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

3 Response to “A Personal Branding Lesson from Steve Jobs ”

September 12, 2011
11:47 am

Comment :

It’s odd to see in industry icon step down, isn’t it?. I mean, usually we usually view them as a leader…and not just in their company, they are a great example of hard work & success and they touch our lives – indirectly, but very personally, such as Steve Jobs did – we look up to them. It’s not like it happens every day – but what I try to remember, when someone “bigger than life” does make a huge move…whatever they do – is that they are human. Although it sounds health related in Steve Jobs’ case – we may or may not have the whole story – we really don’t always know what promps peoples decisions…but we need to keep in mind that they are human and whatever prompted such decisions were probably more personal than we know – and frankly, it’s none of our business. I – along with so many, wish Steve MUCH luck and sucess in health and whatever his next career step is – everyone deserves to be happy and healthy with their lives.

Mary Rosenbaum
September 12, 2011
1:54 pm

Comment :

Those are great sentiments Jeanne. Thank you for sharing them. It is amazing how he has left his imprint on so many people without ever having met them. Truly a man who has succeeded in changing the world! Thanks again.

October 15, 2011
7:17 pm

Comment :

Steve Jobs was the perfect example of what can happen when you actually believe in the product that you sell. I think that many business lost sight of the fact that they need to believe in themselves and their businesses. After all how can you promote or sell something that you don’t believe it in. The passion you have for you business will show and it will also show if you have no passion as well.

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