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3 Lessons from Steve Jobs

August 26, 2011

In case you weren’t aware, Steve Jobs is retiring. To commemorate his contribution to society, I propose three lessons educators can learn from the man behind the Mac.

1.    Perfect the Presentation

Most people associate Steve Jobs with the iPod, iPad, iPhone and any other i-product. But that’s just consumer goods Steve Jobs. In the business world, the man behind the Mac is equally as renowned for his public speeches and presentations. When Apple launches a new product, the whole world leans forward on the edge of its seat. That’s the sort of attention that a teacher should command from her students. But it doesn’t come easy. Steve Jobs is known to practice his presentations to the point of perfection…and it shows. Watch some of his keynote speeches. Notice how every word is carefully chosen and every pause intentional. Capture your students’ attention like Steve Jobs captures his audience, and you will own the classroom. After all, people like to be inspired, not lectured.

2.    Never Settle

Those who have had the privilege of working with him know that Steve Jobs never settles for “good enough.” He not only demands perfection in everything he does, he demands it from everyone around him, too. It doesn’t make him the most liked boss in the world, but you can bet his employees respect him…because they know the results are worth the extra work. Don’t just expect perfection from your students, encourage them to expect it from themselves.

3.    Inspire Innovation

Steve Jobs is synonymous with innovation. Not only is every Apple i-product a game changer in its category, they also inspire entirely new industries out of thin air. If it weren’t for the iPhone, there wouldn’t be app developers. Help your students do more than learn from the past; inspire them to create the future.


Steve Jobs will go down in history as one of the greatest business minds of all time. Of course he has an intangible brilliance that you can’t teach. But if it weren’t for his determination and work ethic, his innate talents would never have been realized to the extent of success that Apple embodies. Encourage your students to emulate Steve’s ambition and passion, and who knows, maybe one day one of them will create the world’s most successful company.

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