The role of the leader. Reflecting on the life of Steve Jobs and his legacy.

It would be impossible to let today pass without paying tribute to Steve Jobs, the charismatic leader who drove Apple to it’s pinnacle of success and who, to a greater or lesser extent, changed how we all think about and interact with technology.

Much is being written about how he was a visionary, how his perfectionism went to extremes and how the was ‘the control freaks control freak’. The myth, already dominant within his lifetime is sure to persist beyond the man. I only knew him through the media, through his reputation, through his broadcasts, so could add nothing to these interpretations.

What i am most interest in is how he was a leader and how he came to represent the attributes that he exhibited and demanded.

There is no doubt that he was a wise man: wise in terms of technology, wise in terms of business, but wise in terms of life as well, particularly as he came to face his own mortality. A wise man can look to the logical, look to the emotional and chart a path that follows the best of both. He will take risks, but build trust. The attributes that he demonstrated, the slightly counter culture stance, the confidence, the clarity of vision, these are the things that attracted people to follow him.

When speaking to students a few years ago, he exhorted them to follow their hearts, to find out what they loved to do, to remain restless. This restlessness, the love of what he did, this desire to question and challenge may be the greatest legacy. Nobody lives forever, you can build a pyramid, but it will crumble. Maybe the greatest legacy is to inspire the next generation, to live on through your ideas, to pass the inspiration on.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Experience, Inspiration, Leadership, Legacy, Motivation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The role of the leader. Reflecting on the life of Steve Jobs and his legacy.

  1. Julian – I enjoyed reading this. I watched the clip of his speech to students that you speak about again today. I hadn’t realised that he didn’t graduate. I found the insights he shared with the young students just about to embark in the world simple yet often a take on life that is widely overlooked at the most, or at least dismissed. We could all learn a thing or two from his approach to life. Thanks for posting this.

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