It would be impossible to let today pass without paying tribute to Steve Jobs, the charismatic leader who drove Apple to it’s pinnacle of success and who, to a greater or lesser extent, changed how we all think about and interact with technology.
Much is being written about how he was a visionary, how his perfectionism went to extremes and how the was ‘the control freaks control freak’. The myth, already dominant within his lifetime is sure to persist beyond the man. I only knew him through the media, through his reputation, through his broadcasts, so could add nothing to these interpretations.
What i am most interest in is how he was a leader and how he came to represent the attributes that he exhibited and demanded.
There is no doubt that he was a wise man: wise in terms of technology, wise in terms of business, but wise in terms of life as well, particularly as he came to face his own mortality. A wise man can look to the logical, look to the emotional and chart a path that follows the best of both. He will take risks, but build trust. The attributes that he demonstrated, the slightly counter culture stance, the confidence, the clarity of vision, these are the things that attracted people to follow him.
When speaking to students a few years ago, he exhorted them to follow their hearts, to find out what they loved to do, to remain restless. This restlessness, the love of what he did, this desire to question and challenge may be the greatest legacy. Nobody lives forever, you can build a pyramid, but it will crumble. Maybe the greatest legacy is to inspire the next generation, to live on through your ideas, to pass the inspiration on.