5 Leadership Lessons to Learn From Apple CEO Tim Cook

When Tim Cook was tasked to replace Jobs as Apple CEO, there was a lot of pressure for him to deliver. So what did he do to maintain Apple’s status in the industry?


Inarguably, Steve Jobs reshaped the Apple brand. When he was named the interim CEO of the company in 1997, the visionary leader had many ideas in mind to make the company profitable again. And when he officially became the CEO in 2000, eventually retiring in 2011, he had many significant contributions not only to Apple but to the world.

This is why when Tim Cook was tasked to replace Jobs as Apple CEO for good – there were times that Cook stepped in for Jobs because of the latter’s medical leaves – there was a lot of pressure for him to deliver.

While Jobs is the more animated kind of CEO, Cook is known for being a calm, collected and quiet man. And yet, despite these differences in personalities, it is fair to say that Cook is so far doing a good job in maintaining the status of Apple in the tech industry with his own leadership style.

Of course, Apple has its own identity already regardless of its CEO. Cook said, “Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values.


Photo via Fox Business

“Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that-it is in our DNA,” he added.

For this, engineering managers should take note about the practices of Cook so they could achieve the same success in their own companies. Here are nine:

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Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Because Apple is already doing so good in a lot of areas in the tech industry – devices, services, and marketing – all Cook had to do was to preserve everything that works while improving on the weaker sides.

Keep calm and have faith. Like any other CEO, Cook faced a lot of challenges while in the top position. In Cook’s case, the stock had lost $200 billion of market cap from its peak. Despite this, Cook managed to implement the biggest share buyback program in history.


Photo via Getty

Don’t try to be what you’re not. As already mentioned, Jobs and Cook are distinct from each other. The people expected that Cook will become much like his predecessor, but good things that he has his own identity. It is not always necessary to emulate another great man when you can be a great man on your own.

One can be nice and competitive. Both qualities do not have to be separate from each other. Cook is nice to the media, but he is also tough at work: he fired iOS chief Scott Forstall when Cook realized that the guy was already toxic to the management team.

Make risky but smart bets. To integrate their smartwatch and retail brands, Cook hired several fashion-industry executives like Yves St. Laurent CEO Paul Deneve and Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. Eventually this was proven to work since the products, which are non-tech, are to be embraced by customers as part of their clothing.

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Source: Entrepreneur

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5 Leadership Lessons to Learn From Apple CEO Tim Cook

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