I am privileged and thankful for the opportunity to work with smart people. The way they think, the way they do things are amazing. However, of all the wildest dream, I would want to adapt and understand on how Steve Jobs works (more or less, the question is like ‘how lightbulb works?’). Somebody asked the question of “If Steve Jobs was such a bad boss, why did so many people work with him?” in Quora. However not the question that interest me, it is one of the answer, delivered by Scott Dunlap. He said,
I’ve had a chance to work for and with a number of visionaries that most would consider “assholes” when they were managing huge growth engines – Marc Andreessen, Steve Blank, Mike Homer (Netscape), Larry Ellison, etc. I think it comes down to the gift and curse of being a true visionary. Until you’ve worked with one of these folks it’s a bit hard to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.
The gift/curse of the visionary is that they can see the future as clearly as they can see the present. Steve Jobs had a virtual iPad in his hands years before it was possible, and probably dreamed Toy Story-like animation a solid decade before Pixar assembled their first prototype. Both he sees with such clarity, that it MUST be built. Then he surrounds himself with the smartest people he can find, and they grind through the realities of making it happen. They get closer, and then closer, to the point Steve can taste it…but all this “reality” keeps creating excuses, delays, etc. Can you imagine how frustrating that is if the product is so clear in your head you actually used it last night? Just get the fucker done! Enough excuses!!! Do you have any idea of the change in the world this will have, and if I give a shit about your kids little league game?!? He’s not trying to be an asshole. But if he doesn’t say it, he’s not being true to his vision. It’s a big weight to carry.
It reminds me of the famous Judy Garland quote:
“They say it’s hard to work with Judy Garland…do you have any idea how hard it is to BE Judy Garland?”. As hard as it is to work for visionaries, it’s not nearly as tough as being one.
If you ever work for one of these types, your own expectations for success will be set so high, you will find your best for the remainder of your career. Just don’t expect there to be a lasting friendship when it’s all said and done, and book a solid 2-6 month break after your tour of duty. 😉