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So often we hear the phrase, “There is a crisis in leadership today.”  Maybe it is the Wall Street and Banking greed that is at the top of most people’s minds now days. But when a real leader passes like Steve Jobs it gives us time to pause.

A visionary, culture changing leader, Jobs is being aligned with Einstein, Edison and Ford as the type of leader that changed the human paradigm. More than just a leader he earned himself a place in history by placing in our hands the power of computing. He empowered us with technology that is an extention of our own minds  to do more, achieve more, enjoy more so we can strive to achieve our full potential. 

In our complimentary Webinar, Building A Better Us, I describe the psychology behind building an organization that not only builds a team but also provides a place for a human being to express their full potential. It is at the peak of performance that one finds inner peace and satisfaction through  love for what they do. It is what brings happiness.

In Jobs’ career he was fired from Apple. He was devastated. But what he realized was that he did not lose the love for his interest. He did not lose the love for creating. And when he returned to Apple he brought the love and innovations he envisioned with him and rebuilt a company that at one point had more money than the US Treasury. But it wasn’t the money that drove Jobs to his peak performance. It was love, and it is love that I believe anchors his legacy.

Susan Bosak of the Legacy Project writes that legacy is fundamental to what it means to be human and is an interconnection across time with the people who came before us and those who will follow.

She describes it as an old growth forest where the roots of young trees intertwine with those of the ancients so that the roots of the young trees are able to follow similar pathways and become rooted more firmly. Eventually the roots graft together forming an interdependent web under the ground that shares nutrients and resources resulting in a forest that is healthier and more sustainable.

Is it the human urge to make a difference – to give back and to achieve peak performance. According to behavior psychologists, adults lose meaning in their lives when they abandon the notion of working to create a legacy.  And this is probably a great source of pain for unemployed boomers who are taking stock now of their accomplishments, failures and disappointments. But like Jobs who rose out of the disappointment of his firing from Apple, we can discover the love of our interests and proceed anyway.  

Exploring the idea of legacy offers a glimpse not only into human relationships and building strong communities, but also the human spirit. And maybe it is this piece — the contribution Jobs made to human relationships and community though a spirit of creation rooted in love that causes me to pause.

It is with a sense of sadness and gratitude for the life of a leader well lived that light the flame for those of us who follow. And the lesson is to remember how he picked himself out of the ashes of disappointment by stepping forward to produce even greater creations with joy and love.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton