Biographer Walter Isaacson on the Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson, author of the Steve Jobs biography, said in the past he omitted certain details and even referred to the book as a “first or second draft” when discussing plans to expand it with an addendum in a future re-release of the best-selling bio. While we have heard nothing official on those plans since, Isaacson just published a lengthy piece for Harvard Business Review titled “The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs.”

As noted by Isaacson, he was inspired to write the piece after many attempted to draw management lessons from the biography that he claims, “fixate[s] too much on the rough edges” of Jobs’ personality. Most of the piece focuses on Jobs’ management style, but Isaacson also once again talked about the late chief’s desire to produce “magical tools for digital photography and ways to make television simple and personal.” Here is an excerpt:

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Steve Jobs nominated for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year”; segments of lost interview shown

(video link)

Steve Jobs has been nominated for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” by NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. If Steve Jobs were to receive the award, he would be the first person to receive it after their death. Mark Zuckerburg was 2010′s winner, who recently told reporters he was inspired by Steve Jobs while building Facebook. Brian Williams said in his nomination speech:

“One guy, who changed our world, and I said to Seth Meyers as we walked across Sixth Avenue, ‘Just look with me on this one block walk at how he changed the world around us. Look at how he changed the world.’ Not only did he change the world, but he gave us that spirit again that something was possible that you could look at a piece of plastic or glass and move your finger– that’s outlandish. You could make things bigger or smaller like that. ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ and oh the way you will change forever the music and television industries. So may he rest in peace, Steve Jobs, and the spirit he represents, are my nominee for Person of the Year.”

A video has also surfaced this evening (above) showing a segment of the never before seen interview of Steve Jobs by Robert Cringely. The interview is due out in theaters soon, but Cringely has revealed a few parts early.

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Early biography publication “not related to any decline” in Steve Jobs’s health (BONUS: front and back cover detailed)


Image courtesy of Simon & Schuster. Click for larger.

The official Steve Jobs biography, which is based on forty interviews and set for publication by Simon & Schuster November 21, sports the memorable front cover shot depicting Apple’s leader touching his guru-like beard, his eyes piercing intensely at the camera and eyebrows slightly lifted as if he is imagining Apple’s next big thing. That image, also found on Apple’s recently revamped PR website under the Apple Leadership section, is the Albert Watson portrait taken in 2009, author Walter Isaacson revealed in a private email exchange with Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. The back cover?

The back is a Norman Seeff portrait of him in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh, which ran in Rolling Stone in January 1984. The title font is Helvetica. It will look as you see it, with no words on the back cover.

More important to Apple fans, the earlier than expected book launch – which had been originally pinpointed for March 6, 2012 – has nothing to do with the state of Steve Jobs’s health, Isaacson told Fortune’s Elmer-DeWitt. Apple’s boss has gone on an indefinite sick leave in January 2011, his third health-related leave of absence from the company he co-founded. Here’s from Isaacson:

It’s actually not related to any decline. I turned most of the book in this past June. It’s now all done and edited. The March 2012 date (or whatever date it was) was never a deeply-considered pubdate. Like the original cover design, it came about because the publisher wanted to put something in the database last spring.

This is obviously an important tidbit for Apple fans concerned about Steve’s well-being. Go past the fold for the publisher’s long description of the book.  The book is available for Pre-Order at Amazon for $20.

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Official Steve Jobs biography set for November 21 release, based on forty interviews

According to Barnes and Noble’s website, the official Steve Jobs biography – titled Steve Jobs: A Biography - is becoming available on November 21, 2011. This is a big leap from the previously announced March 6, 2012 release date for the first Steve Jobs-approved biography.  In addition, the book seller’s website has seemingly revealed the cover for the biography (shown above), and it is unsurprisingly simple. (via AllThingsD).

The book is also 448 pages long and is based on over 40 interviews with Steve Jobs in addition to interviews with his family and friends. Interestingly, although approved by Jobs, the Apple CEO had no control over the biography’s contents. The Apple CEO had this to say about the biography:

I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that, he said. But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.

Here is the full description of the biography (available for pre-order for $20):

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