Insanely Simple

The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success
By Ken Segall
256 Pages

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This book about Apple is also very relevant to leadership. The driving notion of Segall’s book is that the key to success is striving for simplicity. Chapter 1 is “Think Brutal”; the first step on the journey to simplicity is to deal with the real world, confront the facts, and identify the issue. Then Segall challenges the reader — just as Apple challenges its employees — to work through all the complexity of the problems at hand to arrive at something simple and easy to implement. This is a good approach. As leaders, if we have too complex a solution to a complex problem, we get mired in the execution. Segall shows us how addressing the brutal facts, getting to the essence of the challenge, and ultimately arriving at a simple, executable solution is at the heart of Apple’s business model. I find this philosophy helpful in terms of thinking about leadership.

– D. R. Conant

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