This is a weekly blog post about two students’ experiences in the Master of Business Administration program at Stevens-Henager College. Subscribe to the blog to follow their weekly updates and to gain insight into the skills and concepts they’re learning in the program.
Sara: I found out about it the moment it hit the news. I was doing research on the internet for my homework assignment for the MBA612 Leadership Theory course. I had my iGoogle homepage opened in the background, which has a Twitter gadget filtering in my Twitter feed. It started with someone tweeting a quote from Steve Jobs. A few seconds later, someone else tweeted about how great he was. Was? Why did that person use the past tense? And then I saw it—a tweet that said Steve Jobs had just passed away.
It’s been amazing to see the flood of respect, condolences, and mourning expressed about Jobs. People from all walks of life have shared their thoughts, from fellow innovator Bill Gates, to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to the president of the United States. Said Barack Obama, “Steve was among the greatest of American innovators–brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.”
As I’ve spent the past 3 weeks learning about leadership in my MBA course here at Stevens-Henager College, I can’t help but be astounded by the incredible leadership legacy that Jobs leaves behind. He was a motivator and an eloquent speaker, a master of larger-than-life product reveals. He was scrupulous and demanding, once having said, “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” But most of all, he was a visionary. He was able to visualize products that people wanted before they even knew they wanted it. And because of that, Steve Jobs transformed the world by transforming the technology we use to experience it.
Megan: Sara, you’re absolutely right. Steve Jobs was a talented and determined leader paired with incomprehensible vision and a natural understanding of technology. As I watched several of his videos that bloggers and techies had posted in his remembrance, there was one lesson that really stood out to me; it was a lesson of what a visionary leader could accomplish.
Steve Jobs quoted Wayne Gretzky who said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has already been.” This quote is inspirational in and of itself but then when the video ended, it stopped on an image of a young Steve Jobs with the popular advertising slogan, “Think Different” along side his face.
That one shot represented the type of leader Steve was as well as the type of leader I would hope to be. Yes, Steve Jobs was a fantastic leader, but what made him memorable was that he lived and practiced the things he promoted and taught. He was constantly “thinking different.” He was always looking for the next answer to what consumers would want. And because of his diligence, he lived a life full of success. I have to agree with the official Apple statement that “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”