Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple, one of the most valuable companies in the world.
While he might not be the founder of this company, he was the one that has helped grow Apple into the titan it is today.
There’s much to learn from Tim Cook about success.
So in this blog post, we’ll talk about the fifteen best lessons on leadership, business, life, and more from Tim Cook for Entrepreneurs.
If that sounds interesting, then keep on reading.
1. Trust the People Around You
There is so much an individual can do when running a business. As the business grows, the workload continues to get steeper.
So one of the most important things a leader must learn is to trust the people around him.
And that same lesson can be learned from Tim Cook. One reason for helping Apple grow so big is because he trusted Philip W. Schiller.
Thanks to this, Philip was able to turn the image and sales around Apple during his 14-year occupation.
When leading your company, make sure you trust your employees, and the weight on your shoulders will get lighter.
2. Be Humble
While you might dream of proving the people around you wrong, staying humble is extremely important.
That will help you keep yourself down to earth, which is crucial for creating a successful business.
So, what does Tim Cook do for it?
He can be seen visiting Apple Stores and engaging with customers from time to time. He also reads and answers customer emails.
He once explained:
“Not allowing yourself to become insular is very important–maybe the most important thing, I think, as a CEO.”
3. Admit When You’re Wrong
We’re not perfect! We all make mistakes, no matter how smart we are. Sometimes it’s just hard to admit to them, no matter how small the error is.
However, that’s exactly the opposite we must do. The best leaders always admit when they are wrong.
That shows that you take responsibility for your mistakes and makes you look like a stronger person overall.
And the same can be seen with Tim Cook, who has openly admitted to his mistakes several times.
For example, he acknowledged that hiring John Browett in 2012 as an *X* was a mistake. So instead of having him around, he was fired six months later.
4. You Can Learn From Every Mistake
Admitting your mistake is just one step! While that might be good enough for many people, successful ones go one step further – they learn from it.
That way, they can perform better in the future by not making the same mistake again.
And Tim Cook has made lots of mistakes.
For example, Apple lost hundreds of millions of dollars when GT Advanced Technologies Inc couldn’t build the Arizona factory and filed for bankruptcy.
So, how did Tim Cook respond?
Well, he said:
“Let’s see what we can learn from it. We’re not going to bat a thousand. And we’re going to keep betting on great technologies for our customers”.
5. Believe in What You’re Doing and Take Actions to Reflect That
One of the best things we can learn from Tim Cook is belief in what he’s doing. That helps him be a better leader and make better decisions.
However, Tim Cook takes it a step further.
When the Apple Stocks were underperforming, he forfeited up to one-third of his stock-based compensation.
He puts his money where his mouth is.
6. Be transparent
Each one of us strives to become a great and firm leader. That way, we can continue growing our company and become an inspiration to who we serve.
However, sometimes we might think we need to show no weaknesses to be perceived as strong leaders.
That gives out the opposite. Instead of showing you as a strong leader, you don’t take any responsibility. So rather, be as transparent as possible.
Tim Cook once said:
“We want to be as innovative with supply responsibility as we are with our products. That’s a high bar. The more transparent we are, the more it’s in the public space.”
Be like Tim Cook, and be transparent.
7. Don’t Try to Be Anyone Else But You
It’s a good thing to stay critical of yourself and want to be someone different. That helps you to continue evolving into a better human being.
However, you shouldn’t ever try to be someone else.
That’s because you’ll perform way worse than you’d if you stayed like you are. And that’s what Tim Cook does as well.
While he admires what Steve Jobs accomplished, he knows he never wanted to be like him.
Instead of trying to replicate what he did, he focused his energy on one goal – To grow the company.
8. Take Risks
When running a business, every one of us knows one thing – you’ve got to take risks.
Without them, we won’t be able to grow a business and reach our ambitious goals.
And just like you, Tim Cook firmly believes that as well.
He one day said:
“We take risks knowing that risks will sometimes result in failure, but without the possibility of failure, there is no possibility of success.”
So, from now on, be sure to take calculated risks every day, and you’ll see your business grow to new heights!
9. Listen to Others
Tim Cook and Steve Jobs are two entirely different people:
- Steve Jobs was more boisterous and a unique individual.
- While Cook is far quieter and reserved.
While being more like Steve Jobs is generally great, there are times when being more like Tim Cook can be helpful.
That’s because reserved people tend to listen more than speak. And that can be extremely powerful.
If you listen more, you might get better ideas for managing your business. For example, you could get some product ideas from unlikely sources.
When someone in your business is speaking, you should listen and take notes.
10. Know the Importance of Diversity
Let’s be honest! We like to work together with similar people.
That’s because it’s easier to talk to, have fun and collaborate with them.
However, while that might feel great, it isn’t the greatest decision.
It won’t allow you to hire a person with a different mindset that could challenge your ideas.
And that’s extremely important if you want to remain an innovative company. And Tim Cook knows it well.
He once said:
“We want diversity of thought. We want diversity of style. We want people to be themselves.”
So instead of searching for people similar to you, try to look for two types of people: like-minded and different!
11. Express Gratitude
One of the struggles of being a leader is the motivation and satisfaction of your employees. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Instead, the easiest way to keep your satisfaction up is by expressing gratitude.
People love to see their work being noticed. It gives them the pleasure of not being another cog in the wheel. And Tim Cook does that frequently.
For example, on December 27, 2018, he tweeted about being grateful for all the hard work retailers do.
12. Know the Importance of Giving Back
One thing that all successful people need to do is remember where they came from and give back.
Not only will you be a decent person, but you’ll also help your business look better. So, it’s excellent for both reasons.
And Tim Cook is a firm believer in it. He has created jobs for families that need them the most, helped protect our environment, and built communities.
In one of his interviews, he said:
“One of the things you do is give back. So how do you give back? We give back through our work in the environment by running the company on renewable energy. We give back in job creation.”
13. Write Your Own Rules
In Duke University Q&A, Tim Cook was asked when should the students listen to their professors and when it’s okay not to.
And his answer?
Write your own rules!
He explained the reasoning that if you follow things in a formulaic manner, you won’t be able to do anything extraordinary. Instead, they’ll most likely stay where everyone else is.
So if you want to achieve your lofty goals, write your own rules, and you’ll achieve them.
14. Know What You’re Good At and Do it Well.
When it comes to growing your company, one of the most important things you can do is focus on what you’re strong at. That helps you to take advantage of your unfair advantage.
For example, Tim Cook believes that focusing on excellence is the key to Apple’s success.
Tim Cook ensures that he and his team always focus on improving Apple’s foundation and making the products their customers love.
For your company, see what your advantages are and do what you do best well.
15. Lead with Your Values
In a speech at Gallaudet University, Tim Cook shared one of his most indispensable leadership principles.
“I have one important piece of advice I want to share. So important that it’s the only piece of advice I’m going to share today. And that is: Whatever you do, lead with your values.”
He wanted to say with this advice that when it’s time to make a decision, it’s essential to go with what you feel is right.
That helps you to make every decision more straightforward, as it’s based on a profound understanding of yourself and what you believe.
And those were the fifteen best lessons from Tim Cook.
Once you start following these lessons, you’ll become a better leader and probably see your company grow further.
So don’t let this information rot in your brain.
Don’t forget to read Leander Kahney’s book on Tim Cook. You can also listen to its audiobook version below.