Steve Jobs put on the spot, returning an insult

Check out this awesome video of Steve Jobs responding to an insult.  Well worth your 5 minutes.

I found this video to be fascinating and think it has several takeaways that all leaders should note:

  1. As a leader, you need to handle being put on the spot.
  2. Resist the initial emotional reaction.  Breath.  It’s OK to pause to collect your thoughts.
  3. Admit they are right.  Point out where you agree with the accuser.
  4. Steer the conversation to the bigger picture.  Why are we here in the first place?
  5. Acknowledge the hard work of the team.
  6. Admit you may be wrong, but that’s OK because decisions are being made, and course corrections will occur.

What I loved about this strategy is that it’s really hard to disagree with any of the points above.  You end up nodding your head and agreeing with him by the end, regardless of the original point being made by the accuser.  He ignores the personal attack and does tie his response periodically back to the original question.

Not bad for being put on the spot.