CEOs who are addicted to the details, it is difficult to make big decisions.

Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Notesman” (ID: Notesman), author David B. Yufe, editor Ma Chang.

Beijing time, in the early morning of August 30, Apple finally got a hammer, and the news of “Autumn new product launch time is determined” has knocked out the inconvenience of countless people.

The death of “Joe Lord” caused Apple’s stock price to fall. Now more and more people are questioning: Is Apple now worthy of being the target of the world?

The question value is not worth it. It is nothing but a “new apple” in the era of Tim Cook, which has caused major doubts in strategy and implementation.

Having a strategy but not executing it is as valuable as having an implementation without a strategy—

A combination of both is a challenging task. As a manager, or CEO, how to accomplish this task well?

I. Know yourself without reservation

Organizational strategies require people to execute, so CEOs need enthusiasm, confidence, and focus to turn strategic ideas and values ​​into action.

As Steve Jobs gives Apple products a unique sense of design, the CEO’s unique advantages provide a “personal grip” for themselves.

CEO’s “personal grip” can help them set the right direction for the company, driving them to focus on the business, guiding strategy and making decisions.

After that, the CEO can begin to leverage knowledge and capabilities to build a solid foundation to shape the business and organization and build a management team.

So, how do you find “personal hand”? First of all, this requires you – sincerely assess your strengths and weaknesses.

For example, for Jobs, his “personal grip” is his perfect taste. He can judge which product design should be combined with simple and elegant technology to bring value to users.

Jobs combines co-founder Steve Wozniack and other Apple engineers and managers who interpret this aesthetic as a new product design and user interface: first, a personal computer, then Other products and services are available to iPhone, iPad, iPodhe and app stores.

In many ways, JobSpark could have been an artist and later became a technology entrepreneur.

Jobs grew up in Silicon Valley. His father likes to play with cars and carpentry. Many of his neighbors work in respectable engineering companies like Hewlett-Packard. There are many craftsmen or masters around him.

As early as in high school, Jobs was thinking about what technology can do for people. He believes how good it would be if it were easier to use technology. He wants to create a product that is simple enough for most people to use.

This emphasis on practicality led him to turn Apple into a unique company that set new standards for simplicity, practicality and elegant design throughout the industry.

In the design of Apple products, Jobs tried to control every detail that could reach the user directly. Even in the early days of Apple, he insisted on having a say in the appearance of printed circuit boards inside computers.

However, Steve Jobs did not have much interest in managing many aspects of the business, such as operations and finance. He was arrogant and later realized that he needed experts in these fields to make up for his shortcomings.

The ability to be praised when you are young, to overcome the advantages of others, and the talents that you show on weekdays may be your strengths. What you are against, disgusting, and refusing, is also likely to be your fault.

In any case, you have to discover them and remember them and accept them.

Second, find the direction of strategy

CEO’s personal grasp provides direction and focus for the organization’s strategy and development. For example, it helps CEOs determine where they should focus and how to lead.

Trusting one’s own instinct is a good thing, but it must also be able to pass through the messy information and identify what is really meaningful to the business.

Leaders without clear direction are easy to indulge in trivial things, and the results of trivial things are not beneficial to users, business and organization.

1. Identify the really meaningful details

Because Gates was the master of software, he sought to grasp the realm of every feature in Microsoft products in the early days.

Gates once recalled: Initially, I didn’t let anyone write code; I read every BASIC statement written by someone else and rewritten it myself. It’s just because I don’t like it. The way they code.

In the 1990s, Gates’ mastery of programming details still shocked the company’s engineers.

Description Manager for Windows 95Gates is “a madman” and said: Bill has more mastery of the product than any of us; if there is any embarrassment, he will immediately attack and pick the bones.

Although the technology development has surpassed Gates’ personal programming experience in the mid-1990s, he still knows what questions to ask and is easy to learn new things.

But the test code is the job of the software company CEO must be personally involved?

This may be the case when the company has just been established and the CEO has the best understanding of technology and customers. But as the company’s product portfolio expands and technology advances, things are not like this.

Gates finally realized this. In the early 1990s, he began to decide to focus on the most important products of Microsoft.

For products that are less important, Gates is not directly supervised, but is tested at major project review and planning meetings in April and October each year.

Really, CEOs are almost fanatical about the details, not only to bring better products, but also to influence the culture and organizational capabilities of the company.

However, when the CEO is addicted to detail and becomes a normal state, many trivial decisions are made. In the long run, CEOs will become extremely distracted by trivialities, making it difficult to make the right big decisions.

Only the details that really satisfy the user, make the business grow, and grow the organization are the details that the CEO deserves. It is the key task that the CEO should perform.

2. Grasp the big picture

Keeping the big picture and paying attention to details are two things that are very difficult to balance.

Capturing the overall situation means that the CEO must determine the higher goals of the company’s development in order to determine the direction of the strategy.

To get the most out of the game, you can refer to the following two points:

1 Provide directions from the top level

Intel’s former CEO, Grove, led a “bottom-up” strategic plan that he considered absolutely correct from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.

When he encourages “constructive confrontation” within Intel (a heated debate on strategy), trusting middle managers—rather than senior managers like him—is better at making resource allocation decisions. condition.

This method led the historic transformation of Intel’s business and was ahead of its competitors. However, the industry has changed dramatically, and the old business has been unable to make Intel profitable.

