The resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple Inc last week caused a global shock, despite the fact that the iconic CEO has been showing signs of poor health for the past many years.
Before co-founding Apple, Jobs, a college drop-out, travelled through India in seventies in search of spiritual guidance. Very few people know that he suggested the name of the company (Apple) to co-founder Steve Wozniak after a visit to a commune in Oregon he referred to as an “apple orchard.”
There are several stories about the man — both interesting and inspiring. But we won’t repeat them here. In this article, we will analyse his signature against the views held about him.
An inspiring Jobs had a lot of hard edges: According to Jay Elliot, a former vice-president at Apple who worked with Jobs in the eighties, says he was very aggressive and oftentimes alienated colleagues and investors with his my-way-or-the-highway attitude. Elliot said he was a witness to the acrimony between Jobs and former Apple Chief Executive John Sculley who often clashed on ideas, products and the direction of the company. At a meeting in Hawaii, they blew up against each other. Jobs left the company soon after, saying he was fired.
Elliot’s views establish two things about Jobs: first, he was very aggressive, and second, he was acrimonious. Does his signature confirm the two points? Yes, it does. The beginning stroke of the first letter (S), which starts below the baseline, shows Jobs was resentful and he often misplaced his anger. And because he had a right slant, he often expressed his feelings without inhibitions.
The second point is about aggression, which is seen in the angular stroke at the beginning of j in Jobs and. When this angularity appears in the middle zone, the writer has a tendency to show aggression in his day-to-day life.
However, such a writer, because of his impulsive attitude (shown by the right slant of handwriting), regrets his actions later. So did Jobs. Here is the proof: About his face-off with Sculley and subsequent departure from Apple, Jobs told a Stanford graduating class in 2005: “It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life’s gonna hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
Hard-working Jobs was a ‘genius’: Former eBay Inc chief Meg Whitman said recently: “Steve Jobs is the business genius of our generation. His contributions to Apple, his contributions to technology, frankly his contributions to America, are unparalleled in the business world. He is amazing.”
According to graphology, people who have simplified handwriting are intelligent. Steve Jobs’s signature is plain and simple. No embellishments, no unnecessary strokes. Plus, Jobs is someone who likes to see jobs done fast, quickly, indicated by the pointed tops of his middle-zone letters, such as those in ‘n’ in Steven. Hence, his productivity has been way above average. Now wonder Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has called Jobs the most inspiring person in the tech industry and President Barack Obama has held him up as the embodiment of the American Dream.
Caustic and forceful with words: Ed Niehaus, hired by Jobs to do PR for Apple, said Jobs liked to push others to do their best. “When Steve Jobs weighs in, it is with a simple set of verdicts: insanely great; really, really great; and shit,” Niehaus said. Being chewed up and spat out by Jobs is an experience most Apple employees who have come in contact with Jobs can relate to, a report says.
As per handwriting analysis, a long t-bar is indicative of the writer’s healthy energy to push things forward, and say things in a very forceful manner. Jobs’s t-bar is fairly long, and appears to have been drawn with a firm pen pressure. Such writers are assertive, and they like to ensure their orders are executed exactly the way they want. The confirmation of this attitude is here: “Basically Steve tells you exactly what he wants and you just go build it,” says a former iPhone engineer.
At the same time, Jobs is a humble man: A look at Jobs’s resignation letter tells you that the man’s feet are on the ground. “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,” he said in a brief letter announcing his resignation.”
The letter suggests he is a humble man. But people may look at the tone of this letter with cynicism, and say he was just being formal there. So, we look at his signature to ascertaing if this person for whom people use words such as “ruthless, perfectionist and dictator” is capable of being humble.
The answer again is yes. The moderate size of the signature, especially the first letter, confirms that the larger-than-life Jobs is indeed a humble person. In a report, Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple employee, said: “Most mere mortals cannot understand a person like Steve Jobs. He is the greatest CEO in the history of man. He’s just got a different operating system.”
(Quotes taken from news reports)