Steve Jobs’ HR Philosophy

Abhishek Paul
2 min readMay 13, 2019

I came across this short clip recently and was impressed to see him speak so clearly and passionately about people management decades ago!

He cut through to the key objectives of HR / people management:

  1. Hire passionate people with high potential who align with the company vision. Each part is critical — look for all three in every candidate. Normally we go for experience / professionals assuming that track record is a better guarantee of results, we overlook potential that can grow exponentially. When passion aligns with the organization’s vision, the motivation is intrinsic and it drives the individual to seek ways to become successful. Your job is not to demotivate them — not to motivate them.
  2. Bet on them — meaning give them freedom, responsibility and a long rope. If we’re not doing this, we have either failed in pt 1 or are micro managing them. This is the positive version of the self fulfilling prophecy — when we expect great things from them (and remember, if folks come through pt 1, these expectations have a greater probability of being accurate), people will tend to rise up to it. The reverse is also true, micro managing implies low expectations.
  3. High performing ICs make the Best Managers — while this does not mean all performing ICs can be great managers, a manager has a higher chance of being successful if he is a high performing IC. Again this is built on the preceding points — if they are true, someone who brings primarily managerial skills will lack credibility.

Sadly organizations today f*** up 1 if not all 3 areas to various levels!