I watched lately the movie "Jobs" and it happened also to start reading the book a month ago, I haven't finish it yet. Well, first of all, it sucks to read a book and then watch the movie, it was my first time that this happened to me (ok it happened to comics and comic movies as well, but I don't think it is the same). In the book, you can see much more characteristics of his personality and many more incidence that happened and how he reacted.
But my point about this post, isn't to say about the difference between a movie and a book, but to say something that really bothers me. Do not admire all of a person's personality only because he did something great. Jobs did many bad things, he manipulated many people to achieve what he believed great (and many times it wasn't) and he didn't care too much about others. Even to his friend, Wozniak, who was the real pioneer and the guy who put the real work, behaved bad and betrayed him.
Nobody can disagree that Steve was a pioneer and he really saw something that most people wouldn't. But I hate it when people say they want to be like Jobs or they see how much their personalities resemble with his. It is good to admire some nice characteristics he had but you should also see it when his behavior was bad and not try to explain every bad thing you do with what he achieved and how Jobs did it.
I think it is important to have role models in your life and admire people. For example, I read an article about how Russia has so many GMs in chess. One reason is the inspiration that a player has, when he sees great players everywhere. The same happens to everything, if you see someone who can achieve something great, it may inspire you to try it by yourself, especially if you are living close to him and know him personally.
But it is also very important to distinguish the good parts from the bad parts of a person, especially when you don't really know him. For example you may admire a great chess player because he plays amazing chess, but you have to remember that you don't really know him. Admire only his way of playing chess, his personality could be really shitty. In the case of Jobs, because he has become a symbol of innovation, everything he did, seemed like the only way and the best way it should be done. Even the bad things, seemed reasonable for many people. No. Sorry. Admire a person for the good things he did and only. Don't copy the bad acts.
Ok and now the one million dollars question. Should we have role models? Well I believe it is good to have people you admire with what they achieve, because you see that there are people who overcome boundaries. They can achieve things which seems impossible and they can push the world forward. If we didn't have role models, we may stay stale. Can you move forward without having a role model? That's a good question, I don't know. The only thing I know, is that It is great to "stand on the shoulders of giants" and recognize that this is the reason you can see so far away. To some people, this also give a motivation to try to be giants and help other people stand on their shoulders...