Your average geek might not, at first, consider Steve Jobs and Bill Gates titans of strategic management. But as much as they had great visions for the future of technology, they had the acumen to see their visions through. Gates and Jobs, along with former Intel chairman Andy Grove, are the subject of a new book about the shared strategies they employed while leading the tech revolution.
Authors David Yoffie, an Intel board member, and Michael Cusumano, author of the the landmark book Microsoft Secrets, take advantage of their access to the key players to deliver unique insights. The advice in Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs draws from the experiences of three leaders who seemed to be quite different, but shared a philosophy for achieving their vision of the future.
Yoffie and Cusumano don’t bury the lede; the lessons are:
- Look forward, reason back
- Make big bets, without betting the company
- Build platforms and ecosystems—not just products
- Exploit leverage and power—play judo and sumo
- Shape the organization around your personal anchor
Alone, these lessons may be hard to decipher, but the authors use examples — like Apple’s cultural ecosystem and Grove’s ability to make people care about what’s powering their PC — to illustrate larger points about the power of planning.
The authors told Forbes they started writing the book after all three CEOs left their positions, which helped prove the last point in their book. While all three organizations have been the target of doomsday predictions about their demise, each has survived the departure of its longtime leader.
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