How Steve Jobs set the ‘Honesty Standards’ and Here is a Lesson for Business Leaders

In corporate world, being honest / blunt is often seen as a sign of stupidity. But then, great companies have a different culture (often called ‘NO BS’ culture) and great leaders always aspire for honest answers / feedback.

Below is an excerpt by Guy Kawasaki (he was responsible for marketing of Apple Macintosh product line in 1984) and a great example of how Apple defined its culture (and the honesty standards).

One day Steve Jobs showed up in my cubicle with a man that I didn’t know. He didn’t bother to introduce him; instead he asked, “What do you think of a company called Knoware?”

I told him that the company’s products were mediocre, boring, and simplistic–nothing that was strategic for Macintosh. The company didn’t matter to us. After my diatribe, he said to me, “I want you to meet the CEO of Knoware, Archie McGill.”

Says Guy:

I passed the Steve Jobs’s IQ test. If I had said nice things about crappy software, Steve would have concluded that I was clueless and that was a career-limiting or ending move.

What sort of honesty standard do you have in your company ? How much crap are you giving / hearing on a regular basis?

What do you think?

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