Could Steve Jobs Run An Accounting Department?
Well… this is the big reveal… the moment we have all been waiting for. As you may know I have written a few articles about Steve Jobs running an accounting department. I guess I have taken a little break from my normal Accounts Payable Automation writing to help accounting and finance professionals sharpen the saw on their leadership and management skills.
The Set Up
I have done more research on Jobs than I have ever done research on any one single thing outside of AP Automation. I wish I would have put this much effort into my school work when I was younger (I think as we get older we write stuff like that). I searched through countless videos, articles, read books written by colleagues and finally read his biography written by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson’s book was by far the most revealing and interesting. Jobs told him in the beginning that he wasn’t going to have the final say or edit on any of the material, and you can tell. If you want to know more about Jobs the Isaacson book is an excellent read, and I would highly recommend it.
In the last two weeks I have written about Jobs and Innovation, Development and Management. As I wrote in my first article about Steve Jobs running an accounting department, he had two careers at Apple. Both different and both highly successful. The first career at Apple really saw his development side take center stage as he pushed the company to make a personal computer that was easy to use and useful. The second career was more innovative. Jobs was tremendously influential in many industries and as an innovator he was able to change animated movies, phones, personal computer and the music industry. Those are not small feats. However, both careers at Apple did have one consistent theme and that was managing people. In contrast to his outside persona Jobs was an excellent motivator and really pushed the people who worked for him to achieve what employees would say was the impossible.
Can Steve Jobs run an accounting department? The answer… No! Jobs was too much of a free spirit and out of the box thinker. There is plenty of room for that type of creativity in accounting and finance, but Jobs would have taken it too far. He would have wanted to develop an entirely new set of practices and procedures to follow, scraping the old debits and credits for something different. An example of this he was in the hospital he didn’t like the machine that took his pulse and made recommendations to the staff on changing it. He also didn’t like the oxygen mask and asked the nurse to bring him five different examples so he could choose the best design. Even though Jobs would have been unable to run an accounting department we still can learn from his innovation, development and how he managed people.
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