A perfect CEO model: Steve Jobs vs. Steve Ballmer

A perfect CEO model: Steve Jobs vs. Steve Ballmer
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      Everybody loves Steve Jobs. People write books, shoot movies and place the pictures of this tech genius on their desktops because this is kind of inspiring. Steve Jobs is a real icon in the world of business and innovations, while the new CEO of Apple, Steve Ballmer, is notorious for his crazy acts and funny moves in public. This is how stereotypes appear. But are these patterns actually fair? Who is a better CEO after all? It’s up to you to choose your own role model, but let’s compare two Steves.


     Jobs was a young genius: in his early twenties, he already allied with another talented buddy and set up a new, rapidly successful company. Handsome and generally outstanding. Net worth at death up to $10 billion.
     Ballmer showed no evidence of genius, everything is rather boring: just 34 years of work for gradually growing Microsoft Company since the age of 30, no dismissals ever. Bald and funny-looking. Still confident and extremely ambitious employee. Current estimated worth – $22 billion.

A small note on how Steve Ballmer made a fortune:

     Ballmer joined Microsoft at the ‘right’ time. A number 30 employee, he asked for $50 000 plus 10% of the company’s profits for his salary, when the company was facing a certain crisis. Later, these conditions were reconsidered and Ballmer got 8% of all Microsoft shares. Gates’ and Allen’s shares somehow dissolved after some diversification and IPO. Ballmer managed to keep 4% of shares now worth $15.5 billion, which is $1.6 billion more than Gates’ share. A grad looking for a job opportunity finally became Microsoft lifesaver and the richest man on the planet.
A perfect CEO model: Steve Jobs vs. Steve Ballmer

Steve Jobs: thoughtful, solemn, dominant, pleased with himself.
A perfect CEO model: Steve Jobs vs. Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer: expressive, amusing, ridiculous, ambitious.
A perfect CEO model: Steve Jobs vs. Steve Ballmer

A tech CEO gatecrashes a party.

Steve Jobs: Always welcome. People cheer up as he comes in. They love the music he puts and of course he drinks a better alcohol. Everybody leaves feeling less cool than Steve.

Steve Ballmer: He opens the door with a huge grin on his face, shaking hands with everyone and nicely offering them to try his cheap alcohol (which you don’t even pay attention to). He is a part of the crowd. By the end of the party he thanks everyone for coming, people realize they had a really good time.

      People want to be successful. They want to be like Steve Jobs. They want to gather crowds of followers and admirers. But in reality, most of us are mediocre, just like Steve Ballmer. The one who attracts public attention only by his ridiculous acts, but still performs as a very good man, enthusiastic about what he does, natural and forceful.

In case you choose Steve Ballmer as a non-mainstream role model for you, here are some specific tips:

  1. Use as many physical expressions as possible: huge smile, tongue out, salute, claw.
  2. Start a habit of repeating the same key word 5-10 times in a row during your presentations, find a rhythm.
  3. Imagine you are the tallest person in the room.
  4. Go big: love the party – make it your own.
  5. Try to turn the tables. Stop taking opportunities, become the person who says: I’m giving you the opportunity…

      This was a funny note based on Davis Barnes’ blog post, attracting attention to the newly appointed Apple CEO. Of course, we can learn a lot from both Steves. But the lessons will be totally different. Keep going and succeed!

                                             And as Steve Ballmer once said: be bold, but be right.

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