Recognize These Clear Signs: Could You Be One of These People? p.2

Steve Jobs, the illustrious co-founder of Apple, once shared his insights on the most telling sign of high intelligence.

Many of us have notions about what constitutes intelligence, from exceptional general knowledge to sharp common sense.

Judging by his phenomenal success with Apple, Jobs was undeniably a brilliant mind. Although some might attribute his success partly to serendipity—being in the right place at the right time with the right product—he also needed immense savvy and strategic acumen to bring his vision to fruition.

Jobs, who passed away in 2011, certainly demonstrated these qualities, but what did he personally consider a hallmark of high intelligence?

In a 1982 speech to the Academy of Achievement, a mere six years after Apple’s inception, Jobs shared his perspective: “A lot of it is memory. But a lot of it is the ability to zoom out, like you’re in a city and you could look at the whole thing from the 80th floor down at the city.

“And while other people are trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B, reading these stupid little on-the-ground maps, you can just see it in front of you. You can see the whole thing. And you can make connections that seem obvious to you, because you can see the whole thing.”

Judging by his management style at Apple, Jobs’ innovative approach wasn’t just about products but also about how he interacted with potential team members.

Known for his ‘beer test’ during interviews, Jobs often took candidates for a walk or a drink to get to know them in a more relaxed setting.

Far from the traditional high-pressure interview environment, Jobs aimed to break down barriers by asking questions such as “When was the last time you accomplished something?” or simply, “What did you do last summer?”

This informal method was part of Jobs’ strategy to attract top-tier talent, or ‘A-Players,’ who excelled at working in high-caliber groups. “I found that when you get enough A-players together, when you go through the incredible job of finding these A-players, they really like working with each other,” Jobs once remarked, highlighting the importance of assembling a team of highly capable and compatible individuals.

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