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.