Over and over you hear stories about Steve Jobs being, well, a jerk. A recently released anecdote, however, tells a different story: Jobs apparently cared so much about workaholic Tim Cook having a life outside Apple that he phoned Cook’s mom to talk about it.
It’s pretty charming — and just about the polar opposite of the clichéd anecdotes that paint Jobs as a screaming, slave-driving perfectionist who only looked up from his work long enough to yell at some poor, quivering employee.
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“The Steve I knew was the guy pestering me to have a social life, not because he was being a pest, but because he knew how important family was in his life, and he wanted it for me, too,” Cook told the authors of the forthcoming book Becoming Steve Jobs. “One day he calls my mom — he doesn’t even know my mom, she lives in Alabama. He said he was looking for me, but he knows how to find me! He talked to her about me. There are lots of these things where you saw the very soft or caring or feeling or whatever you want to call it side of him. He had that gene. Someone who’s viewing life only as a transactional relationship with people … doesn’t do that.”
The view of Jobs as jerk is one that both Apple execs Tim Cook and Eddy Cue have spoken out against recently as they voiced negative views of Walter Isaacson’s 2011 Steve Jobs bio and Alex Gibney’s recent Jobs documentary for perpetuating that viewpoint.
Whatever your own views on Jobs are, however, he certainly wasn’t wrong about Tim Cook’s workaholic nature. According to a recent article published in The Telegraph, Apple’s CEO gets up at 3:45 every morning, goes to the gym at 5 a.m. and is at work at 6:30 a.m. — already fully briefed and with the day planned out.
Think about that next time you complain about your alarm going off at 7 a.m.!
Source: Fast Company