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There is a terrific piece in the new Fast Company taking what it calls the "long view" of Steve Job's life and career, concluding that he was a complicated and often difficult man who nevertheless does not merit the demonizing that he receives in some quarters.

An excerpt:

"Steve was someone with a deep hunger for learning, who breathed in an education wherever he could find it, from his youthful pilgrimage to India to his key mentors and his longtime colleagues at NeXT, Pixar, and Apple ... He learned from his many failures and relentlessly applied those lessons. This wasn’t an obvious process - Steve always preferred to talk about the future rather than the past, so there are very few examples of him reflecting on his triumphs and missteps, or acknowledging a lesson learned. But like most of us, he tried to use what he learned to take better advantage of his strengths and temper his weaknesses. It was a lifelong effort, and, like most of us, he succeeded in some ways and failed in others.

{Steve was always changing. Thinking of him this way casts him in a very different light from the more common view of him as a stubborn force of nature. It reframes what those of us fascinated by and engaged in business can draw from his example."

You can read the entire story here.
KC's View:
To be clear about a couple of things ...

The Fast Company serves as a kind of executive summary for a new book, "Becoming Steve Jobs," by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, which comes out in about a week ... and to be honest, I've already purchased it, and can't wait for it to show up on my iPad.

It strikes me that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from Jobs' capacity for change ... and his ability to evolve from one kind of leader (lousy) to another (highly effective).

One other thing. It is important to note that Apple cooperated with the authors of this book ... and that they did not cooperate with the producers of a new documentary, "Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine," that has been described by those who have seen it as tough and unrelenting in its assault on Jobs's hagiography. So Apple may see the book as a preemptive response to the documentary.

The thing is, I'm also really looking forward to the documentary, just as I'm looking forward to the Aaron Sorkin-written film, based on the great Walter Isaacson book about him, that will star Michael Fassbender.

Jobs certainly was no saint. But it is hard for me to think of another corporate executive who has had as much influence over how I live my life on a day to day basis. I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same way.

He's fascinating. I can't get enough of this stuff.