In late April, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University as part of the school's "Real Conversations with Real Leaders" symposium. Cook, as you may know, earned an MBA from Duke in 1988.
A few days ago, Duke posted video vignettes of Cook discussing a number of topics ranging from ethical leadership to the Apple CEO's take on career planning.
In the video below, Cook discusses the importance of intuition while relaying how his gut directed him to Apple against the better judgment of others and his own analytical mind. Remember, Cook joined Apple after Steve Jobs convinced him to leave his position at Compaq.
I remember forming a list of plus and minuses and couldn't get the chart to work out the way I wanted it to, because I wanted something to say, "This says I should go to Apple." But it would not. Nothing financially would do that. I talked to people I trusted that knew me and they said, "This is not what you should do." People said, "You're just crazy. You're working for the top PC company in the world. How can you even think of doing this? You've lost your mind." And yet, that voice said, "Go west young man, go west."
On collaboration, Cook had this to say:
You look for wicked-smart people. You look for people who appreciate different points of view. You look for people who care enough that they have an idea at 11 at night and they want to call and talk to you about it. Because they're so excited about it, they want to push the idea further, and they believe that somebody can help them push the idea another step instead of them doing everything themselves.
When asked for his opinion on ethical leadership, Cook answered:
When I think of ethics, I think of leaving things better than you found them, and to me that goes from the environment to how you work with suppliers with labor questions to the carbon footprint of your products to the things you choose to support to the way you treat your employees. Your whole persona fits under that umbrella...
And that is what we try to do at Apple in very simple ways, it's the way I try and lead my life.
Each of the videos are pretty short and are well worth checking out if you're interested in gleaning some more insight into the mind of Apple's CEO. You can check out the full selection of videos over here.
As a parting shot, here's Cook discussing the three things he focuses on most.