Fine piece in Forbes about the danger of blindly emulating a genius
Steve Jobs famously said, in effect, "Ignore customers, they don't know what they want!"
Not unreasonable, if you're designing undreamed-about consciousness-shifting, behavior-changing products like the IPod and IPad.
But not the best approach if you're designing the next generation of Tier 4 diapers, or the next Ford Taurus model!
And certainly not the best approach if you're leading a team in the middle of a major health care, or automotive, or aerospace value stream!
In such circumstances, your upstream & downstream connections with customers & suppliers, are the air you breathe.
So, as with so many things in life - it depends...
Steve Jobs was right under his circumstances, to more or less ignore the customer.
And the value stream leader, in her circumstances, is right not to.
Some people call this finesse.