7 Inspirational Quotes by Steve Jobs on Leadership

Words of wisdom from Apple's original innovator.


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Steve Jobs was the definition of an innovator, tirelessly toiling away at his vision and dream - turning Apple into an incredible reality. As one of the most creative minds of the 20th and 21st century, he forever changed how we communicate with one another and the scope of how we use technology today. Often called a rebel, but above all a visionary, these 7 inspirational quotes by Steve Jobs on leadership can encourage us all, no matter what our dreams may be.

1. "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

Short and sweet, this pearl of wisdom is from Carmine Gallo’s 2001 book The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs which revealed the qualities that made Jobs one the most innovative leaders in business in recent years.

2. "I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next."

Always thinking of the future, Jobs uttered these inspiring words during a 2006 interview with NBC's Brian William when discussing the opening of the Apple Store in Midtown Manhattan.

3. "Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work."

Jobs's commencement address to Stanford University's graduating class of 2005 has achieved iconic status and has been viewed by millions around the world. It was full of inspiring lines that have motivated budding entrepreneurs to this day, including this showstopper.  

4. "My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better."

In an exclusive 2008 interview, Jobs talked with Fortune senior editor Betsy Morris about the keys to Apple's success.

5. "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

This one is also from that infamous day at Stanford University. For plenty more words of wisdom, check out what else Jobs had to say as well as six other amazing graduation speeches here.

6. "If you want it, you can fly, you just have to trust you a lot."

So simple yet so powerful, Jobs was quoted as saying this inspirational line in Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

7. "Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use."

This came during an enlightening one-hour program starring Jobs from an exclusive 1994, unscripted interview by the Silicon Valley Historical Association where he gives advice to potential entrepreneurs.