Caring is sharing

Everyone’s given their thoughts about Steve Jobs, and now we can focus on the fact that Apple is still a company and still making cool things that we all spend lots of money on and they’ll end up doing just fine without him.

That being said, I loved Faruk Ateş’ take on Steve. As a former Apple employee, he offered a list of Steve Job Moments, which included this gem:

While by no means a pleasant memory, it’s one I’ll never forget just the same. It was a few months after MobileMe’s launch, and I’d just joined that product group two months before it. We were all called in for a meeting with Steve, who chewed out the entire department without raising his voice more than once.

I forget what specific things he said during that meeting that struck me so hard, but they had nothing to do with MobileMe’s problems. They simply made it clear how much Steve cared about Apple, about great products, and about all the people at Apple who work their asses off night and day, all to deliver their best work time and time again. Steve seemed personally offended, for himself and on behalf of the rest of Apple, by this one department’s failure to deliver. More so even than he was upset over the tarnished reputation, it felt that our failure was taken as a lack of respect, and that offended him even more.

Whether this is how Steve felt about it I’ll never know. What I do know is that I walked out of there not just agreeing with everything he’d said, but also that, were I ever to run a company, I would make sure to care that damn much about everyone and everything in it.

The biggest thing to take away from this is, indeed, Steve Job cared, and that’s one of the more important things any of us can do to make something work. It isn’t how hard we work, or how much money we put into it, but that we care, damn it.

When we care, we continue working regardless of how hard things get. We treat our co-workers and employees with respect – and we hold them accountable. We hold ourselves accountable. And we foster trust.

When we care, we see things through, and others follow. This anecdote was a good reminder of that.

This was lovingly handwritten on August 29th, 2011