In 1985, Steve Jobs was fired from the company he founded. Apple was suffering financially under the weight of bloated product offerings and being eaten alive by the press as if Apple was already lying in a satin-lined casket. Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy. Then, SHIfT happened. Steve Jobs returned to the company in July of 1997, and took on the daunting task of of resurrecting the company. Out of that season of resurrection, a partnership with Microsoft was formed.
Worried it would be viewed as a monopoly without competition from Apple, Bill Gates and Microsoft came to Apple’s rescue with a $150 million investment. Steve made a public announcement stating, “If we want to move forward and see Apple healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose.” Had that moment of humility and truth not have happened, the world may have never grown to know the glory of iPods, iPads, iPhones or iMacs.
Fast forward till today…Apple is one of the most epic SHIfT stories of our time. With over a half-trillion dollar market capitalization, the return of Steve Jobs proved to be a come-back story entrepreneurs continue to hang their hat upon.
What happened? What was the internal SHIfT that created breakthrough?
1. Humility….Though Steve Jobs was not notorious for his humility, when the time came to resurrect his dream, he hit the reset button, dropped his pride, and did what was necessary for the Microsoft deal to occur.
2. Perspective…Jobs stepped away long enough to see his dream from a fresh perspective. He came back to the driver’s seat willing to do things he said he would NEVER do. He tweaked the vision of Apple, moving it from a “computer only” company to one that embraces iMacs, iPods, iPhones, and more.
3. Risk…While everyone told him to scale down, Jobs took the risk of opening more stores and making Apple a highly visible brand. Conventional wisdom would have said to lay low, ride the tide, avoid potential public failure. Instead, Jobs doubled down and stood tall with his Apple store debuts. So what does that mean for you? You have the same choices to make. Drop the vision or reinvent yourself and drive to success. Run from the waves of adversity or surf the tide of opportunity. Cower to the fear of failure or put on your superhero cape and soar to greater heights.
In order to gain a clear perspective on where you want to go, it’s important to gain wisdom based on where you’ve been. Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.” The saying that hindsight is 20/20 can only be true if you learn from your mistakes and take time to avoid pitfalls in the future.
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