There are two pictures that are circulating of Steve Jobs that still really affect me. The first is of him and his wife after his final Keynote address, and the second is a picture that was released of him about a month before he passed away. He was barely able to stand. It was shocking.
There’s been a lot of talk about Jobs over the last 2 weeks. He has swiftly been elevated to a heroic status, and in many ways I suppose it is well deserved. Ultimately, Jobs was a human being, but there are a few things he did not do that would have been so completely human. So completely understandable. And yet, he refrained.
Steve Jobs could have told the world a few years ago about the depth and severity of his illness. He could have said, “Hey, I’m on borrowed time here.”
Steve Jobs could have used his illness to sell more products. He could have said that a certain percentage of all sales would go towards pancreatic cancer research and support organizations.
Steve Jobs could have marched his family out and said, “Hey, I’m going to have to leave these beloved people a lot sooner than I would like. Buy my company’s products so I can rest assured they will remain in good stead financially.”
All of these things would have been understandable. They would have been forgivable, certainly. Maybe barely noticed had he walked that path, that ever so human path, of wanting sympathy and attention.
Instead, Steve Jobs got angry when people wanted him to discuss his health. He kept it as low-key as possible. He diverted the focus away from him and away from his situation and reflected everything outward, all towards his company, his product, and his customers.
As you contemplate your online content and what you are putting out there, consider this very unexpected path that Steve Jobs traveled. Consider how he recoiled from attention-getting tactics and merely worked on building his legacy.
Which path do you want to travel?
Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Mattox