A Death in Cupertino | The Right Kind of Tyrant

“ 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.”


Steve Jobs


Founder and CEO of Apple

From his Stanford University Commencement Address, 2005



Picking an article to share with you about the passing of  Steve Jobs is an impossible task with so many that knew him sharing their impressions on one of the most important entrepreneurs in history.

We have a saying in Vistage:  “We invite CEOs to our group but human beings show up.”  To get a sense of what was important to this truly remarkable and essestial human being, I’d like to share with you the 15 minute video of his 2005 Stanford Commencement speech.     I found it incredibly inspirational, and I hope you will share it with your friends, family and employees.

This inspiring speech, however, should not blind us to the fact that Steve Job’s management style was often very different from the warm, fuzzy and friendly feeling you get from using his products or visiting the Apple store at  the mall.  For some insights into the management style that made Apple the most valuable company in America, check out this article which suggests that if Steve Jobs was often a hard man to work for,  he was, in fact,  “The Right Kind of Tyrant.”

Thanks, Steve, for all you have given us.  Rest in Peace


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