Today, Walter Issacson’s authorized biography of Steve Jobs will be released to the general public. Many interesting “leaks” from pre-lease copies have been published over the past few days.

Steve Jobs excelled in thinking differently. Apple iPods changed how we listen to music, iTunes disrupted the music business, iPhones put the mobile telecommunications business into a new trajectory, and iPads created a new segment in the information technology industry. His innovative leadership produced elegant products and software; simple to setup, simple to use, and beautiful to behold. He proved that less could be more.

Brilliant. Visionary. Demanding. Tireless. Perfectionistic. Beneficiary of many accolades. Darling of the strategic thinking set. Excellent pitchman/promoter/presenter.

So, wherein is the sadness?

I wanted my kids to know me

According to ABC News, “in Isaacson’s last conversation with Jobs he asked the one question that has puzzled him for so long – why did the very private Jobs want to reveal so much in a book?

‘I wanted my kids to know me,’ Jobs told Isaacson.  ‘I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.’

I once heard Stephen Covey say, “On their deathbed, no one says they should have spent more time at the office.” Over the past two and a half decades, there has been a substantial increase in work which seems to be due, in no small part, to information technology and by an intense, competitive work environment. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs is not unique in getting the work life balance skewed.

Try This

Check you own work life balance. On a sheet of paper, draw 3 circles (one for each: yourself, your family — spouse, parents, siblings, children, extended family — and your work). Let the relative size of each represent the amount of time in a typical week that you invest in each.  Let the circles overlap to the extent that they actually overlap. What does is tell you? Do you need to make some adjustments?

The world will miss Steve Jobs. Unfortunately, it seems his children already have.

In Other Words…

“One must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery.” – H.G. Wells

“If you could choose just one of the four, would you want your children to grow up to be happy, smart, successful, or good?” – Dennis Prager

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” – Jean Paul Sartre

“Don Corleone: You spend time with your family?
Johnny Fontane: Sure I do.
Don Corleone: Good. ‘Cause a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.”
–  The Godfather, 1972

“Having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain.” – Alan Bleasdale

In the Word…

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” – Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” – Luke 9:25 (NIV)