Archive for August, 2012

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

August 26, 2012 by   •  Leave a comment

It would seem cliche if I pretended that the Steve Jobs biography some how spoke to me in a meaningful way because I work in a technical field.  I’m not here to relate to Steve Jobs or to offer a review of Isaacson’s work.  Instead I’ll just say that this was a book that I thought would inspire me and give me insight into the brain of arguably the most successful CEO’s in history.

What I walk away with right now is a tremendous amount of humility.  Steve Jobs was a PRICK.  If he were one of my clients I would have fought with him every day until he eventually fired me.  The humility comes with realization that people can not be labeled.

Jobs was Jobs.  He was neither good nor bad.  Nice nor mean. Asshole nor Humanitarian.  He just existed.  We all assign our belief systems and values onto people, situations, and things.  We judge things and then convince ourselves and others that our judgement is accurate.  Reading this book and applying this insight to my consulting over the years has humbled me into realizing that whoever you are as a business owner is fine as long as you have conviction that your way is the way you want it done and that you’ll inspire those around you to have faith in your vision.

I’ve spent a lot of time with clients working on vision and leadership.  I know from my training that’s what I’m supposed to do.  What I ignored was that perhaps they had this part down.  Their challenge may instead have been that, unlike Jobs, they had not yet surrounded themselves with employees that shared that vision.  Perhaps they hadn’t shared their vision clearly or passionately enough.  Perhaps they did not yet have faith enough in their vision to take critical action when their vision was not being fulfilled by their employees.

This is a book that on it’s surface will not be placed in the Management section of Amazon or Barnes and Noble, but look deeply and you’ll find management and ownership lessons that appear organically not contrived like analogies to busses and pie bakers.  This is the real deal for me at least.

Check it out, or don’t.