The people that inspire me most are “possibility thinkers.” These folks truly look at what is not and create. To me, Steve Jobs, the co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc. has always been one of those people. 30 years ago venture capitalists asked him, “Why would anyone need a home computer?” Few of us can live without one now.
He is a possibility thinker. He is the speaker of one of my favorite quotes. In an attempt to bring on Pepsi Executive John Sculley in the early 80’s, Jobs famously said, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world.” For a time, that quote was written in my office as a way to remind me that my business is supposed to be world-changing.
I think the church needs a healthy does of possibility thinkers. Anyone can tell you why something won’t work. It takes special people to dream big dreams and pursue meaningful ideas. Jobs deeply believes that what he does is the most important and meaningful thing he could be doing. And for that reason, he is not a great salesman, but a true believer. And it works! Jobs, and the culture he helped shape at Apple, is always chasing the thing that no one has thought of yet. Or a way to make the existing thing the best it can be.
He realizes that to change the world we need large, expansive and compelling ideas. That’s what people respond to. For that reason, there is now a sign in my office that simple reads, “What if…”