The Coach's Corner

Fascinating Mentoring by a Dad

May 2nd, 2016 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Somehow I missed Steve Wozniak’s book iWoz when it was published in 2006, five years before Walter Isaacson’s now-famous book, Steve Jobs. My regular readers know I have written several times about Steve Jobs, but I knew very little about his Apple co-founder, Wozniak. At the end of the book, Wozniak states that he wrote the book for two reasons. The first was to set the record straight. The second — and I quote — was “To give advice to kids who are like I was. … Kids who feel they’re outside the norm … who feel it in themselves to design things, invent things, engineer things.”

My biggest takeaway from iWoz was Wozniak’s description of how his dad mentored/fathered him. His father, a Lockheed engineer, was the perfect person for this young, gifted inventor. In his own words, “My dad guided me, but I did the work. And my dad, to his credit, never tried to teach me formulas about gravitational power and electric power between protons, or stuff like what the force is between protons and electrons. That would have been way beyond what I could understand at that point. He never tried to force me to try and jump ahead because I wouldn’t have learned it.” Wow. I’m sure you can imagine how easy it would have been for his dad to push him, like some other famous fathers.

Mr. Wozniak’s perfect mentoring contributed to one of the greatest technological discoveries of all time. Wow!

Question: Would your team say this about you?

p.s. When Steve Wozniak was a child, he says his goal was to build something that would end up allowing him to do something really good for people. I would suggest he accomplished his goal and then some.

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