What Would Jobs Do?
It’s been 12 years since Steve Jobs left the planet. Love or hate him, Jobs’ knew what we wanted before we did. And that includes his vision for the workplace. He was an early believer in flexible work schedules and generous time off.
Apple still champions that philosophy.
Jobs loved walking meetings and found that by disconnecting, it stimulated his clarity and creativity. He generated his best ideas away from his desk. Jobs drew the parallel to Paul McCartney, who wrote Yesterday in a dream. In fact, he modeled Apple after The Beatles. He loved how four guys balanced each other and recognized they were greater as a band than as individuals.
Jobs encouraged his teams to try new things and trust they will somehow payoff down the road. He didn’t wait for perfection. Jobs got into the market fast and adjusted on the fly.
Steve Jobs famously ranted at his managers, ‘Don’t do things 10% better. That’s just better sameness. If we’re going to put a ding in the universe, do things 10 times better. So, hire people who are better than you. A players hire A players. B players hire B players. When you hire a C player, you trigger the Bozo Explosion.’
Here’s my take. Just days before his death, Steve Jobs issued this final statement.
"In other people's eyes, my life is a success. However, aside from work, I’ve had little joy. All the recognition and wealth I took so much pride in is meaningless now. Material things that are lost can be found again. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost: Life.
Steve Jobs reminded us to find our passion, throw caution to the wind and have the courage to follow your heart.
And to ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’.
Surrounding oneself with smarter people is ego-challenging, and out of most people's range. It takes a self-secure leader to put ego aside and actually hire people with more savvy and better skills, but when it does happen, magic follows.