I recently read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and one of the themes that arises repeatedly is what colleagues called Jobs’ “reality distortion field.” Here is just one vignette to paint the picture.
When Apple was working to create the iPhone they needed a special glass for the screen. Jobs invited Wendell Weeks, CEO of Corning Glass, to come to Cupertino to talk it over. Weeks said that Corning had invented a special product they called “gorilla glass” that was very strong but they had found no market for it and were not producing it. Jobs wanted as much of the glass as Corning could produce within 6 months. Weeks told him they didn’t have the capacity, that, “[Jobs’] false sense of confidence would not overcome engineering challenges.” That was the moment when Weeks found himself tractored into Jobs’ reality distortion field.
From Isaacson’s biography:
“[Jobs] stared at Weeks unblinking, ‘Yes, you can do it,’ he said. ‘Get your mind around it. You can do it.'”
Weeks converted a Corning plant in Kentucky almost overnight and made the deliveries in under 6 months.
The point is that Jobs’ reality distortion field is just another way of saying that he would not be stopped by self-imposed limitations.
That begs the question for you, “Are you willing to do whatever it takes to create the success you say you want?”
It’s about your commitment.
It’s about getting past the “I Can’t” self-imposed limitations.
You are the leader and your people are looking to you to lead the break-through, to get them past the reasons, the stories and the excuses.
About those limitations clanging around the inside your skull – let me quote Yoda: “You must unlearn what you have learned.” Or, in Dr. Phil terminology, “Get over it.”
Yes, you can do it. Get your mind around it. You can do it.
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