Friday, October 12, 2012

Working With People & Being Effective

I decided to take some time to do some leisure reading to get my mind off my doctoral work - comps and prospectus. So I grabbed a Wired Magazine to get a little geek-therapy. As with all Wired editions, I enjoy the perspectives, and the writing gives me some creative inspiration. The August 2012 issue has a cover/feature article on Steve Jobs, an analysis of his eccentric approach to life and leadership. There were arguments on both sides of the critique; one analyzing the ends and the other concerned about the means.

In any case, the article focused more on the people around Steve Jobs than the man himself. It is a question of balance, and how we can organize our sacrifices to find some form of happiness. Sure, it is easy to tell yourself that you don't have to sacrifice much if you can limit your expectations for your work. And for most people, that idea may work. But please understand that Steve Jobs wasn't that disconnected from people. If that were the case, you wouldn't wait in line for his products. True, the lifestyle may not be for you, but one must admit that the lives of the innovators are necessary in our world. Maybe you don't have to sacrifice much, because the jerks are out there putting it all on the line, putting in the hours, and doing so at the expense of the leisures of life.

My recent journey has shown me one thing for sure. It's hard to be serious about a goal and not find value in the approach that Jobs and others have taken to get things done. It's not something that comes a la carte, in that you can be brutally honest with a product developer, and be totally different when you get home. Even the smallest quest for success requires war, friction, and confrontation. So if it takes horse-trading, political fights, side-deals, and manipulation for an alderman to get a sidewalk built in his/her district, what do you think it takes to make meaningful change in the world?

It's just a thought. I see the downside of the life of Jobs, and there are as many tragedies as successes in his story. I just don't know if there is another option if we so choose to advance our civilization.

Dedicated to those who have made the choice to be warriors at all cost.

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