Steve Jobs at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2011 in San Francisco on June 6, 2011.
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images
July 13, 2015 8:00 AM EDT

It’s easy to think that great leaders like Steve Jobs got that way by telling people what to do, bossing them around, or instilling fear in those who work for them. This would be a mistake. In my experience, the greatest leaders of all create a compelling vision of the future, and they inspire their employees to achieve things they didn’t think they could do. Not only that, but they know how to ask their people to help them turn their vision into reality.

In 1994-just two years before he returned to Apple, the company he co-founded-Jobs was interviewed by the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association. In the video from this interview, he talks about the remarkable power of asking for what you want.

Jobs goes on to tell about the time when he was 12 years old that he decided to call Bill Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, to ask for some spare parts to build a frequency counter (Hewlett’s home phone number was in the Palo Alto phone book at the time). Not only did Hewlett readily agree to young Steve’s request, but he offered him a summer job at his company, assembling frequency counters.

Continues Jobs in the video…

Watch the complete, 2-minute video excerpt for yourself.

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article above was originally published at

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