Be like Apple

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From Bob Kelly
Superintendent
Jones Lang LaSalle

I just finished reading the biography of Steve Jobs. If you haven’t picked it up yet, it is must reading.

Walter Isaacson does a great job showing the dichotomy in the character of one of our generation’s most successful and innovative business leaders. The book is meaningful to me because many of the events recounted take place during the early years of my career.

The part of Jobs’ personality that is important in our and any profession, is his passion for product perfection. In our case, the product is the array of real estate services we provide to clients.

Jobs came back to Apple in 1996 after moving to another company for 11 years. What saved them then, and what made them standout initially, was their uncompromising dedication to product perfection. This, to the exclusion of everything else including the bottom line and personal gain.

Apple was in business to provide better products for the masses. They floundered without their ideological founder and leader and got their swagger back when he returned. He removed the clutter and focused with laser beam intensity on a few special ones.

As I was reading the book, I couldn’t help but think of its many lessons for all industries.

Branding is key. It goes hand-in-hand with consistency and excellence in execution. You may stray from the path on occasion. Put procedures and protocols in place that become cumbersome and inefficient. At times you may get a little complacent. The mark of a truly great company like Apple is to recognize impedances, quickly right the ship and move on. 

-Bob

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