Last Sunday I attended the European Premier of the Steve Jobs film at the London Film Festival.
The film is directed by Danny Boyle (Transporting, Slumdog Millionaire), scripted by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) with Michael Fassbender playing the great man.
Apart from being a great movie, it took me back to my blog on 14 October 2015 about Leadership. I commented that a successful business needed leadership, vision, strategy and management. But without the leadership of Steve Jobs where would Apple be today?
The film focuses around 3 seminal product launches – Macintosh in 1984, neXT in 1988 and iMac in 1998. It shows Jobs as an unknowable protagonist and focuses on what it takes to create change. I mentioned in my previous blog that people do not like change – this film shows Jobs fighting tooth and nail against his own company and public opinion to drive change.
Subsequent to Sunday I have viewed again The Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement address – alongside 23 million other views!
Jobs comments how you have got to find what you love in life. You can only do great work if you love what you do – and just like a personal relationship it gets better and better. I have always considered his comments about death to have huge resonance. He asks if today was the last day of your life would you want to do what you are going to do. If you say this for several days, get out and do something else. Life is short – why waste it? When Jobs was first diagnosed with cancer and believed he would shortly die, it was the biggest catalyst. He stopped worrying about what was effectively minutiae and trivial. He focused on what was important.
I believe you can only be a good, effective leader and perhaps even a great one if you love what you do, have the courage to fight the doubters and total confidence in your product or service. It is also perhaps a sad characteristic that when we look at successful leaders, their ambitions, hunger and often insecurity is predicated by a challenging start to the world. This would very much apply to Jobs.
Meanwhile, I recommend that you take a few moments to watch the Stanford speech on You Tube if you have not already done so, and then get to a Cinema near you when the movie comes out. You will not be disappointed.