Speedy Recovery to Steve Jobs

18 Jan

This morning, reading my usual news feeds (and other gossip blogs) I came across a news report that Steve Jobs – CEO of Apple- is taking a ‘medical leave of absence’ in order to care for his health. (hence the term medical leave of absence)

I did some research about the dude and here’s what I came across: (thank you He’s got a pretty impressive resume and I’ve listed a few highlights (my favorites)

– Jobs served as Chief executive in Pixar

– Was on the board of the Walt Disney company

– He is the co-inventor in over 230 patents most in the technology field, i.e. computer, portable devices, speakers, keyboards, power adapters, (the list goes on and on and on…)

Overall the guy is pretty cool. And so the million dollar question of the day:

How much is he worth?!?!

Well, it’s not a million dollar question – but a BILLION dollar question –

According to Forbes (2009) his estimated wealth: 5.1 BILLION!

That’s a LOT of Mr. Washingtons…. (think of how many books I could buy with that!)

But the story is not all roses and rainbows. Even the richest dudes are not infallible.

In 2004 he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. In January ‘09 Jobs announced a six-month leave of absence until the end of June 2009 to allow him to better focus on his health.

Then he had a liver transplant in April 2009….

Make a very LONG story short – just today Jan 17, 2011 (only 1 ½ years after he returned from his liver transplant) he was granted another medical leave of absence.

“In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June."

One of the articles stated that since 2008 he had been losing weight (which many people were questioning) and Jobs said that it was a mystery to both him AND his doctors.

“A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority. Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause — a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.”

He continued on to say….

“The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it.”

Well, my friends – the moral of the story is quite simple:

Even the wealthiest people – with billions of dollars – can’t buy health.

It hits home, and while my sympathies go out to the maker of the iPad – I love this powerful lesson! The playing field is level when it comes to health and no one is immune (pun intended Smile)

What’s YOUR #1 Priority?

I do have to add one more interesting thing I noticed from Steve’s statements:

“I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.”

From all the articles I read on this story, this guy has obviously been visiting doctors on and off for the past few years, and he says plainly that even the doctors were stumped by his condition. (sadly, this is NOT uncommon and wasn’t surprised to hear that). But the most important lesson here –

“it needed to become my #1 priority” –

Here’s a guy with a billion dollar corporation, he’s the CEO – he’s the man behind it all – he’s not easily replaceable that’s for sure! (As my hubby says “he’s a maniacal jack ass but he’s an incredible visionary and an amazing business man”) – but here is a man with the weight of a huge company on his shoulders realized his health needs to come first. Stepping aside, and letting his board take over, he’s acknowledging that if he wants to continue being Steve Jobs – ALIVE – and CEO of Apple, then he needs to make some changes and take care of his health.

So, I ask all of you – if this Busy busy guy, with millions of dollars and employees depending on him, can admit that he needs the time off, surely we can do the same in our lives and put “#1 priority” where it belongs.

Jackass or not – the CEO gives us quite a powerful lesson Smile


2 responses to “Speedy Recovery to Steve Jobs

  1. Marci

    January 18, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Conversely, it’s easy to make health a number 1 priority when you have the ability to let your money make itself while you focus on other things. Now to get where he is requires incredible drive and force, so I’m not saying that letting of the reins will be as easy for him as it is for others, but our choices as the average working-class are correspondingly difficult.

    My health insurance covers 200$ of medical of yearly maintenance medical; which corresponds to roughly 1 physical and 1/3rd of a gynecological exam. At my age, I’m expected to have both yearly for proper maintenance. Do I alternate? Look for cheaper doctors? Suck it up and pay the other ~150$ out of pocket?

    Currently my doctor wants me to report in to her office for monitoring twice a week? Hoppie and I were going to these doctor visits together, but neither us can really afford the 3-4 hours off work these visits take. So do we “risk my health and the health of the baby.” We can’t just not work. We need those jobs to pay for the baby and my health. And if I’m about to go on maternity leave, I want my company happy with me when I go so I have a happy place to return. A place that will be flexible and recognize that I now have yet another demand on my time.

    I’m by no means suggestion that Steve Jobs is not doing the right thing, or that focusing on health maintenance is not the right thing, but there are very real risk/reward balances. I had a friend in college who owned a company with his father in Texas and I remember being appalled that his company did not provide insurance; as many companies in Texas at the time did not. When his brother was in a motorcycle accident, the family was wealthy enough to pay the costs of treatment for brother and brother’s gf and I remember thinking, “What if it had been any of his employees? What recourse would they have right now? Would they be able to afford the skin grafts and surgeries?”

    I know that I’m lucky to live in a proactive insurance-first state and work with very sympathetic bosses and a moderately supportive company, but I also recognize that I’m not typical. If I were a store clerk, or a bookseller, or a barista at Starbucks, I wouldn’t have the flexibility to work my schedule around the monitoring my doctor wants. Every hour I was unable to show up at my job would be taking money away from the family I was trying to build.

  2. mrsduby

    January 19, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Hey Marc,
    wow what a story ! Well, theres no simple answer. I got feedback from a few different people saying a similar thing – that at least Steve Jobs has the luxury of affording a 6 month leave from work! So thats not so simple forsure.

    I appreciate you sharing your story about the difficulty with doctor visits and maternity leave and i really hope that your company doesnt give you issues with it… what a shame that corporations aren’t more flexible with these kinds of situations… its not like the employee is being lazy – these are REAL life scenarios …. hohum.

    once again Marc, thanks for the comment !!!!!!


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