Inspirational Business Leaders: Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs died a year ago this week at the age of 56. His obituaries and eulogies record his most notable achievements such as his founding of the Apple Computer, the development of computer peripherals that we now take for granted such as the mouse, his development of computer movie graphics at Pixar Animation Studios, and, of course, his launch of the phenomenally successful iPhone and iPad series. Though these are remarkable achievements on their own, they would probably not be enough to accord Jobs the distinction of being one of the most inspirational business leaders of our times. For that, we have to look at one simple but generation-changing speech.
Steve Jobs: the Stanford Commencement Address of 2005
In 2005, Steve Jobs was invited to deliver the Commencement address at Stanford University, California. The speech has become known as a gospel to a whole generation of young people. At a stroke, it turned Jobs into one of the most inspirational business leaders of this century. The speech blends in a personal, philosophical, and entrepreneurial way Jobs' own experiences and lessons on life. Here's just a bit of what he said to the graduates in front of him:
"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
Steve Jobs: a Distinctly Modern Business Leader
Most inspirational business leaders earn their reputation from groundbreaking books, theories, or ideas. They leave it to others to apply them and make them work. Steve Jobs did it the other way round. He made things work first and then learnt important lessons which he passed on to others. It's just possible in this ever-changing world that, in a hundred years time, Steve Jobs will be remembered as much for inspiring a generation in how to live as he will for pioneering the most memorable products of the early 21st century.
More Links to Steve Jobs' Life and that Speech
Here is a link to view and read the address that cemented Jobs' reputation as one of the most inspirational business leaders of our time.
See and read the top 5 commencement addresses ever made here.
Read Steve Jobs' extraordinary life story here.