One of the nice things about writing a blog is reading other blogs, and looking at the different ways the people express themselves and their observations in this space. Eric Holmes in our office turned me on to “Marketing Nirvana.” It’s a blog written by Mario Sundar, an unabashed Apple fan and the chief blogger for LinkedIn.
In a recent entry, he pulled out 10 key quotes from his idol, Steve Jobs. We’re reading a great deal about Jobs these days, mostly in relation to his health. Many are speculating about life at Apple after Jobs, but Mario’s blog reminded me why we should celebrate Jobs’ contributions to the business world right now – today.
Here’s the link to Mario’s blog, and I’ve pulled out a few of the Jobs quotes that especially resonated for me. This first one has to do with the fine art of managing people:
"My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better. My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources for the key projects. And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be."
Then there's this quote on the creative process:
"That happens more than you think, because this is not just engineering and science. There is art, too. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of one of these crises, you’re not sure you’re going to make it to the other end. But we’ve always made it, and so we have a certain degree of confidence, although sometimes you wonder. I think the key thing is that we’re not all terrified at the same time. I mean, we do put our heart and soul into these things."
Our DNA is as a consumer company — for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.
Or this quote that addresses how we'd all want our bosses to react when someone comes up with something new:
"So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know - just explore things."
Finally, Steve Jobs' view about life, and the importance of seizing the moment:
"We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it."
It's another reminder about the importance of giving it our all, making a difference, and getting the most out of the opportunities we've been given. During tough times, it is sometimes difficult to keep our eye on the prize, and to go for it - especially when there are so many forces and events that try to keep us down.
Jobs is going through his own personal health struggle at this time, and perhaps the creative spark that he brings out in his company is in jeopardy. But as you can see from these quotes, this is a guy who is more than just the force behind the iPod. His vision, relentless pursuit of excellence, and ability to translate it all to his company is what makes him a genius. And worthy of our respect and admiration. If anyone can do that Vulcan mind meld with his company's employees, it is Steve Jobs.