Steve Jobs is known as a perfectionist. He had a passion for design. Who knew that he would also leave a legacy on designing your own personal brand? Here are some lessons from Steve about personal branding.
1) He understood what a personal brand is about. It is your unique essence and impact in the world. Steve reminded us to pursue our uniqueness.
“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.” Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech which has had over 10 million views on Youtube.
2) His personal brand defined all his actions. It was about the relentless pursuit of excellence. It was about innovating, not being afraid to break the rules to be different. What is your personal brand about?
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” – Fortune.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Think Different, narrated by Steve Jobs.
3) He didn’t care about making money. He cared about something bigger. Your personal brand is always about something bigger. So what’s that bigger purpose that drives you?
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” – Steve Jobs’ famous question to John Sculley, former Apple CEO
“I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.” – Wikiquote, as quoted in Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company (2004) by Owen W. Linzmayer
“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” – Wikiquote, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993).
“I want to put a ding in the universe.”
So, here’s my challenge to all of us. How about we live as if our life really counted? How about we start to define our leadership legacy while we still have time to fulfill it? Here’s a parting quote.
“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’ Stanford Commencement Address.
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To create your “Authentic Brand: YOU”: What’s Your Personal Brand
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This article was written by Henna Inam, executive coach, speaker, and consultant. She works with women to help them realize their potential to be authentic, transformational leaders. They create organizations that drive breakthroughs in innovation, growth, and engagement. Her corporate clients include Coca Cola, UPS, Nestle, J&J, and others who know female leadership talent is good for business. To accelerate your own growth connect with her here. Connect on Twitter @hennainam.