Empowering Teams: Wisdom from Steve Jobs

Eliza Sapir Koren
3 min readMay 31, 2024


In the realm of business leadership, there are few voices as revered as that of Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Inc. His insights continue to shape the way leaders approach management and team-building. One of his most impactful statements speaks directly to the essence of empowerment within organizations: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

As a mobile team manager who has built a team from the ground up, I’ve embraced this philosophy as a foundational principle. Starting with a blank canvas, the goal was not just to assemble a group of skilled individuals, but to cultivate a culture where every member feels empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and insights. The journey from zero to hero has been marked by a collective effort to embody the spirit of Jobs’ words.

Today, I can proudly say that our team is a mosaic of exceptional talent, each piece bringing its own color and dimension to the collective vision. The key to our success lies in our commitment to fostering an environment where autonomy and collaboration thrive. Here’s how we’ve put Jobs’ wisdom into action:

Embracing Diversity of Thought: Recognizing that innovation thrives on diverse perspectives, we celebrate individuality within our team. Everyone is encouraged to bring their authentic selves to the table, knowing that their unique experiences and viewpoints enrich our collective understanding.

Cultivating a Culture of Ownership: Rather than micromanaging tasks, we empower team members to take ownership of their work. This sense of responsibility not only fosters accountability but also fuels a sense of pride and ownership in the outcomes we achieve together.

Encouraging Open Communication: Communication is the lifeblood of any successful team. We’ve created channels for open dialogue where ideas are welcomed, questions are encouraged, and feedback is valued. Every team member, regardless of their position, has a voice that is heard and respected.

Fostering Continuous Learning: In a fast-paced industry like mobile development, staying ahead requires a commitment to continuous learning. We invest in professional development opportunities and encourage skill-sharing within the team, ensuring that everyone has the tools and knowledge they need to excel.

Leading by Example: As a leader, I strive to embody the principles of humility and openness that define Jobs’ philosophy. By leading with transparency and vulnerability, I set the tone for a culture where trust and mutual respect flourish.

In the journey from zero to hero, the true measure of success lies not in individual achievements, but in the collective impact we make as a team. By embracing the wisdom of Steve Jobs and empowering our team members to lead from within, we’ve unlocked a reservoir of creativity and innovation that propels us forward, one breakthrough at a time.

As we continue to chart our course in the ever-evolving landscape of mobile technology, I am confident that our commitment to empowerment will remain the compass that guides us towards new horizons of success.