Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

You can learn a lot about a manager by the debris he or she leaves in his or her wake.  Some managers leave a trail of broken and disillusioned people behind them that never recover from getting run over by the manager.  Others leave behind high-performing leaders that go on to do great things.

People working for the best managers perform better when they work for that manager – and after they have done so.  See  Wake Analysis on People Development Skills for why.

It’s a wonderful feeling to plow through time occasionally looking back at the high performing people smiling in your wake.  It doesn’t happen by accident.  You have to decide it’s important to you.  You have to invest the time and energy to make it happen.  Make those choices.  A lot of people will thank you.  Certainly a lot of people at Apple will be thanking Steve Jobs.  See my note on Why Apple is Doing Well Without Steve Jobs for more on how Tim Cook did as interim CEO, suggesting he’ll do great as full-time CEO as well.

Steve Jobs’ wake analysis will be different than most others’.  Steve’s vision, risk-taking and follow-through in the pursuit of new and amazing things leaves behind an entire world of people like me whose lives have been measurably improved both rationally and emotionally, all of whom owe Steve a huge debt of thanks.