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8 Inspiring Ways Steve Jobs Changed the World

Apple’s success can be ascribed to two things: visionary leadership and innovative leadership



how steve jobs changed the world

With Steve Jobs’s resignation as the CEO of Apple, the world went into a tizzy. Scrip fell and recovered gradually. He is one of the most iconic CEOs in the world and is a leadership icon who always sets high standards for innovation. He changed the way people use technology through constant innovation.

Apple’s success can be ascribed to two things: visionary leadership and innovative leadership. Steve was a rare leader who possessed these two leadership traits and integrated them effectively to put Apple on the international map. He became synonymous with Apple and here are the hallmarks of his leadership.

Steve = Passion

Follow your passion as your passion ultimately delivers the goods and determines your destiny.  It is a fact that the people who pursued their passions rather than money earned both name and fame and carved a niche for themselves.  

The success of the iPod is possible because Steve passionately spent four hours a week, 50 weeks a year for 12 years, discussing with software, hardware, and design experts to come up with the most brilliant ideas. 

Research reveals that given the choice between passion and money, it is the passion that counts, not money.  When you work in your passionate areas you enjoy your life and provide meaning to your life.  

Over some time you will be contributing your best thus delivering amazing outcomes. When people work in their passionate domains they don’t feel that they are working anymore as they don’t get stressed out due to their deep involvement, commitment, and passion.

Such people create their own identities and build their own brands.  In the long run, they are recognized and rewarded. Then money starts flowing gradually. In contrast, when people opt for money and work they ruin their health as they don’t enjoy their lives and ultimately spending for doctors whatever they have earned.

Steve = Vision

Steve is such a visionary that where the imagination of others stops there starts his imagination and that made him stay ahead of his competitors. 

Steve has clarity of mind. He knows where he would like to go and how he would take his people there. He created imagery pictures for his people and connected with them effectively.

He is a great speaker who communicated well and articulated his vision effectively with his people. Only when vision is strong and well-articulated leaders can easily achieve their goals.

Steve = Focus

Steve is focused on his goals and objectives. He knows where his heart is and worked throughout his life with dedication thus hitting the bull’s eye.  

He says, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

Steve = Example

No leader can influence others easily except through example. Steve stands for example. He dedicated his life to technology and lived up to it. He walks his talk delivers his best and expects the best from others.

It will have a tremendous impact on others thus contributing their best for organizational effectiveness and excellence.

Steve = Tenacity

Steve is noted for his tenacity and resilience. He has been fighting since the early days. He was an adopted child and survived by selling Coke bottles and having free meals at the Hare Krishna temple in Oregon.  He did not lose his heart when he was fired. 

On his ouster from Apple Steve said, “It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.  Sometimes life’s gonna hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”  He focused on his work rather than blaming his circumstances. 

He pursued his passion for technology. When he was recalled to Apple many doubted his capabilities in the then-prevailing business environment.  He proved his critics wrong and put Apple on top of the world through his passion and perseverance.

He displayed tremendous tenacity since childhood by fighting against several odds stacked against him including cancer. 

Steve = Persistence

When we look at Edison he failed several times to invent the bulb.  When asked about the same he said that he did not fail but he had learned several ways that did not work to invent bulk.  Hence, it is persistence that makes people achieve big.  

Steve stands for persistence.  He failed a number of times in his professional life.  But every time he learnt lessons and moved on without any regrets. 

He once remarked, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

Steve = Excellence

Aristotle said, “Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.” Steve acquired the quality of excellence by constantly working in technology.  He emphasized on value addition to the existing products and services through his constant innovation and creativity. 

He believed in excellence rather than perfection.  He raised the bar for himself and others. It ultimately led to excellence thus staying ahead of others in the race. 

Steve asserts, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” 

Steve = Apple

Currently, Steve is synonymous with Apple and he created such an impact in the minds of people globally. His successor Timothy Cook has a tough challenge ahead.

Whenever charismatic leaders left their successors felt the heat.  Leaders always find it tough to meet the aspirations and expectations of customers and consumers.  In the case of Timothy, it is very tough as his predecessor left a strong legacy who was charismatic and whose impact is deeply felt all over the world. However, Timothy would sail smoothly as Steve’s departure was well anticipated in advance due to his poor health, and succession was laid much earlier. 

When the legendary Jack Welch left GE, the scrip fell and his successor Jeff Immelt found it tough to match the charisma of Jack Welch.  However, through his soft leadership, Jeff could gradually fill the slot by molding as per the prevailing business environment. 

Similarly, Timothy would evolve gradually as a leader with his own identity.  However, it is still difficult to match Steve’s charisma.

Steve falls into the category of hard leaders and transactional leaders like Jack Welch who means business with a task-orientation mindset. 

Although it is not appreciated currently it is still prevalent and we cannot altogether get out of hard leadership as people are different and leaders are different in their attitudes, aptitudes styles, and temperaments.  

Steve becomes an amazing case study for many; be it for students or executives who proved that everything is possible in this world through passion, vision, mission, execution, and above all, innovation.

Most charismatic leaders hit their horns and create a leadership vacuum.  They make their absence felt more. 

Although Steve is a charismatic leader he paved the succession smooth but his absence will be felt more with his resignation. By leaving as CEO of Apple Steve handed over a big job for his successor Timothy Cook.

Steve = Legend

When the entire technological world got into rate race and so-called PC wars, Steve trod the path less traveled thus becoming a trailblazer and legend.  He started as a small fish in a big pond and ultimately became a big pond of innovation and excellence. 

He rewrote the rules of business and changed the way technology works. He made a qualitative difference in the lives of people through his technological contributions. 

He is remembered not only for his outstanding contributions but also for his visionary and innovative leadership in the world.

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

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