Posts Tagged ‘Sculley’

Mr. Sculley, what makes a good manager?

October 27, 2011

An interviewer asked John Sculley, former Pepsi exec and Apple CEO;

Mr. Sculley, you’ve said you aren’t a great manager. What makes a great manager?

Sculley’s answer:

Really good managers want to turn one-off projects into as much of a routine process as they can.

I am a project-centric leader.

I like to work on projects and solve tough problems.

Whereas a really good manager will say, “How do we replicate the processes so that when a problem comes up like this again we can routinely solve it?”

That is a very different skill set.

It takes both to run a successful company.

I always tried to complement my creative problem-solving skills with people on my team who had more process and management skills, so as a team we were very successful.

It’s important to understand what you are really good at and weak at so you can fill out the leadership team with all the needed talent to be successful.

So, are you project-centric or process-oriented?

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Sculley on Jobs … notable quotes

October 24, 2011

In one of the many tribute pieces to Steve Jobs, Business Week published a note from John Sculley.

A couple of lines caught my eye …

On PLC management:

When I first joined Apple, my priority was to squeeze three more years of cash flow out of the near-end-of-life Apple II so Steve would have enough cash runway to create and launch the Mac.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

Steve would say the hardest decisions are what to leave out, not what to put in.

He was the ultimate systems designer.

Always simplifying.

Everything began and ended with the user experience.

Simplify the steps. “Look, we can do it in three steps. … Not good enough, do it in one step.”

The master impresario:

The advances in technology over these years are extraordinary, but Steve wasn’t an engineer.

As an artist he barely drew anything recognizable on his white board.

But as a master impresario, the clarity and brilliance of his creations was genius.

Great companies, noble causes

Great companies must have a noble cause.

Then it’s the leader’s job to transform that noble cause into such an inspiring vision that it will attract the most talented people in the world to want to join it.

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