Friday, October 14, 2011

Discovering Your Inner Steve (Jobs)

When Steve Jobs, the visionary of Apple died, I think the whole world stopped for a moment. At least it did for me. We all lost something that day. We lost something special, someone special. We lost an innovator, creator, and charismatic leader. We lost an icon. But I'm not here to get all gushy though. After all, he was still human, an eccentric and hot-tempered perfectionist who reportedly used to scream at employees. But what he accomplished is almost unparalleled. With recent comparisons to Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, Jobs instinctively knew what the consumer wanted, and he gave it to them. More importantly, he knew what you wanted even before you did, sometimes. He saw what could be, before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone could ever imagine. He understood his purpose in life. He understood that good wasn't necessarily the best. He wasn't distracted by what everyone else was thinking or doing–he knew what he needed to do and went out and did it, all with a sense of urgency, no less.

From what I hear, he didn't believe in surveys, didn't test his products. He was that sure of himself. How many of us are that confident? How many people believe in themselves and go out and prove it? But that's the DNA of a true leader and innovator. They know their way is the best way and they're bound and determined to point you to it. They are the prospectors of this world, and for them the possibilities are endless. They invest in the future, and fearlessly go after it. They have something to prove, something to contribute, something they are destined to give to the world, and somehow they deliver. Perhaps it's luck. Perhaps it's fate. Perhaps it's pure genius. Whatever IT is, I think there's something in all of us just waiting to be discovered, if we're willing to make the investment and have the courage to trust in our instincts. Steve trusted his, and he was right more often than he was wrong. As I often say, a compass and map will get you far in life, but to actually see where you're going, requires vision.