Leadership and the Beauty Principle

For Steve Jobs, making objects that were beautiful as well as functional was a cornerstone of Apple’s philosophy. He even insisted that the circuit boards fitted inside the early Macintosh computers looked good. “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it,” he once said. “You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood in the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

The old economic paradigm was based on power and influence. But the soul of the new economy will be based on beauty. Like great artists, business leaders sometimes radically change the whole form they are working on. And what leads to this transformation is beauty.

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