Ellison’s answer went something like: “There will never be another Steve Jobs. We can’t be the special person he was. We are who we are and just have to appreciate how great he was.”
I agree that it would be silly to start a graduate degree program in “Being Steve Jobs.” We would look at the graduates from the program and shake our heads, saying “he/she reminds me nothing of Steve.”
We will never have the same charisma as he did when we give a speech – even if we wore black turtlenecks, blue jeans, and copyied his cadence and tone of his speech. (And, to be fair, on the flipside, we’ll probably never chew people out the way he did.)
But, with all that said, it struck me the other day out of the blue that Steve’s been gone from this Earth for over a year now. He’s of course not forgotten. We refer to him all the time whenever we discuss Apple (AAPL) – mostly to complain that the current team isn’t doing things (or doing things) that Steve would (or wouldn’t).
I remember how inspired by him I was when he was alive and how sad I was when he died – even though I’d never met him. I remember, at the time of his death, saying to myself I needed to remember all the things that made him – in my eyes, anyway – a great person/executive/leader and try to incorporate those lessons in my life.
I don’t want to be Steve Jobs, but I want to learn from Steve Jobs.
As I reflected about this the other day, I tried to recall off the top of my head the biggest life lessons I should try to always carry with me in life. Of course, we all get busy and it’s difficult to always be conscious of key things we need to hold on to.
I sat down and wrote this list of Steve’s life lessons to remind me:
1. He loved what he did – his company, the people who worked there, their products – and couldn’t have done anything else.
Sure he became a billionaire over time when he brought Apple (AAPL) back from the brink of bankruptcy, but I don’t think Steve could have done anything else. He wouldn’t have done anything else. Apple was his calling — even after he got fired from the company. We all have bad jobs at one point or another in our lives. But the big question you have to ask yourself is: am I in the right job for me? Have I found the right company? Is this the right set of people I want to be with? Will this lead to fulfilling work and thus a fulfilling career? If yes, great. If no, change things quick. Life doesn’t go on forever (as we also see from Steve). Get on your right path now.