Steve Jobs’ death rocked the world this past week. He dropped out of college after only 1 year & co-created one of the most innovative brands in his parent’s garage in his mere 20s. He followed his heart & focused on what inspired him versus fumbling his way through what he “should do.” Not only was a he a leader that people fought to follow but he created an atmosphere of innovation and doing things differently at Apple. Steve Jobs personified Apple and its employer brand of innovation, leadership, and credibility. Apple’s employment brand is strong yet they barely publicize what working at the company is like versus some of their major competitors like Google or Microsoft.
Jobs was not a perfect leader. He had his ups and downs and was so headstrong that he was actually fired from Apple, the company he co-created, in 1985. After his very public banishment, he subsequently founded NeXT (a computer platform) that Apple actually purchased in 1996 and brought Jobs to his role as CEO. Jobs was not afraid of the lime light or telling his career stories including the good, bad & the ugly. He drove trust in Apple as a visionary through his innovative thinking and delivery of consistently doing things differently. With Jobs’ heroic lose to cancer, Apple needs to build on this legacy and expand their employment brand to overcome the loss of their powerful CEO. Time will tell how they do on this mission.
As a reminder of all of the wonderful things Jobs lead & the things he stood for, please see the below quote about allowing innovation to lead your path to great things. If you haven’t yet also watched Jobs’ 1995 commencement address at Stanford, do so here:
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.
~ Steve Jobs
~ Steve Jobs
My Final Thoughts: Do you have an inspirational leader within your company? Do you use them to lead your employment branding efforts & set the tone for greatness within your company culture?