One of the most important responsibilities of a great leader is to clearly define the goal, the vision, the what and why stuff, so that everyone can understand and really “buy-in” to the deal. Steve Jobs just did this masterfully in the Q&A session following an Apple press event:
Is Apple’s goal to overtake the PC in market share? Jobs said, “Our goal is to make the best personal computers in the world and make products we are proud to sell and recommend to our family and friends. We want to do that at the lowest prices we can.
“But there’s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn’t be proud to ship. And we just can’t do it. We can’t ship junk,” said Jobs. “There are thresholds we can’t cross because of who we are. And we think that there’s a very significant slice of the [market] that wants that too. You’ll find that our products are not premium priced. You price out our competitors’ products, and add features that actually make them useful, and they’re the same or actually more expensive. We don’t offer stripped-down, lousy products.”
Independant of the PR value of these statements, these words “make meaning” for Apple’s employees who, in the end, are their most important customers.
Update: MacWorld has posted the audio of the question and Job’s fantastic response here