It is not easy to be a leader. This means making difficult decisions and doing things you don’t always want to do.
Depending on what exactly you run (team, department, or entire company), there are many things you can go wrong at any time. Sometimes these things hurt you, and other times they hurt others. Sometimes these mistakes can be disastrous for the whole company.
Understanding how not to make mistakes seems to be an important thing that every leader needs to learn. The problem is that this is not a realistic goal. If someone tries to convince you otherwise, you should know that he is cheating on you.
That’s why I’m such a big fan of a speech by Apple CEO Tim Cook in mid-May. In front of university graduates, Galodet Cook spoke about the most important principle in leadership:
“I have an important piece of advice that I want to share. It is so important that it will be the only piece of advice I will share today. It is this: “Whatever you do, your leadership must be based on your values.”
As head of the most valuable company on earth, Cook is in charge of a team of about 180,000 employees who produce many things, including one of the most successful products of our time – the iPhone smartphone. Under Cook’s leadership, Apple has become one of the largest and most profitable companies in history. I think we can safely say that he has some experience in the field of leadership. When he talks about this experience, it’s probably worth hearing what he has to say.
Cook is also a passionate advocate for things that Apple values, including privacy, accessibility, and environmental protection. According to Cook, Apple’s values are crucial to everything the company does.
That’s why Cook’s advice to Galodet University graduates is the perfect leadership principle. After all, leadership and values are inseparable.
Note that the head of Apple does not say listen to your heart. It doesn’t say you rely on your intuition or passion. He does not advise you to lead with a strict hand. Many people talk about these things, but Cook has a slightly more unconventional approach to leadership.
This does not mean that all these other things are not important. However, if you lead others based on your passion without following your values, you are creating a dangerous situation.
Your values should be the basic guiding principles that differentiate every decision you make. “When I say that your leadership should be based on your values, I mean that you have to make decisions – small and large, absolutely every day, based on a deep knowledge of who you are and what you believe in,” he explains. Cook.
It all has to start with your values. From the people, you hire to the products you create and the way you sell them. Every decision should be based on who you are and what you believe in.
“As a company, our goal has always been to create technology that enriches people’s lives,” Cook said. “We believe that we can only achieve this goal through a relentless focus on our values. That’s why we work hard to make technology accessible to everyone. “Why are we fighting to protect the fundamental right to privacy and why are we constantly innovating in environmental protection so that we leave the world a better place than we found it?”
You may disagree with many decisions that Apple has made over the years and continues to make. However, one thing is for sure – the company acts based on its values.
This is probably the most important lesson. As a leader, you will have to spend a lot of time making decisions that many people will not agree with. If these decisions are based on your values, then you may have some shortcomings in the small details. Despite everything, you will continue to make mistakes, but it will be much easier for you to understand that you are doing the right thing when you know who you are and what you believe in.