Special Posting: Steve Jobs

Yesterday Steve Jobs one of the most influential  and courageous business leaders in history died at the peak of his productivity and creativity.  His innovations and spirit touches a huge segment of humanity every single day.  To honor him I post one of my favorite quotes from his 2005 commencement ceremony speech at Stanford University with huge relevance to all of us engaged in a life journey of growth and self actualization.  He will be immensely missed in a world where there are so few leaders occupying the “high road”

“Our 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.”




About Kaveh Naficy
Kaveh is the leader of Heidrick and Struggles executive coaching practice in North America. Kaveh focuses on working with leaders placed to make transformational and creative changes in their organizations. Kaveh has a proven record of success in harnessing the strengths of these leaders to achieve accelerated business solutions. He is able to create significant insights through reflective thinking, presence, and disciplined follow-through. Executives who have worked with Kaveh say that his strengths are his deep insights into the realities of the current and future business world, accelerated scanning of the environment and competition; creative out of the box thinking, and leveraging the collective intelligence of their teams and creating the organizational culture to support and foster the appropriate organizational design and strategies. They also point their deep trust and personal connectivity with Kaveh, his coaching approach, and style.

2 Responses to Special Posting: Steve Jobs

  1. Adam Schorr says:


    I’m curious to hear your thoughts about Steve Jobs’ leadership given his reputation for often treating employees very poorly.

  2. Kaveh Naficy says:

    Adam. this is such a great point. thank you for raising it.

    Naturally as an executive coach, I don’t agree with that style of leadership. I believe there is a clear distinction between a strong leader and a “hard”: leader. a leader can make the same point by asking excellent questions and having his or her employee become an “an engaged learner” or simply present his or her point of view, explain the underlying assumptions and engage in a constructive and appreciative conversation, fully knowing that at the end of the day the leader reserves the right to make the final decision.

    In my view, Jobs represents a rare breed that sensed a vision so clearly and was so energized in accomplishing as much of the vision within his life time that he lost patience with any form of disagreement , detour or deviation and demonstrate it through impatience. This does not excuse the behavior and certainly even more damaging for the average leader who is nowhere as creative and visionary as steve jobs was. finally to be fair, from what I know of steve jobs he also engaged in a lot of extremely kind and giving activities and when i wrote about the “high road” that he traveled on what I was referring to is that in my view he was always in the service of his clients and consumers.

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