I just finished reading “Steve Jobs”, a biography by Walter Isaacson, for the second time. It is a fascinating story about the founder of Apple. I could not put the book down.
In addition to being focused and fearless, he was also fanatical in several ways about several things. He was fanatical about:
- Doing things “right”. To him, this was an integrity issue. His father taught him to care about every detail of a project, including things that wouldn’t be seen. For example, his father was building a fence and taught Steve to care about both sides of it, even the backside that no one would see. Steve carried that into the design of his products. With the first Macintosh, he cared about the inside circuit boards and how they were manufactured and installed, even though the customer would probably never see them. To him, the beauty of a product extended to EVERY part of the product. And by attending to every detail, he was able to take pride in every product his company produced because he knew it was beautiful all the way through.
- Design. He was fanatical about how products looked and felt. He spent hours on choosing the right shade of a color for the project. When the first iPhone was about to be completed and launched, he woke up in the middle of the night, came to work the next day and told his team that it was wrong. The glass screen was not sized right. This meant they had to practically start over to reengineer the whole thing to accommodate a new screen size. It delayed the project by several months and cost millions of dollars–something that most other companies would be averse to.
- His diet. He went through fads of eating one thing, like apples, for weeks at a time. Then he would switch to something else for a couple weeks. He would order things in restaurants that weren’t even on their menus.
- His personnel demands. He wanted “A” players on his team. He would not tolerate people who he deemed were “less than” when it came to performance or passion. And if you disagreed with him, you had better be able to back it up. At the same time, his demands seemed outrageous at first, but time after time he was able to push people beyond their own self-imposed limits to produce the results that he expected.
Steve Jobs was not role model when it comes to how to treat people. But there is a ton of things we can learn from him with regard to how to be fanatical in striving for:
- our goals and dreams
- working hard to do our best, and
- expecting the best from others
For your advantage,