I tuned into NPR on my commute the other day and for a moment thought that Steve Jobs had passed away. Thankfully, he was ‘just’ stepping down from his position of CEO of Apple Computers to focus on health issues. But judging by the comments of the experts…
Firstly, I wish Steve Jobs well. At the young age of 56 and with the resources at his disposal, I hope he kicks it. He is a good man, a family man, but I think his greatest assets in facing his new challenge are the assets that brought him success at Apple.
Steve Jobs is a visionary: mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, do I need to go on? But he also has the ability to take these ideas and put them into a framework of excellence. Finally, he has the tenacity, discipline and perhaps single-mindedness to take the product from idea to poplar product.
My blog post title is, of course, flippant. But are these not the qualities we need to bring the US (and the world?) into a sustainable model for the 21st Century? Shouldn’t we demand of our political system the same qualities?
A 21st Century political mode should not be about power base or how much money you can raise. We need more people with the qualities of Steve Jobs in government. Did Steve Jobs thrive because of the rivalry with Bill Gates?
What is interesting, is that despite the tough competition, both Gates and Jobs succeeded, while also our society forward. You can’t say the same for our politicians. Their intransigence and lack of vision is just dragging all of us down.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).