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A Great Man Knows His Own Limitations

This picture prompted me to write the blog post. Like many other people, I am a great admirer of Steve Jobs – his integrity, his passion and his sense of design.

Almost single-mindedly he twice created a company that eventually became bigger than the economy of Spain (and many other countries).

Having grown up away from computers, I personally experienced his genius much later in my life than most people did; only when I installed a very expensive and clunky hard drive based music system in one of my cars I found out in a few months that his company had released a much more compact, mobile, versatile, far superior iPod, which made my costly, and clunky install redundant.

But today, when I reflect – almost every technology I use on daily basis has his finger prints on it – Microsoft Word, Windows, Android Phone – all have ideas inspired by him. It was his misfortune that ‘the look and feel’ was something that could never be patented – shows you how useless the patent laws really are when they protect what is not worth protecting and give no protection to what is worth protecting the most.

When I wrote my book The 5-STAR Business Network I used Apple as a shining example of the first star – Innovation. The collaborative approach to innovation that Steve Jobs pioneered, and that is epitomized in the quotation above was worth emulating.

Admittedly, his is not the only company that does it – his company just used to do it better than anyone else. Using a business network of suppliers, suppliers’ suppliers and collaborators to co-create a product in far less time than anyone else could have created was a work of a genius.

He stood the Edison and Tesla model of innovation on its head. And, even Ford could have learnt a few things from him. What surprises me most is that despite the overwhelming evidence and a clear role model – why most companies still cannot get their act together when they sit back to create products that their customers would worship.

Why do they still settle for shoddy GM cars, or pills that do more harm than good.

I will end this blog with a quotation from Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson:

“Because he believed that Apple’s great advantage was its integration of the whole widget – from design to hardware to software to content – he wanted all departments at the company to work together in parallel. The phrases he used were “deep collaboration” and “concurrent engineering”. Instead of a development process in which a product would be passed sequentially from engineering to design to manufacturing to marketing and distribution, these various departments collaborated simultaneously. ” Our method was to develop integrated products, and that meant our process had to be integrated and collaborative”, Jobs said.

He called it ‘deep collaboration’ – and we call it Supply Chain 3.0. Hopefully, we will have a lot more time to put it into practice. This tribute to the great man has been cooking up in my brain for a long time. The world is a much better place, for he was in it for a few brief decades. You cannot say that about too many people.

Disclaimer: I never had, and do not currently own, any shares in Apple.

 

Find Your Way OUT of the Rat Race

After a while, the rat race tires you out. Even if you are winning the race, you still feel like a rat – this is what someone once told me.

And, she ended up taking a very long journey through the east.

On her return, I asked her how she felt. Her reply was that she had moments of pure joy, but most of the time she still felt the same.

Unfortunately, her travel only served to confirm her biases, without expanding her horizons. She carried her whole world with her, wherever she went.

eagleBut I have seen several people get out of the rat race successfully, and I talked to them about their methods. Two key points I learnt are these:

   You are not a rat

   It is not a race

If you feel like a rat on a wheel, it is because you have allowed others to make you feel like one. Rats are mammals of lower order, mainly run by a limited brain capacity and caught up in the game of procreationnutrition and survival.

Obviously, for a human all three of these are important. But, if that is all that occupies your time then eventually you will feel like a rat.

So, what do you do to go beyond those three basics?

a. Invest in relationships: Relationships of the past were based on mutual dependence and need. They were really rooted in the three basics mentioned above. Only those who invest in relationships based on CARE, TRUST and INTEGRITY can manage to raise their consciousness above the level of the rats.

b. Speak your truth: Self expression is a necessary tool of expression. You can find many mediums – painting, novels, sculptures, inventions are just a few. The joy of creation will start to bring you up another notch.

c. Clear your perceptions: Constant barrage of 24/7 news channels is now supplemented with numerous social media channels with bait-and-switch headlines. Where does it end? You end up clogging your perception to such a high degree that you may not have a single original thought for months. What chance do you have of getting out of rat-race if this is all that occupies your mind?

d. Co-Create: Creating a child is only the most beautiful and pleasurable way of co-creation. But, that is not the only one. Join your consciousness with others’ and you will be surprised with the results. Those who do not see the need to do so must read this blog post on Steve Jobs.

Let’s talk briefly about the second point above. It is really not a race? Nobody took birth to race to his/her grave. If you don’t KNOW THYSELF and your purpose then you will surely get caught up in the race. Who has the biggest ‘______’ is not the way to measure the quality of your life?

It may be an expression of your contribution, or even of your truth – but there is no reason to stop your consciousness at that level.

Do not let your petty jealousies drive you – leave that job to your purpose.

Kids-painting-in-daycareSo, how do you KNOW THYSELF, and your purpose?

Generally speaking points a, b, c and d above would have already brought you that knowledge.

All you have to do is accept the truth as it surfaces, and live it. You will never get caught up in the rat race, no matter where you live and what work you do.

That will be a true human life that knows its own value.

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