Bleeding Six Colors…

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Perfectionist… Demanding… Arrogant… Brutally Honest…

I was watching a documentary on Steven Jobs the other night and those were the words used to describe him. Many of us would not consider being a demanding and arrogant individual as something to strive for and we would most likely take affront if those were the descriptors used about us.

When Steve Jobs returned to head up Apple computers (after being fired…), he couldn’t understand why so many people had stayed with the organization when it was heading down a path of potential demise. He asked “why” and the response was “we bleed in six colors”… they were committed to their organization and for what their company stood for.

Jobs returned to Apple to turn it around… he made it clear that “focus matters” and and his belief was “we will do more if we do less”. So he came in with fervor and a passion to make his vision(s) a reality. He “had no time for people he did not respect” and stories are told of employees fired while in the same elevator with Jobs during the short time it took to ride from the 1st floor to the 4th floor of the Apple headquarters!

Yes, Steven Jobs was a force to be reckoned with… in more ways than one…

Jobs was a visionary who connected all of the dots in entertainment from movies to computers to music: He created the colorful iMacs with the first USB ports and within four months it was the #1 selling computer. He then moved on to create the iPod and launched it with a fantastic marketing campaign: having major artists in the music industry with an iPod in their hand. Everyone was a winner… the artist… the record label… the user/buyer… and of course, Apple.

Jobs then took advantage of the piracy issues going on regarding free downloading of music… he brought together the heads of all the major record labels and basically told them they “had their heads up their asses all these years” and he then proceeded to give them a plan that would be a pivotal change for the music industry… a way to download music that would be inexpensive for the purchaser and create unimaginable sales volumes… and iTunes was born.

His visionary leadership then went on to create the iPhone, a device that not only could be used as a phone but also as mini computer to surf the net and an exceptional music player to boot! He realized that people used apps on their phones more than anything… so he created the App Store and then… the iPad…

The documentary also talked about how Jobs built sample Apple stores in a warehouse so he could make sure all aspects of the store were fully vetted out before actually opening the first store. Sales for that first Apple store were through the roof that first month. How many leaders would be willing to spend that time and expense for research and development just to open a store?

See it(iMac)… Listen to it (iPod)… Touch it (iPhone/iPad)… Experience it (Apple Store)…

Buy It!

Yes, Mr. Jobs was a perfectionist. Yes,he was demanding (not only of others but also of himself). Yes, he was arrogant … he was absolutely convinced he had the best ideas and the best plan and yes, he was brutally honest. He was a leader who will be long remembered for the mark he made in the revolution of the computer, movie, music and communications industries… not too shabby for a guy who only lived into his fifties…

I thought I would share just a few of the many quotes attributed to Steven Jobs… quotes that speak volumes of what beliefs drove him to be the best

The only thing you have in life is time… invest that into yourself… it enriches you…

If you are afraid of failing, you won’t get very far…

Focus matters…

Strong?What if we choose to reframe the meaning of arrogance to being proud and committed.

Demanding? I would describe him as a person who held everyone (including himself) accountable to do and be the best they could be.

Brutally honest? I see that as living with no pretenses and standing for what he believed in.

Steven Jobs bled six colors… he believed in company… most of all, he believed in himself…

How many colors do you bleed?

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