So in what ways would I like to be like Steven Jobs? Who would want to be like him and why? Quirky, odd, unique, contrarian to his very core, he is the model of the successful career in the 21st Century.
In Walter Isaacson’s biography that he simply calls Steven Jobs, Isaacson draws his readers to a concise appraisal of the man, based on 40 personal interviews and extensive research.
Jobs was creative, innovative, brilliant, and not a man I’d relish spending an afternoon with. He was weird, and not in a captivating way. Bill Gates described him as a “flawed human being.”
Yet he had an unerring sense of the products that would change the world. He cared little about anything else or anybody else. His most stunning achievement, the iPhone, combined his genius with a disdain for the contributions of others. He almost rejected apps, the foundation of the mobile digital revolution.
Yet, Jobs models in fundamental ways the successful person of the 21st Century. Here are the ways you would do well emulating Steven Jobs.
1. Jobs was interested in doing what he did well–that’s what led him to sustained achievement He exhibited little interest in what he did poorly. Early with his adopted father he become confident in electronics. There is nothing more important for you to do than find what you do and to pursue it. Jobs was a poor student and dropped out of college. He loved design and audited courses that fed his passion. The truth of employment today is that most careers courses will not take anyone to a lifetime career. Degrees are useful to the degree that they supply credibility. Only your ability to create value will sustain you.
2. Jobs was transformed into a success by difficult, jointing, fits and starts. He has brilliant, then he was fired, sought after, and finally prevailed. Jobs focused on getting brilliant outcomes, not in maintaining a career. If you find yourself totally off track and beaten down and your goal is to sole to find your next job, you’ll finally run out of job opportunities. You’ll be successful if you understand and are committed to what you are going to accomplish–not who or what you’re going to be.
3. There was nothing like Steve Jobs for being unstoppable. After a series of brilliant and unsuccessful products during his first time at Apple, he went out on his own to pursue his goals. Then he came back to Apple to begin again. It was a 14 year ride from almost bankruptcy to success. Just because your career seems stuck, misaligned, and off track, it’s still a path that can take you where you want to go if you are unfailingly drawn to outcomes.
4. You may not be creatives in the same way that Steven Jobs was, but you can create value. Organizations today, in a hyper-competitive world, have a small window in time to create and dominate a space. Organizations are not looking for programmers, they’re looking for people with programming ability who can create a product. They are not looking for salespeople–they are looking for sales. They don’t need accountants–they need people who can creatively allocate resources to create a path to success. You may not create an iPhone (but maybe you will). The point is that you must have a point in being where you are and where you’re headed. You must create every day.