1. Steve Jobs iconic commencement speech at Stanford: Top 5 management lessons for professionals

Steve Jobs iconic commencement speech at Stanford: Top 5 management lessons for professionals

Steve Jobs was a man of ideas, and those ideas brought radical and lucrative revolution in the world of technology. Here are top 5 management lessons to learn from the former Apple CEO.

By: | Updated: June 12, 2017 5:42 PM
The essence of Steve Jobs was his personality and it was an integral part of his way of doing business. (Reuters)

Believe it or not, but we should all consider ourselves lucky to have been born and lived in the same time as Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was a man of ideas, and those ideas brought radical and lucrative revolution in the world of technology. The original tech startup creator, before the word ‘startup’ became cool, was once ousted from the company he started. He came back from there and never looked back. Jobs after his return made his way to becoming one of the greatest visionaries of his generation, a big personality in four great industries, a billionaire and as we all know, the CEO of the most valuable company in the world of technology. Apple proved a phone can change the world in just 10 years. Steve Jobs cofounded Apple in his parents’ garage in 1976, was ousted in 1985, returned to rescue it from near bankruptcy in 1997, and by the time he died, in October 2011, had built it into the world’s most valuable company. The essence of Jobs was his personality and it was an integral part of his way of doing business. He acted as if the normal rules did not apply to him, and the passion, intensity, and extreme emotions he brought to everyday life were things he also poured into the products he made. In the year 2005, he delivered a commencement speech to Stanford graduates, and it is the best insight into his life and his management skills. Here are a few excerpts from that speech and what management students, as well as professionals, can learn from them:

1. Be instinctive
“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

“Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Also read | It’s been 20 years since Steve Jobs came back to Apple and changed the tech industry forever

2. Worst is best
One of the worst things to happen to Jobs was his public dismissal from Apple, ten years after he co-founded the company. To add to the humiliation, the board had fired him at the behest of Jon Sculley, an executive Jobs himself had recruited and hired.

“What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me-I still loved what I did. And so I decided to start over.”

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. 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.”

Also read | From iPhone to iPhone 7: Here’s how Apple has changed the smartphone’s design over the years

3. Every day is your last day
“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right’, It made an impression on me.” He added, “Whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure-these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Also read | Watch: Steve Jobs explains why Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7

4. Decisions based on one’s own terms
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.”

“Know that our time in life is limited think carefully about how to spend it. 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.”

Watch the Steve Jobs Standford commencement speech here:

5. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish
While finishing his speech, Jobs wished the graduating students, just as he had always wished for himself: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” This is one advice people from all walks of life should follow. Jobs always did.

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