DEDICATION: Today’s Business Tuesday article is inspired by the fact that October 17 is National Boss Day, and is dedicated to Steve Jobs (24 February 1955 – 5 October 2011) who passed away five years ago tomorrow.
Two years ago, I read an article about Steve Jobs written by Business Insider journalist, Lisa Eadicicco. The insight into working with Steve Jobs, as revealed by Ken Rosen, was that Steve Jobs was a strong supporter of effective time management practices and encouraging employees to meet deadlines, even when they were confident those deadlines could not be met.
In a different article, former Apple executive Guy Kawasaki (who worked under Steve Jobs’s leadership) stated that Apple engineers were successful and productive because they allegedly “lived in fear of Steve [Jobs].”
Whether Apple engineers actually lived in fear of Steve Jobs is most likely a subjective reaction. That being said, results have proven that when a boss or client sets high standards that he or she expects to have met, those working with them will either fold or rise to the level of expectation.
Know When To Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em
Those who fold go on to work on other projects with other bosses and clients. Those who rise to the level of expectation find themselves rewarded with a learning experience and a sense of accomplishment they would not otherwise enjoy upon completion of each project.
Difficult Bosses And Clients
There’s a difference between a boss or client who has high standards and a boss or client who is impossibly difficult. Once you know the difference, choosing to work with bosses and client with high standards will enrich your professional and personal life greatly.
The boss or client with high standards will push you to be innovative, resourceful, and creative. And the boss or client with high standards will help you search for solutions and opportunities that might not otherwise be uncovered.
Should It Be About The Bottom Dollar
Steve jobs was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in 1993 saying that more important than being the richest man in the cemetery was being the man who went to bed at night saying he had done something wonderful.
While profit and positioning, branding and buying, and more are all important aspects of business, the bottom dollar isn’t always about the bottom dollar. Those who push themselves and their colleagues and employees to strive to achieve a higher standard find great satisfaction in achievement while enjoying a healthy bottom dollar result.
Secondary Results From This Business Approach
While many will say that being hard on colleagues and employees will result in negative feedback, studies have proven that bosses and clients with high standards enjoy a much higher level of employee loyalty, satisfaction, and efficiency than those bosses and clients who are willing to accept “good enough” as a final result.
It cultivates an expectation within the individual to demand better of himself or herself, which in turn, leads to pride in workmanship. It also cultivates the ability to speak out against suggestions, ideas, and concepts that are flawed, and to suggest ways to improve on those suggestions, ideas, and concepts.
Dreamer Or Realist
some will say that having high standards sets one up for being a dreamer. Those who say such things use the defense that they are realists which is a much better position from which to run a business.
The problem with using polarizing terms is that the possibility that one can be a realistic dreamer is negated. so when someone suggests that a boss or client with high standards is being unrealistic, it’s time to take a look at the boss’s or client’s vision to understand it more fully.
What Would Steve Jobs Say About This
The quote I like best is this one: Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
While there’s a certain amount of luck that is required to rise to the top of one’s profession, that luck doesn’t exist if you don’t also invest in pushing yourself to do the best job you are capable of doing. If you’re happy with “good enough” being the standard by which you measure yourself, then “good enough” is the highest level of success you can anticipate.
Push yourself to be the best version of yoursels as possible, and push yourself to do your best work in every situation, even when you aren’t enjoying the work you’re doing.
You can either best the challenges that crop up at various crossroads in life, or you can let those challenges defeat you. The choice is yours. The battle isn’t over until the day you stop getting back up on your feet to take on those challenges that have defeated you in the past.
ALL ABOUT STEVE JOBS
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TOLD STEVE JOBS SOMETHING COULDN’T BE DONE
HOW STEVE JOBS TAMED HIS EXPLOSIVE GENIUS
STEVE JOBS: IN PRAISE OF PERFECTIONIST BOSSES
STEVE JOBS: INSPIRATION OR TASK MASTER?
WHAT STEVE JOBS SAID ABOUT WORK AND LIFE