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Lessons learnt from Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple - one of the greatest speakers ever

19th November 2009

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and former chief executive officer of Pixar Animation Studios was featured in one of The Times series from The 100: Insights and lessons from 100 of the greatest speeches ever delivered, by Simon Maier and Jeremy Kourdi

Steve Jobs is considered a leader of the technology revolution and one of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial greats. He has superstar status and whenever he speaks there is not an empty seat. Many believe that the two are inextricably linked: Jobs is Apple. That shows the regard in which he is held.

One of his best speeches was the commencement address he delivered at Stanford University in June 2005. There are several key lessons we can take from the speech:

Be Yourself

When Jobs spoke at Stanford his address was simple, frank and open, with opinions expressed about entrepreneurship, work and life. He reflected on what kept him going through challenging times. He understood that people wanted to hear what made him tick. It is the stories of what makes the person that mesmerise. People want to know why — and how — you’re up there speaking to them. So tell them. Wearing jeans and sandals under his black university robe, Steve Jobs delivered an address that spanned his adoption at birth to his insights into mortality. His speech struck a balance between the obstacles he encountered during his very public life and the lessons he learned.

Be Honest

People like honesty even if it is painful (to you or them) and they warm to it. Jobs said: “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 . . .”

Click here to read the entire Times article

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