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A Personal Branding Lesson from Steve Jobs

Mary Rosenbaum | August 30th, 2011

With the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple I was reminded of the power derived from having a vision and recognizing your purpose in enacting that vision. You have to be fearless and willing to take a stand, go out on a limb and reach for what you want to accomplish, no matter what.

The outpouring of support of someone who so few knew was remarkable. He was able to touch so many through the way they were entertained, the way they did business, and the way they communicated. He built a tribe of supporters and followers who gladly lined up days in advance of the release of every new innovative product Apple came out with. Why? Because they knew that it would be a game changer, that was the promise Jobs made to them. It was his unique promise of value – his personal brand.

Steve Jobs’ vision was to be a change agent. Back in 1983 when he was hiring John Scully away from Pepsi he asked him this question: “Do you want to make sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to have the chance to change the world?”

I wrote a piece on how the WHY of what you do is so important in developing your unique brand and used Apple to illustrate my point. Steve Jobs’ vision, his WHY, was that he wanted to change the world and he did. Developing the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad were what and how he accomplished his vision. The WHY is what keeps people committed to Apple and their products.

Twitter was overwhelmed with comments and accolades the day Jobs resigned. Comments like:

“Funny how much emotion you can feel about a stranger…”

“… every phone call I make, every time I’m on the computer, he’s part of it”

“… defined a generation and changed the world.”

“Thank you for teaching me that good will never be enough.”

“… he is the greatest leader our industry has ever known.”

Steve Jobs is clear on his personal brand and he communicates it in everything he does. His vision defines his purpose and his goals. And it’s not over yet. But we all know, he will be a tough act to follow.

Check out my article on FoxBusiness.com on personal branding.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru