A Jobs well done

“He isn’t a pleasant person but he inspires people to do their best work.”

Political journalist, John Heilemann, was referring to Steve Jobs, the man who changed the meaning of the word “Apple” and has announced his departure from the most highly valued company in the world.

I like John’s description of Jobs. It affirms to me that many really smart, creative and passionate people aren’t winning popularity contests, but if they inspire others to do great things, what does it matter?

A demanding and inspiring boss usually makes as many demands on himself as he does on others. Contrast this with a nasty boss who also is lazy and not especially talented. When a man like this became president of the company where I worked, I wondered how I’d survive. He was drunk when he returned from lunch, he arbitrarily and publicly shouted at employees and he had a ridiculously inflated view of his editorial abilities, which were, at best, mediocre.

He wasn’t wild about me but wouldn’t fire me because he knew I was good at my job and he needed me. I humored him until I could humor him no more. Then I left his employ, 13 years ago, to start my own business.

I wish I had had the opportunity to work for a man like Jobs. I have driven myself incessantly throughout my career but would have liked a brilliant boss who could have taken over some of the driving. How exciting it must be to work with such a powerhouse.

It stinks that Jobs is sick. He is only 56. He deserves to enjoy the fruits of his labors.


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6 Responses to “A Jobs well done”

  1. Kate Line Snider says:

    Geri, isn’t it better to BE a boss like Steve Jobs?

    • Geri says:

      Hi Kate,

      Sure, it’s better, but how many people are as brilliant as he? I’m creative and driven and passionate, but I’m no Steve Jobs.


      • Kate Line Snider says:

        I thought the point of the blog was to talk about good bosses and bad bosses, with Jobs as the primary good example. Of course, few of us can be a Steve ( or Stephanie) Jobs, but many of us are or have been the boss ( I hope). Better to be inspirational than be an asshole.

        • Geri says:

          Hi Kate,

          You are absolutely right. I read your comment wrong. Definitely better
          to inspire.

          oxo Geri

          • Kate Line Snider says:

            🙂 🙂 🙂 !!! Bet you’re a great boss, Geri!

  2. Cecile says:

    Good morning my wonderful FOF friends!

    Geri this is an inspirational editorial, and my hat is off to you for putting into words what many of us endure/have edured. I had your boss. I was so miserable I often wondered what I had done to deserve such treatment. He is a racist, totally biased when it comes to evaluating performances, and barely says thank you when he raids the coffee carafe. But good news! I got transferred to a unit whose boss really wanted me, and treats his employees with respect and practices positive reinforcement. It is like night and day. My performance has soared, and I look forward to going to work! It is amazing how many people reach leadership levels when the HMS Inspiration has sailked. i.e.: they cannot inspire you to sneeze if it were up to them!

    Have a great day everyone!



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