For an executive in decline, privacy and priorities

Amidst the crush of Steve Jobs coverage, it's worth reading one report detailing the Apple co-founder's priorities as business took a backseat.

I'm not going to add to the mounting pile of Steve Jobs-related stories you've been inundated with in the last 48 hours, but a story this morning by Charles Duhigg of the New York Times offers a great understanding into how the Apple co-founder spent his final weeks.

The report offers a look at the priorities of an intensely private man, showing how a chief executive whose personal image was in many ways co-opted by the public managed to make the most of his decline in health as business took a backseat.

An excerpt:

Mr. Jobs spent his final weeks — as he had spent most of his life — in tight control of his choices. He invited a close friend, the physician Dean Ornish, a preventive health advocate, to join him for sushi at one of his favorite restaurants, Jin Sho in Palo Alto. He said goodbye to longtime colleagues including the venture capitalist John Doerr, the Apple board member Bill Campbell and the Disney chief executive Robert A. Iger. He offered Apple’s executives advice on unveiling the iPhone 4S, which occurred on Tuesday. He spoke to his biographer, Walter Isaacson. He started a new drug regime, and told some friends that there was reason for hope.

But, mostly, he spent time with his wife and children — who will now oversee a fortune of at least $6.5 billion, and, in addition to their grief, take on responsibility for tending to the legacy of someone who was as much a symbol as a man.

It's worth a read, and it takes great pains to avoid a voyeuristic feel. There's not much here that speaks to business technology and thus ZDNet, only a reminder that there's more to life than work -- and yet some of your closest friends may start as business partners.

I found it revitalizing; I hope you do, too.

With Time Running Short, Jobs Managed His Farewells [New York Times]