Fullly trusting middle managers, ignoring the senior management’s approach, did not allow Intel to continue to compete with othersCompeting for faster transformation. At this time, Grove realized the shortcoming of “bottom up”.

After that, Grove completely changed the process of “constructive confrontation”. He adopted a “top-down” approach. In the debate, he first evaluated and explained the strategy; but the middle management still has the right. Make key decisions. This makes Intel’s strategic debates clearer and decision-making more correct.

It is obvious that no high-level direction, strategic decision-making and task execution are vague and incomplete.

2 Investing time and thinking

It is also necessary to invest time to learn and think about new knowledge. Maybe we will get inspiration from the life outside of corporate affairs.

Jobs himself has not received professional business training. Most of his business education comes from Apple’s early investor, Mike Markula. Mark Cula knows Jobs in business planning and marketing, and pays attention to opinions and things that are really good for consumers.

In addition, Jobs also extensively studied the complex details of film and music business, retail management, industrial design, supply chain management, manufacturing and software architecture and graphics.

These studies have helped him find more inspiration in design and gain more growth in managerial training.

3. Give power to people with “knowledge”

Many CEOs try to do a lot of work on their own, but over time, good CEOs learn to focus on a few key areas and operating leverage, and decentralize areas that they are not familiar with.

They will build a strong team to take care of most of the business operations, working side by side with employees only in areas where they can add the most value.

In order to ensure that the “best minds” in the enterprise are dealing with major tasks, good CEOs will dig deeper into their own organizations, find more knowledgeable individuals, and give them power without regard to status and qualifications.

This is because good CEOs can better identify their shortcomings. They know that they need to find partners and colleagues to make up for their own shortcomings.

1. Find a partner

Every CEO should find a key executive who can complement himself and form an intimate partnership.

For example, Steve Ballmer is a high-energy salesman and “cheerleader” in the enterprise. He and Getz, the medious, sharp “software nerd”, are perfect. Complementary.

Gates is primarily responsible for strategy and platform, while Ballmer is responsible for competing – defeating other opponents. If Gates does not have the helm with Ballmer for 20 years.It’s hard to imagine whether Microsoft can achieve the same success.

Jobs is more dependent on his executive team. Jobs’ skills are daunting, but the scope is limited. As Jobs himself said to the biographer: What I am best at is finding a group of talented people and working with them to make products.

One of Jobs’ biggest weaknesses is operations. He is not interested in operational issues and lacks the skills to manage these issues effectively. But over time, he began to realize that these are very important for Apple’s performance and need to look for powerful executives to take responsibility.

When Jobs first entered Apple, he completely ignored the operation and even felt that any logistical problems were boring. But when he returned to Apple again, he became aware that it was critical to hire world-class talent—he completely changed the level of respect for the operational functions and the level of resources invested.

The first person Hibbs hired after returning to Apple was Tim Cook, which was in 1988. Cook’s job at the time was to organize the company’s manufacturing, distribution and supply chain systems.

Steve Jobs later said: Tim and I look at the problem in exactly the same way, he has the same strategic vision as me, we can interact at a high level of strategic level.

The CEO alone can’t achieve perfection. You must find a partner that can complement you. What you make up here is the lack of personal ability or personality of the CEO.

2. Combine knowledge power with organizational strength

First-class companies employ top-notch employees, second-rate companies employ third-rate employees, and each CEO wants to hire top-notch employees.

Sometimes good employees don’t necessarily need to look for it from the outside. Go deep into the organization, find outstanding employees, and put them in the right positions – allowing them to use their expertise to get the most out of the company.

The so-called outstanding employees are employees who have more knowledge and interests in areas other than the CEO’s own knowledge and interests. What is compensated here is the lack of knowledge or information of the CEO.

Put the traditional level aside and pay equal attention to the employees, so that the CEO can get a fresh perspective and perspective, and collect information about technology, users or competition changes.

CEOs must learn to explore the “knowledge power” of employees, break the barrier between those who have “knowledge power” in the organization and those who have “organizational power”, and respect employees’ knowledge more than CEOs.

If employees only listen to CEOs, then no matter how competent they are, they will put the CEO in danger of being isolated from the internal and external markets, creating a “closed culture” in the organization.

CEOs must not only give power to “knowledgeable” employees, but also encourage employees to communicate with each other and let employees flow freely between employees. This is to let employees replace CEO goes to observe the company and the market and provides more information to the CEO.


Today’s Apple is still in transition. Jobs laid the groundwork for Apple, and his personal passion for design, attention to detail, and the direction of Apple’s development are the roots of today’s Apple.

Because the “personal grip” is like an anchor, it can prevent the company from “turning over the boat”, but it also limits the company’s move to new directions – both new markets and technologies, and new strategies and business models.

But in the early days of development, if a company wants to grow, the CEO must learn to balance strategy and execution; in an era of economic and business uncertainty, this can prevent organizations from getting out of the way.

Now, let us clarify the relationship between strategy and execution. As Bill Gates once said:

No matter how well-informed your message is, a bad strategy will surely fail, and a lame execution will hamper a good strategy; if you do enough bad things, you will go bankrupt.

Of course, even Jobs and Bill Gates, their strategic thinking is not born. Joe and the Gates also tasted countless mistakes, failures, and pains before they became a giant in business.

Although there are certain limitations in the valuable management experience they have left, our goal is to surpass them.

I hope that every CEO can go beyond them after learning their strategic thinking.

Reference: CITIC Publishing House “Strategic Thinking”

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