There’s a time and a place, for sure. You don’t knock a person who’s recently died, especially when they did a good job influencing the world in a wonderful way. No doubt Steve Jobs did just that. His presence at the helm of Apple has impacted a large chunk of the world in a very wonderful way. If it wasn’t for Apple (assuming nobody else stepped up) there’d certainly be a lot that we wouldn’t have today, that we do, because they took the risk and invested the resources. And not just from Apple. Think about how they’ve pushed their competitors to up their game as well?
However, as with all of us, there’s always a dark side. A shadow that lurks, and with Steve Jobs there’s always been rumor of a significantly interesting human being, who outside of the public eye, doesn’t match up to the man we praise for the amazing accomplishments that have touched our lives.
Yesterday I read the first article, post his death, that begins to paint a more authentic picture (Steve Jobs Quote: Genius or Insanity?)
Steve Jobs was a man of contradictions. In Steve Jobs, a biography by Walter Isaacson, his groundbreaking ideas and spectacular technological breakthroughs run like a torrent through the book.
But at the same time, on almost every page are examples of his spectacular arrogance, odd habits, belligerent interactions and emotional breakdowns.
Certainly, in my eyes, it takes nothing away from his accomplishments, and it doesn’t in any way dent or damage the image I have of him. I’m under no illusions that in order to impact the world in the manner in which he did, you’re no ordinary human being. Frankly I’m tired of reading the wishy washy stuff that suggests that great leaders need to be pure in heart, love all humankind and want to make the world a better place (in short, Level 5 leaders). It’s great to talk and write like that in theory, but the people who have the courage to change the world, cannot be easy people to work closely with.
Here are some exerts from the recently released book, Steve Jobs.
Jobs fights with Mike Scott, who was the first CEO of Apple from February 1977 to March 1981. But the fight was for naught: According to the book, “Scott relented, at least for the purpose of the badge, but the Bank of America required a positive integer for its payroll system and Jobs’s remained #2.”
Jobs trusted his designer Jony Ive, having lunch with him every day Jobs was at the Apple HQ.
His colleagues say this was one of his most angry tirades.