58. "When we laid some people off at Apple a year ago, or when I have to take people out of their jobs, it's harder for me now. Much harder. I do it because that's my job. But when I look at people when this happens, I also think of them as being 5 years old. And I think that person could be me coming home to tell my wife and kids that I just got laid off. Or that could be one of my kids in 20 years. I never took it so personally before. Life is short, and we're all going to die really soon. It's true, you know."
Where: Fortune, Nov., 1998.
Jobs is referring to the personal difficulty of laying off employees after he had children of his own. The professional duty of firing an employee, although he knew it was best for the company, affected him on a personal level; demonstrating a compassion for people in the workplace, previously believed to be nonexistent.