Most CEOs want innovation in their companies but they can’t stand Steve Jobs in their companies. Most Steve Jobs are either not recruited and when recruited get fired. Steve Jobs was even fired from the company he helped founded simply because he was anti-establishment.
I guess the Apple advert reflected the kind of person Steve Jobs was. It reflected the character traits of people who are focused on creating value rather than selling their time and effort. You can make other employees compliant but never the Jobs and Ives. You don’t tell them:
- What to do
- What to work on
- How to do it
- When to work
- How much they will earn
I felt so connected with Steve Jobs. Through him I was able to understand myself and what I wanted from work. I am a misfit in organizations. I am a rebel and troublemaker because I see things differently. I don’t see what we are doing but why something is done. And I am not fond of rules at all. When you talk about the status quo, I try to bypass that.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.” Apple Adverts
However, companies continually reject and fire their Steve Jobs because they are can’t be constrained and contained. They stretch everyone. Even Steve Jobs had had a boss during his second coming to Apple, I am sure he would have been fired of insubordination and not keeping to rules.
I love Christian Busch work on serendipity. It really explained a lot about how the Steve Jobs of this work functions and create game-changing value that enriches our lives. Tedx talk alongside his wife. They shared how serendipity worked in them finding each other. They had met years back then they went their separate ways. A thought and an email brought them back together. And the email happened that the right time. Was that a coincidence? No, it’s not.
It takes a highly secured CEO to work with Steve Jobs. They are always chasing after one if dea of the other. And when they find a kindred soul in a Jonathan Ives, the company will never lack innovations. Apple created great products that enriched our lives and made us more capable because Steve Jobs was able to attract more people like him and had the understanding to give the space and environment to flourish and be who they are.
Follow Their Heart: The work to express their passion and purpose. They don’t work for money. Its hard to follow job description when it doesn’t align with their passion and purpose. They get frustrated when work becomes monotonous.
Don’t Fit The Norm: They won’t fit into most cultures. They operate outside the box of what most companies are about. You can box them in. They don’t work for money or sell their time. They are focused on producing results and products that people love.
Connect The Dots: They are always making connections between what they experience, observe and deduce people and their employer’s wants. They see the workplace as a lab where they continually connect ideas with the customer’s needs. They are the first customers they create things for. They connect things to make life better and easy for others.
Break Rules: They don’t keep to rules. If you have rules that your employees must work with, then be ready to have Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ives break it. They are pirates and not part of the navy. They are the criminals and not the police. They don’t have an affinity for rules. They are connected to the child in them that wants to try almost everything that others say you can’t do.
Challenge Status Quo: You need to be ready to have whatever status quo you have built be challenged. They bypass bureaucracy and the status quo. They avoid it at all costs because it limits what they can do. Rather than follow the normal communication line, they disrupt it and go directly to the person who they need to talk to. They need everything done fast. They do business at the speed of an idea.
Use Sacred Cows For Burgers: They are good at making burgers out of sacred cows. If you have a product, you value that you are milking of value, then expect your Steve Jobs to incinerate them and create a better breed of the cow for you. They know that sacred cows make the best burger. They continually create new forms of value to make your future bigger and better.
Collaborate Deeply: If you want to keep one Steve Jobs in your company, then get him or her a Jonathan Ives. They want to have someone with a similar mindset but the complementary capability that will multiply and bring to reality the idea they have. They work with people who are collaborative, not competitive.
You can’t ignore Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ives. You can either vilify or glorify them. You can either keep them and create a nurturing environment that allows them be themselves and do what they do best or they leave out of frustration. You can’t turn them into regular employees. They prefer to be pirates than join the navy.
They don’t work for the money but earn the highest because of the value they bring to the table. You can’t replace them because they produce results that are unique to them. If you fire them, you lose. If you don’t employ them, you miss.
Why do you need to do that? “Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Oladimeji Olutimehin is a keynote speaker, value giver coach and truly human consultant