Thursday, April 05, 2012

Don't Compromise!!!

The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs - Harvard Business Review

When Jobs and his small team designed the original Macintosh, in the early 1980s, his injunction was to make it “insanely great.” He never spoke of profit maximization or cost trade-offs. “Don’t worry about price, just specify the computer’s abilities,” he told the original team leader. At his first retreat with the Macintosh team, he began by writing a maxim on his whiteboard: “Don’t compromise.” The machine that resulted cost too much and led to Jobs’s ouster from Apple. But the Macintosh also “put a dent in the universe,” as he said, by accelerating the home computer revolution. And in the long run he got the balance right: Focus on making the product great and the profits will follow.

DON'T compromise? Do we really look at our homes, cars, devices, faith, values, jobs, vacation selections, etc and say "compromise"?

I don't think so. It is very true that in the real world, there are "trade-offs" -- size, weight, power consumption, cost, complexity, time, distance, etc, but the essence of things we care about is that the sum of all those elements is creatively a whole that is greater than it's parts. It isn't "a compromise", it is perfect, righteous, lovely, etc.

We all understand this, we just forget we do. In '09, when the Democrats had both houses of congress, 60 votes in the Senate, and the Presidency, their and the MSM view was "We won!!". Now, having recently discovered that the SCOTUS exists and having to deal with evil Republicans in the House and less than 60 votes in the Senate, the holy writ of the day is COMPROMISE!!!

We are instinctively drawn to personalities like Steve Jobs, and to exceptional nations like the US was when we wrote that Constitution. It wasn't a blueprint for compromise, it was a blueprint for the greatest nation that the world had ever seen.

The US once "put a dent in the universe". Let's stop choosing safety over excellence before we have neither!

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