A review of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson

Despite receiving the hard copy of this book in 2011, the year that Steve Jobs passed away, I have only recently finished reading it.  Due to travel I reverted to the iPad version and left the rather large hardcover edition at home. So as I take another flight, finish reading the electronic version and tap its review on my iPad, while listening to a selection of beats on iTunes, I reflect on an extraordinary life of the one and only Steve Jobs.

Whether you are an Apple fan or not, this book is worth reading.  Walter Isaacson has provided an unbiased account of Steve’s personality with unmatched insight into his successes and failures in his personal and professional life.

There’s no denying that the Mental Notes team embraces individual difference and appreciates the extreme actions of those who want to achieve great things in their lifetime.  This is why I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Steve’s journey to become one of the most influential people in my lifetime.

His character is portrayed as extremely hard working, opinionated, stubborn, unrelenting, frustrating, inspiring, creative, innovative, and quite simply iconoclastic.

Of course, it is no surprise that these characteristics made him difficult to work and live with.  I will let you read the book to discover the extremely challenging side of Steve Jobs.  This is a biased piece that resonated with many of my experiences with high achievers in all sorts of performance domains.  I have listed some of my favorite things about Steve Jobs that I gained from this read.

My favourite things about Steve Jobs…

His desire to make a difference.  With so many trends here today and gone tomorrow, he worked tirelessly to deliver an enduring brand.  He showed us that people with a common goal and belief in that goal can permeate our lives for the long-term.

His belief in himself, specifically his belief in knowing what the customer wanted (before they did).  Moreover, he instilled belief in those around him such that he lifted the lid on their self-imposed limits.  He showed us that there are no limits to what people are capable of.

His doggedness to ensure products were ‘just right’ for the user.  His relentless pursuit of providing products and experiences that no other could provide.  He showed us that perfectionism is ever-present in such pursuits.

His unwavering dedication to service that is second to none.  The holy grail of the emotional connection people experience with exceptional service was achieved.  He showed us that the art of high standard service is imperative to success.

His product launches were always a highlight. The words and images chosen, the tempo adopted, left most people in awe.  He showed us that attention to detail and preparation matters and triumphs.

There are many other points that I could focus on but these give you a glimpse of the positive aspects of Steve Jobs and an understanding of the consequences these aspects have had on our lives.

As you know the Mental Notes team reads a lot and we are always trying to expand our knowledge to apply in our practice with our clients.  Additionally, reading and providing these brief reviews also directs you to some good reads for yourself.  I hope you pick this one up either in hard copy or to read on your iPad!

Like many biographies or autobiographies about influential people this one is a must read for those who want to know more about the man and his team who changed our behaviour in so many ways that we cannot even begin to think of life without his products.

We love to celebrate people whom put themselves out there in the pursuit of achieving amazing things!

In the words of Steve Jobs,

“You have to be ruthless if you want to build a team of A players. It’s too easy, as a team grows, to put up with a few B players, and they then attract a few more B players, and soon you will even have some C players.. The Macintosh experience taught me that A players like to work only with other A players, which means you can’t indulge B players.”

Andrea Furst PhD | Sport & Exercise Psychologist MAPS