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Steve Jobs: The Epitome of Perfection and Madness

15 May 2015

                                  Things you know about Steve Jobs

  • Entrepreneur
  • Marketer
  • Innovator
  • Cofounder, ex-chairman and CEO of Apple
  • Pioneer of computer revolution
  • Labeled ‘father of digital revolution’

Things you might not know about Steve Jobs

  • Demanding perfectionist
  • Aggressive/ Volcanic temper
  • Egomaniac
  • Cold and ruthless

Steve Jobs was different. Had he been an ordinary Joe, he wouldn’t have reached the heights he did. To taste that level of success, sometimes you have to have the kind of personality that sets you apart. As a marketer and an entrepreneur, you have to constantly push, cajole and stretch others to achieve your vision. But in order to do so, one needs to overtly manipulate, be insensitive and handle the casualty of others’ bruised ego at times. These aren’t positive qualities but combined with several positive ones, they do make for a successful business.

Steve Jobs was said to have had narcissistic personality traits if not a disorder. He had a grandiose sense of self importance which was evident in his taking credit for others’ ideas, calling his rivals mediocre and lacking taste. He was preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power and success. Jobs was at times very cold towards his employees and even in his personal life. He considered people expendable and replaceable.

He was stingy, critical, and hypersensitive to criticism, competitive, impulsive and self-contradictory. His narcissism gave him the confidence to take big risks and inspire others. But that also made him take advantage of others without realizing their feelings and needs. He was indifferent and didn’t realize he was hurting someone and he would attack on the slightest hint of being challenged.

Narcissistic leaders are self-centered, self-confident, and execute bold, disruptive strategies at work. These traits though enable the leader to successfully launch a startup can also be the very traits that if not tempered will cause him to derail. Jobs, though seen as a narcissistic, appeared to be counterbalanced with a dash of humility. He admitted when he was wrong. And it was this that led to this success with Apple.

Jobs has also been said to have obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). He was preoccupied with rules, orderliness and control. He could not stand dirt, hated typos and would carefully go over every document a million times to pick on punctuation errors. If he didn’t find anything to his specifications, he would throw a fit. He was difficult to please and had trouble relating to others. The OCPD made him highly functional as an individual but also convinced him that his way of thinking was absolutely correct and superior to most others’. But his obsessiveness came in handy when work required meticulous attention to detail and complete control of the project he was working on. But this compulsiveness would also provoke anger when his standards weren’t met or someone disagreed with them.

He’s also said to have struggled with Anorexia which might have something to do with his history of adoption. He had a harsh early life but he made it in the world.

He also had a transcendent characteristic of being open to experience. It brought about his love for ideas, novelty and beauty which enriched his personal and professional life but at the same time, it caused him to look down upon people who did not meet his sensibilities.

Having said that, Jobs had a strong vision, was far sighted and he knew what he wanted. He was a leader by all means and a great thinker. He was a good orator and had exceptional influence over others. He survived through many tough times in his life and was ready to embrace failure. He was passionate, confident and persevered through many lows in his life.

Personality traits can be good or bad depending on the person and the situation and how they’re channeled. One should find ways to constructively channel their passions.

You have to be crazy enough - not too crazy and not too little - to think differently.


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Tags: #Steve Jobs #Madness #Genius #Crazy #Eccentric #Perfectionist