This week saw the passing of Steve Jobs and Al Davis. Steve Jobs, a native of San Francisco, returned to Apple Computer, a company he co-founded, in 1997 and made it the most valuable technology company in the world by creating products that changed how we listen to music, communicate, consume and create. He is listed on 338 U.S. patents or patent applications. Steve was driven by the desire to create well-engineered, innovative and stylish consumer products.
Al Davis, born in Brockton, MA., was the AFL’s Coach of the Year in 1963. In 1972 while Oakland Raiders’ managing general partner Wayne Valley was attending the Summer Olympics in Munich, Davis drafted a revised partnership agreement that made him the new managing general partner, with near-absolute control over team operations. With Davis as GM, the Raiders won 12 division titles and 3 Super Bowls. Al Davis will always be remembered for his slogans “Just Win, Baby”® and “Commitment To Excellence”®.
Both Steve and Al succeeded because they dared to be different, weren’t satisfied with the status quo, continually innovated and were not afraid to fight for their organizations and personal beliefs. These are truly American qualities that remind us of the founding fathers and great Americans like President Theodore Roosevelt. All of these Americans had one thing in common: they were great achievers. The lesson for us is that we will succeed only by becoming an achievement society, which is the original thesis and position of the American Party®.