‘OK, But The Notice Is Retroactive From Two Weeks Ago’

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Steve Jobs, known for his groundbreaking work at Apple Inc., was equally famous for his no-nonsense approach, often pushing boundaries to achieve excellence. His forthright style was instrumental in driving innovation, though it sometimes led to tough situations. He held no punches, and some of his actions were tough but effective.

An example of Jobs’s direct approach was during a meeting with VLSI Technology Inc., a chip company lagging in deliveries. Jobs confronted the issue head-on with a colorful choice of words, calling them “f***ing d**kless a**holes.”

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The confrontation seemingly spurred the company into action, leading to timely deliveries. The incident even became a quirky anecdote among the executives, who created jackets labeled “Team FDA.”

Jobs’s penchant for straightforward feedback was also evident during the launch of the Bondi Blue iMac. Unhappy with the print ad’s color, he didn’t mince words with his friend and ad partner Lee Clow, saying, “You guys don’t know what you’re doing.” However, upon reviewing the original photos and print ads, Jobs acknowledged his mistake and backed down, showing his ability to admit when he was wrong.

His high standards extended beyond work. Once, when Jony Ive, chief design officer of Apple at the time, booked him a room in a luxurious London hotel, Jobs was quick to express his dissatisfaction. Shortly after checking in, he called Ive to say, “I hate my room. It’s a piece of sh*t, let’s go,” showcasing his honesty and refusal to settle for anything less than perfect.

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Jobs’s direct approach was apparent during a challenging period at Pixar Animation Studios. Faced with the need to make cutbacks, Jobs let go of some employees. When Pamela Kerwin, an early Pixar employee, implored Jobs to provide at least two weeks’ notice, Jobs’ response was ruthless. He said, “OK, but the notice is retroactive from two weeks ago.”

Jobs’s straightforward nature was also seen in more casual settings. In a story shared by Ive, Jobs critiqued an employee, an older woman, for the way she was making a smoothie at Whole Foods. This moment of harshness was later met with a sense of regret. Ive, who witnessed the event, noted that Jobs felt bad after realizing the impact of his words on someone who might not have been content in her job.

While his directness was a key part of his management style, Jobs’s approach was about more than being tough; it was about striving for the best, whether in product design, advertising or his personal experiences. His legacy, marked by a series of revolutionary products and a unique approach to leadership, continues to influence how people think about innovation and excellence.

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This article Steve Jobs Was Savage As An Employer And A Person — During Mass Layoffs, An Early Employee Pleaded Him To Give 2 Weeks Notice — His Response: ‘OK, But The Notice Is Retroactive From Two Weeks Ago’ originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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