“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” ~ Steve Jobs
Although this is an age old habit of ours, I prefer to call it the “Steve Jobs Syndrome” because it is easier to relate to in our current times.
Steve Jobs is beyond words of appreciation and talent. Certainly his wisdom, thinking and ruthless talent for making things better had left us with better technological products and a company that is lot richer than several countries. He was an inspiration for our generation and will probably continue to be for the next few. But this was Steve Jobs. He did it and did it better which gave him the kind of confidence that he could make a lot of things better. His biography tells us of his core behaviour pattern where he seemed to be very adverse of several things that were beyond his subject which he believed to be poorly designed and made. He believed that he could make all things better and improve as he did with several things that he could. But then again he carried a rare talent that was sharpened by his vast experience, contacts, persuasive skills, relationships, successful track record and financial success. There are several things he failed at as well. Things he could not improve or lost his bet on which is silenced by this achievements.
This phenomenal success story of Steve Jobs has perhaps given birth to this behaviour pattern in many individuals who seem to assume the status and believe that they too share similar intellectual traits. Yes, there are many who are as smart as Steve Jobs or even lot more than he was. But the victims of this “Steve Jobs Syndrome” are those who seem to carry a misconception about themselves as being able to make everything better and impose their ideas of improvement on matters that they have very little experience or information about. They think of themselves as Steve Jobs of their industry or subject. Yet they are no way as greatly successful or knowledgeable as he was about his subject.
For a mere $12.00 you can buy a ticket to sit on a comfortable seat in a movie theater and critique a multimillion dollar production probably based on a best-selling book that perhaps inspired a good part of our generation. You can point out the mistakes, the flaws, punch hols in the story line, trash the characters played by the actors, comment on the directors ideas as though you could truly do it better. All this is done with absolutely no experience on movie making, productions, script writing, creative thinking, directions, leave alone the politics the legalities, accommodating the production companies demands, the actors demands etc. Steve Jobs also said that you “do not need to understand how the transmission works to drive a car”. But if you want to critique the driving experience while shifting gears you had better understand how a transmission works.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving. ~Dale Carnegie
Similarly we about our lives passing callous comments and imposing our unsolicited ideas, opinions, and suggestions on several matters that is beyond our comprehension or knowledge base. Many of us aren’t the best in what we do for ourselves in terms of earning a living. Or for that matter we aren’t the best in anything. We have failed relationships, half hearted efforts, mediocre performance, average success, average career progression, etc. Yet we have the audacity to criticize others and their talents, and actions. It sure begs the question, “based on what knowledge?” but we quickly bury it under our inflated egos and arrogance. We criticize just because we can and there are no consequences to our ignorance and arrogance.
When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical. ~ Unknown
Can we do better? Can we truly improve things around us or have valuable suggestions and opinions? Yes! we sure can but only after being educated enough on the subject in question that earns the right to do so. You can can change the world with your opinions and thinking and move it forwrd. You too can leave a ding on this world of ours. But you need to have te knowledge, wisdom, courage, to be a Steve Jobs. And this is not done with Cynicism or criticism. You have to earn your ranks and wisdom. Hence, it is very necessary to form educated and well thought out opinions. If you care to make anything better, you better roll up your sleeves and learn this subject well. You will fail, but learn and then you may succeed and then your opinion would be valuable enough. But first master your core subjects and try being an expert in your own field. Learn by experience what it feels like to earn the right to critique someone else. We can only understand this truly when someone who knows very little about us criticizes us.
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
Many of us are victims of this “Steve Jobs Syndrome”. We think we know everything and interfere in matters that we have very little facts or knowledge about. You are not Steve Jobs. Often, those who are the true subject matter experts, remain quiet and watch us with amusement which we think their silence is the proof that we are right. Educated and fact based opinion is key to any persons success and positive growth. Become Steve Jobs before you act like him. Earn your voice.