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Sunday, January 23, 2011
When life "hits you in the head" with a brick:"Stay hungry, Stay foolish . . . "
The video posted above is something most Apple product lovers have seen. However, in my blog entry of January 18th 2011, I promised to put up a post outside of my regularly scheduled postings, and dedicate it to Steve Jobs.
I initially made this commitment because on January 18th 2011, some of the rhetoric (The Washington Post, New York Times, New York Daily News etc) surrounding Jobs' most recent leave of absence (which he announced on Martin Luther King Junior Day) dealt with an email allegedly sent by Steve Jobs in which he announced his intention and compared it an email he sent in 2009 (when Jobs took his first leave of absence). This news hit me over the head like a brick, and I needed time to digest it before expounding on it in a blog post. The emails are allegedly written by Steve Jobs and cited by the media are as follows:
2009:"Team, I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my health seems to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during this past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought. In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June. I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan. I look forward to seeing you this summer. Steve"
2011:"Team, At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company. I have asked Tim Cook o be responsible for all of Apple's day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011. I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy."
The speculation amongst the media surrounding these two emails was that the wording of the 2011 email did not specify a return time-frame as Jobs' 2009 email did when it indicated he would return "at the end of June." And the media went on to bemoan the fact that "Jobs' new leave means that he will probably not be around to introduce important new products such as iPad2 or iPhone5." The media's frenzy filled fears about the effect Jobs' leave will have on Apple, for me, is unfounded. I say this because I believe Apple will continue to flourish even if Steve Jobs needs to fade into the background. It will do this because he has surrounded himself with wonderfully talented individuals. I know this first hand because of the One to One sessions and Personal Project "study halls" that I have taken at the Apple Store on Sixty-Seventh Street and Broadway in the Upper Westside of New York City, where I was ultimately invited to give a presentation after building my on-line brochure via iWeb as the result of training extraordinaire which I've delineated in a previous post which I wrote a week after my presentation.
Goodness starts from the top and filters down, and I maintain that the "open-ended" nature of Steve Jobs' 2011 email is not where the focus should be as far as the future of Apple goes. For me, the reason that Apple will continue to do well is indicated in both of Steve Jobs' emails with the use of the word, "team" — if its members are anything like the folks who work at the Apple Store on Sixty-Seventh and Broadway in New York City — including the trainers (for One to one Sessions and Personal Projects) I have worked with (in alphabetical order): Cat, Christina, Clinton, Corren, David, Dru, Evan, Gene, Greg C, Greg G, JD, John, Jonah, Josh, Juan, Lee, Matt, Sam and Tim. Additionally, my experience with all of the greeters/sales/management/genius folks that I have had contact with (in alphabetical order) such as Angelo, Anthony, Rose, Stephanie, Evelyn, Maggie, Mike, and Scott; has been praiseworthy in terms of their attentiveness and expertise.
Perhaps this Dilbert cartoon (posted below) of June 18, 2010 — seven months prior to the public hearing the news about Steve Jobs taking a leave — sums it up:
I am not trying to be cavalier by posting a cartoon at such a crucial time in Steve Jobs' life, rather, I'm including it to stress the point that his team will carry on while he concentrates on what he can to do to get well, and I certainly pray he is able to make a recovery.