The Steve Jobs Way - Chapter 5 - Rewards

 This chapter emphasizes the importance of rewards and how Steve Jobs used rewards to keep his teams motivated. Rewards and celebration are the standard tools of any human resources department. There is nothing ground breaking in the idea as such. What I would think different is the close linkages between the rewards and the products.

For instance the celebrations are mostly related to project phases rather than personal events in the lives of the employees. Some of the rewards were around an engineer's pride as an artist. Instead of motivation around generic success, his approach apparently was centered around engineers' pride as artist to create the perfect product. The author compares the team to pirates - maybe I would go a step further and compare to Captain Ahab and his crew in quest of Moby Dick - a product in team in quest of the perfect product in every aspect. Continuing along these lines, some of the rewards were also the company's products at discounted rates so that employees can be proud of their products as users. Also the teams could have the copy of their signatures embossed inside the product to further foster the pride in the product.

The book goes on to talk about how Steve Jobs used to call people at odd times to discuss his ideas. It was more Steve Jobs' all engulfing passion than a desire to step into the employees' personal time. And if the employees were equally passionate about the product they wouldn't mind it. It again goes back to the concept of work life integration instead of work life balance. Where work is your life passion, it would only seem natural for work to step into your personal time.

The one additional final point was hands on engagement with his teams. He would talk to them to understand what each person was doing and ensure they were clear what they were contributing to the company. So one could not have people hanging around with no clarity. Also it is mentioned about a policy of giving people a month long sabbatical every year to refresh and come back with new ideas. 

I would conclude much of it is personal style but my take away would be that motivations closely linked to the product itself may be a recipe for success. 


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