We all have role models we looked up to in life. Whether it’s your high school teacher, your parents, your grandparents, a prominent figure like Mother Theresa or Gandhi or even a Hollywood star. It’s how he or she inspires you to do better in your lives or how you admire her causes, her morality or perhaps you yearn to be as successful as he is since he has it all.
I kept my role models separately from personal and business life. Personally, my role models in life can be quite a few like Amelia Earhart to name one of them. But for work wise, I have one prominent one too. And that is Steven Paul Jobs or Steve Jobs for you. I don’t think he is a nice person personally but in the business world, you can’t be nice and aggressive at the same time. I don’t agree on some of the things he said or do but as a general whole, his sheer determination and hard work have won me to a level of asking myself “How can a mere man be worshipped to a cult status and he is only a business person?”
Because he is more than that. To the world and his fans (I have met gazillions of them), he is a visionary, an innovator and a no-nonsense creator. Yes, I do admire and sometimes envy that he sees beyond the current and create a need out of a want, he lured inconspicuously into our minds a gadget like that is just what we need to make our lives complete no matter the cost. But I admire the most is his guts.
This guy has balls. He strives on against installing Flash in mobile phones when it was readily available in Android phones. He refused to cave to the market demand and stick to his ideology of a perfect phone. He held his head up high when he was fired, only to found a cooler company, Pixar which is different from what he did before. So instead of being bitter and set up a competitive computer company against Apple (which he is capable of doing), he founded an animation firm pitting against another giant, Walt Disney. He didn’t get all depressed and worried that he is without a job like most of us will do. He not only survived but he made a quick successful comeback.
You may call him arrogant but his determination for perfection even after setbacks time and time again is something I look up to. He is a dictator in Apple, no doubt but he has the power and charisma to charm people into listening for real. A man, a mere human being out of 7 billion, he changed the world with his ideas and his technologies.
This is not a post for me to gush about him. Or a post to tell people how great he is (there are enough articles out there doing that on the web). It’s how he influences my thinking and behavior at work. Only the positive attributes, mind you. Perfection, passionate, determination, positive risk-taking. Be not a mere boss, be an inspiring leader.
On another hand, the person who inspired me to be a greater leader who cares genuinely is an ex-boss who became my mentor in life. He is the one who saw potential in the young me and gave me chances when nobody saw that I just need guidance to shine. I was just a young girl working in retail, desperate to make ends meet. He gave me an office job even when I couldn’t type out an email or know what excel could do. I gave it my all, I was like a sponge, soaking up all the knowledge he offered. He once described me as a rough stone who needs polishing work to turn into a brilliant diamond and he wants to be the one polishing it. He helped to shape me and pushed and probed me along when I didn’t think I could do it. He taught me all business world have to teach, he gave me a gift – he believe in me so I could believe in myself.
I told myself when I was under his wing, I want to be a manager, a boss like him someday. I want to let people who work with me, know I care and that they are not just figures and numbers to me. I hoped I did. I carried on his teachings and passing it to younger generations, hopefully one fine day, they will be a good caring manager too. Without my mentor, I wouldn’t be who I am and definitely unable to write any of this on my own website.
So do you have a role model in your life that influence how you work? Share with me below.