Thursday, January 10, 2013

No, He was not an "A"!

You are one of the best in what you do. I mean the very best in the world. Any company who would want your expertise will hire you right away with the top money you demand.

Now will you choose to work for a company which can't even let you talk about work to any one in the world.
Worse sometimes you don't even know on what exactly you are working on. No we are not talking about CIA!

To top it your boss happens to be the one who is perceived to be the "A". It is not a random statement. A management professor from Stanford wrote a chapter on "the virtues of assholes." greatly inspired by him.

Yes we are talking about Steve Jobs and Apple!

I find this very contradictory. If Jobs was a "A" as portrayed why would the so called best in business work for him? Why would they even tolerate him? Why would they give their very best to him? Why would people who worked on Mac describe that as one of the best time in their lives? 

How come a "A" went on to create history in computers, movies, music and mobile, even retail and e-commerce.? Even on a personal level he had a successful marriage with four kids. Why would a successful smart woman live with a "A"? Well the relationship with the first kid was turbulent. I think it was cause she was just like his father. The apple doesn't falls far from the tree. does it?

So who are all these people who call him the "A"?  Why do they call him so?

People who did not leave up to his standards. People who just don't understand him but misunderstood him pretty well..

Many people confuse Job's success was a result of his behavior. They also tend to think just because he was a "A" (from their perspective), people gave him the best. People who worked on Mac do accept that each and every time he rejected, they came up with something better and do accept their earlier work was best. It was just that Jobs was passionate and wanted even minute things to be perfect. [Jobs called Vic to fix up a yellow gradient in the Second O in Google on Sunday]

So being an "A" will not make you Jobs, cause he was not an "A" in the first place. I would also go out on my limb to say Job's managerial or leadership style was no different from most of the other successful people who created history. Job's behavior was greatly exaggerated in the very own reality distortion field created by others.

Stanford professor also contends Jobs was too singular to offer many usable lessons. In Jobs case, many is not necessary. The 14 leadership lessons from Jobs as distilled by Isaacson in HBR is more than enough to distrupt an industry or two.

FB page on book about Steve Jobs by me
You can buy it here


Giri Ramasubramanian said...

அருமையான பதிவு

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons he gets an "A" is parking in handicap parking lots..

Anonymous said...

or may be for this

Anonymous said...

Whats so great when somebody picks on a gradient color and fix it immediately on a Sunday ?

Can't he email it and get it fixed next day ? Just bcoz he is an wealthy popular man all these things cannot be called great.

Will people accept it the same, if somebody emailed it other than jobs ?

Aarti said...

Interesting post... enjoyed reading it and well, i too dont think Jobs was an A!!

Ramesh said...

Well, Id an ardent admirer and bookwriter on Jobs says so, we shall accept it :)