4 Leadership Principles of Sharks
In the world of Sharkonomics, the latest corporate shakeup at Apple is just another step toward the company becoming leaderless. That makes Apple very tasty prey for competitors.
Sharks know that change to please others, which is what Apple did with its previously ‘unhappy” design team, is bad corporate defense. It muddies the waters, leaves companies vulnerable to attack, and slows reaction time when one happens.
Sharks are natural leaders and don’t attack others who are the same. That’s was the genius of Steve Jobs, who knew the 4 Sharkonomics principles of leadership:
1. Not afraid to make people uncomfortable and “unhappy.” This sounds a lot like Steve Jobs, who ran a very tight ship and wasn’t afraid to rub people the wrong way. You could also compare this kind of leadership to NFL coaches Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin. Maybe that’s why they have won 7 of the last 11 Super Bowls. Apple’s recent shakeup looks more like an attempt to please people who didn’t like Jobs’ centralized power over every detail of the company. But like in the NFL, players’ coaches have a history of presiding over deteriorating programs.
2. Not duplicated. Right now, Steve Jobs wannabes are floating to the surface and want to be the new rockstar on stage. But you can’t replace a visionary by trying to copy him. The company needs a bold thinker to put his or her own stamp on the future. The next wannabe rockstar might look good at first, but under the surface they are in untested waters where deadly sharks are waiting for them.
3. Never overreact. Apple became powerful by blazing new trails. The company’s recent product releases represent reaction to competitors like Samsung and what executives think are consumer trends. Conversely, the “old” Apple released new products based what they could do to improve people’s lives and let the consumer experience speak for itself.
4. Don’t over-explain things that don’t deserve it. While leaders focus on communicating tangible benefits of every decision, Apple’s explanation of its corporate design shakeup was process-centric and somewhat apologetic. We all have that one friend who over-explains an apology or rationale for doing something new, and it often lead to a whole lot of nothing. Sharks look for prey that is pre-occupied with details while leaving the weak spot undefended.