I recently discovered that Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of the Apple empire, spent a lot of time toward the end of his life allowing research for his own biography. Why you might ask? Check out this article, re-posted here:
When Steve Jobs official biography was announced, everyone wondered why the notoriously private Steve Jobs would let Walter Isaacson interview him over 40 times, let Isaacson talk to family and friends and pretty much have unprecedented access to Jobs’ entire life. Turns out Jobs had a very personal reason.
Isaacson saw him a few weeks before Jobs passed and finally asked him that very question, “Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private?” Steve Jobs responded:
“I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”
With all the things Jobs did in his life, it’s nice to see his heart was in the right place at the end.
Another writer in the Daily Mail (from the UK) goes on to say that the book is ultimately a love letter to his family. He wasn’t there for his family, but now his children will be able to read all about him in this posthumous biography in order to get to know their dad.
Steve Jobs left behind over $6 billion in personal assets. That’s more money than many of us will ever see in our lifetimes combined, but none of his huge fortune will buy a relationship with his children now. Steve Jobs made choices which earned him a lot of money, but apparently he alienated his family in the process. How sad.
Can you imagine the regret you would feel if you spent your last days apologizing to your family for not being there? With all of the advanced technology, Steve Jobs never created an app that would build a relationship with his children.
This story is shared for only one reason: don’t buy into the lie that your job, hobbies, money, financial success, business, fame, pleasure or prestige are worth sacrificing your relationships with your wife and children.
Too many of us fathers make these same poor choices. Maybe your father made poor choices as well, so you are merely passing on the family tradition.
Steve Job’s position at work has already been replaced, and Apple will continue to grow and develop new products for our enjoyment and productivity, but his family lost an irreplaceable person. Don’t be that guy.