This may be time to stop all the clocks and disconnect the telephone, but I do not anticipate a literal resurrection.
Howbeit, quite apart from anything of historic import Mr Jobs may have achieved in his garage with Woz back in the eighties, he did resurrect a corporation.
I sometimes encounter the idolisation of business leadership, even among those appointing vicars. I never quite want to drink this particular kool-aid. When I was a lad the UK had the third or fourth greatest trading economy in the world. Its slippage to the low twenties has to have something to do with the quality of its business leadership since the sixties, that has not always been stellar. The Church hath little need for more of the UK's often class-ridden, stale, vain, self-indulgent business leadership. It’s already riddled with that stuff.
Furthermore what passes for business leadership often turns out to be no more than grumpy old men sounding off about their control fantasies, or low grade Pelagian boasting about their deservings, or saying nice things about a religion that is no more than top dressing for their own greed and prejudices.
Not so Mr Jobs. As well as providing a creative context in which the world’s greatest designers, men like Jonathan Ive, could flourish he did provide genuine moral leadership on occasion, rooted in his own experience, and free for all. In the often murky world of business leadership it shines out, as a Monty Python character once said of Oscar Wilde’s wit and wisdom, like a stream of silver bats’ pee in a dark cave.
So here, in memoriam, are two passages for pondering from Mr Jobs’ famous Stanford Commencement Address:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.Not to labour the point, he went on to discuss his own diagnosis of terminal cancer and say:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart..
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.