169: Jay Elliot: Lessons From Steve Job’s Mentor In His 20s

Jay Elliot was a senior member of the original Macintosh development team and helped Steve Jobs develop the original user interface inspired by Xerox PARC. Becoming Senior Vice President of Apple reporting directly to Steve, Jay ran all corporate operations including business planning, IT operations, Facilities, and HR for Apple worldwide.

As a mentor, Jay was able to guide Steve in learning and utilizing the management principles Jay had learned at IBM and Intel, which helped make possible building Apple into a multibillion company and in turning Steve into the kind of leader who was able to inspire and create the society-changing Apple products.

Favorite Success Quote

“If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have told me they wanted faster horses”~Henry Ford

Key Points

1. You Need to Balance Your Life 

One of Steve Job’s greatest strengths was the fiery intensity he had for his vision. However, this was also one of his greatest weaknesses. Jobs was never “off” he was always focused on his company and vision.

As amazing as the results are that Jobs achieved, it is essential to your long term health and happiness that you find a way to balance all four pillars of your life.

Never get so caught up in your business that you forget to show up in your health, relationships and spiritual life.

2. Fill Your Mind with New Ideas

One of the qualities that made Steve Jobs great is that he was an innovator. He constantly surrounded himself with the newest ideas and modalities of thinking.

If you want to change the world and create great things, you need to become an innovator. Always be searching for new ways of solving the worlds problems.

3. Tap Into Your Passion

If you want to change the world, you must find what you are passionate about. Find that thing that sets a fire in your belly and gets you up out of bed each morning before the sun is up.

You only have one shot at this life, you can either waste it, playing it safe and living someone else’s life, making someone else rich, or you can live a life of passion, doing something you believe in, something that matters.

4. Dont Get Caught up in an Institutional Structure

One of the biggest mistakes any young professional can make is getting caught up in an institutional structure. When you get onto a ladder designed by someone else, you are stuck in a linear path with very little room to innovate and create.

The best thing you can do is to work for yourself or a startup that allows you the freedom to build and create the world as you see fit.

Influential Books

Sidartha by Herman Hesse

Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy


Connect With Jay Elliot


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