“There’s a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have….you have to believe that something different can happen.” Will Smith.
I struggle with a book I was told to read which alludes to teach the secrets of Steve Jobs presentation technique. He is Mr Success, right? He is the guy we all have to model… But the book fails to point out you have to presuppose you are Steve Jobs first to do what Steve Jobs does. That you are the visionary. That you build the platform for possibilities. That you have the power to direct and shape tectonic change. Without these beliefs there was no Steve Jobs. Without this mindset embedded you cannot present like him. Maybe you also have to be a tyrant – demanding, controlling, vindictive, paranoid and driven to the edge of reason.
You can model his deck but can you model his mind?
The battle between Gates and Jobs frames the mindset – and both are successful – and both are different. A difference (between them) that makes the difference in how we are provoked and inspired by Steve alone.
I like this video from 1983… watch Jobs and Gates tango. Gates was already Steves bitch. Its kind of uncomfortable. And this is a long game – not a one off twist. If you want to present like Steve Jobs you can chunk it down and look at the keynotes but the context was much bigger than the PPT (ahem.. Keynote) deck. It was a dance that started at high school and waltzed on for 30 years.
Also on delusion…
There are people that talk of the “air sandwich” between strategic dreamers and operational reality. Implying this gap needs to be closed for business to be more effective – or to ease the pain. But in reality this gap is liberating for those shaking up business.
This gap exists with top sales guys – they are unrealistic and unhinged and drive you nuts – but successful. Those without that delusion merely hit the numbers. The crazies deliver bigger. And that is often a good thing.
So long live the crazy ones. Fuck reality.
Learn to love and sit with the delusional ones – suspend your discomfort. Maybe be one.
On Will Smith….
When I read the Will Smith quote I think about him in Pursuit of Happiness movie – playing Chris Gardener . Jeez, that film is brutal. It terrifies me. He sure lived belief, grit and resilience. I expect it was a bit of anesthetising delusion helped keep him going. But he won and thank god he did.
I hope I never need that delusional quality as much as Chris did.