Steve Jobs was unapologetically driven. He was so driven that he convinced the world that we could not live without his products. He was a charismatic leader that drunk his punch first then made the rest of us feel square if we did not drink and rave about his punch as well! Steve had a huge number of positive attribute that have changed the lives of many people and indeed changed the course of the world forever!
He was the best illusionist in the world, he made mistakes like the rest of us, but only made us remember his overwhelming successes. If you take score of his successes over his mistakes you will find he has many more mistakes than successes, but as Silicon Valley goes he was way ahead of the curve in terms of successes! Although I did not know him it seems to me that he had the key trait needed to make it in Silicon Valley or indeed in any innovative company: he drunk his own punch first and did everything he could to push his vision forward and when he met huge difficulties he did not quit right away, he continued to believe and motivate others to believe, but when it was obvious that it was not going to work he did relent—and most importantly he didn’t linger, he licked his wound and rebounded immediately. He said it himself “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” This ability to have tunnel passion yet recognize before it is too late that you need to move on is the single greatest trait of an innovator. You must believe stronger than anyone else, you must resists naysayers, and you must not quit when things appear insurmountable because it is at these times that true innovation occurs and the out of the box solutions you come up with is what ultimately makes you a success—but at some point way way after other people would have quit, the true visionary dispels his own illusion and admits his mistake and moves on carrying the lessons learned for nothing is wasted since in failure there are many lessons! As it is in science, innovation is built on steps forged from failure; the difference between other people and the visionary is that the visionary is fearless and does not easily quit but the best trait of a visionary is ultimately being able to see when something will not work for him or her and move on with the same fearless attitude to tackle the next innovations without being affected by the failure left behind! Steve Jobs was exceptional at many things and focusing on the successes, learning from the failures and moving on, and never feeling true fear was one of his greatest gifts!
As great as he was in life, and as inspiring as he continues to be after his untimely departure, he was just a human being. He ate and drunk and put his pants on one leg at the time. He had many advantages in life and he was indeed gifted intellectually especially in the study of humanity, but he was just a human being who made many mistakes like the rest of us, though they are just mostly hidden by his successes and lore. He was an inspiration both for his successes and his ability to recover and move on from failure as a cat landing on his feet after falling two stories, but behind this legend was a human heart and soul with the same human frailties as the rest of us. The reason to point this out is that you are human too and you have all the potential in the world like he did, so strive for excellence and laser focus on your vision letting the world believe what they will because even if you fail, innovation is always ahead of you if you want to reach for it! So, like Steve did, step forward even if it is scary to step blindly into the darkness and follow your vision, you are human and you can live up to your full human potential like Steve Jobs did. To paraphrase his own words in this quote: “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”—don’t be afraid to be great because in you there is the same humanity and the same potential as Steve Jobs’!
Photo by Matthew Yohe