What allowed Jobs to focus so intently was his ability to prioritize, says Cook: “His thinking was so pure. He wasn’t trying to maximize his wealth, or anything else.”
Jobs did become quite wealthy in his time leading Apple. But that was because Jobs never chased the cash, according to Cook. Jobs obsessed over making excellent products that people wanted, and the money followed.
Most CEOs get the priorities flipped, but Jobs “never did,” says Cook.
Jobs was similarly ruthless in prioritizing his time outside the office.
“He also, more than any individual I have ever met, had a clear pecking order in his life,” says Cook. “And he knew he couldn’t do very many things and so it was family, Apple, Pixar, and very little else.”
That meant that Jobs didn’t travel very often. He wanted to be able to get home and be with his family in the evenings, says Cook.
“I learned a lot from him, not only about being a CEO, but about ways to conduct your life.”