders of Apple Inc., he created one of the biggest companies in the world. He was incredibly passionate about his company and the products they were creating. His enthusiasm became a part of Apple’s culture.

In the early 1980s, when Apple was not the business giant that it is today, the board hired John Sculley to be the CEO. They believed that a young Steve Jobs was not mature enough. Though Jobs recruited Sculley, their relationships soured, and Jobs resigned. This departure has gone down in history as a huge mistake. Sculley said of the situation to Jim Edwards, founding editor of Business Insider UK, at Engage 2015: “It’s really a shame because if I look back, I say what a big mistake [it was] on my part.”

Leaders’ decisions affect the whole organization. If a leader makes the wrong decision, a great organization can fail. That’s why it’s so important for leaders to be passionate about their work and what inspired them to begin with. That passion needs to be passed down through the organization. Steve Jobs had an incredible vision of what he wanted Apple to become. His vision would later change our entire world.

John Sculley definitely learned from this mistake. He said of Jobs departure from Apple: “I came from corporate America. There it was kind of secular, there wasn’t the passion that entrepreneurs have. I have so much respect now decades later for founders, for the belief and passion and vision that they have. So to remove a founder, even if he wasn’t fired, was a terrible mistake.” When Jobs left Apple, it affected the culture and philosophy of the whole company.

As a Corporate Life Coach, I’ve found that many organizations are top heavy with non passionate leaders — leaders who have lost the passion for what they do; leaders who are so busy focusing on the bottom line that they miss the most important thing, enjoying the process.

How are you ensuring that the people you trust to run the organization are enjoying the process? What best care practices have you put in place to make certain that your organization continuously thrives by keeping the passion and vision with which it was started?

Don’t make the same mistake John Sculley did. Invest in coaching for your employees and keep the passion alive.

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