Steve Jobs, Rules of Success, and the Bible
- Jan. 30, 2012
- Robert Tamasy
When Steve Jobs died in 2011, he left a legacy of achievements that dramatically changed our way of life. As co-founder of Apple, Inc., he was a central figure in the personal computer revolution. Apple’s Macintosh, introduced in the early 1980s, transformed how we thought about and used computers. Jobs also co-founded Pixar Animation Studios, which blazed new trails for computerized film animation. Before his death, Apple’s iPads, iPhones and iPods helped open unimagined communication and entertainment horizons. Jobs’ life and work touched virtually every business and professional person.
Jobs was one-of-a-kind as a visionary, pioneer and innovator, but we can all benefit from principles that guided his success. Recently Entrepreneur.com published an article describing Jobs’ “seven rules of success.” Although Jobs was not known to be an adherent of Christianity, each of his rules of success aligns with biblical principles established thousands of years ago. Let’s look at them:
1. Do what you love. Jobs stated, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” The idea of having passion and purpose in our everyday pursuits is summarized in Colossians 3: 23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward….”
2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs once asked the CEO of a major beverage company, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” He advocated a strong, compelling vision. Proverbs 29:18 offers a similar idea: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
3. Make connections. Jobs’ thought was to become rich in varied experiences and connect ideas from different fields. This idea of connections is supported in Romans 8:28, which states, “And we know that God works all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
4. Say no to 1,000 things. Keeping a well-defined focus was important for Apple, as Jobs steered away from promising products that could have undermined his company’s expertise and success. In the Bible’s Old Testament, Proverbs 4:27 states, “Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”
5. Create insanely different experiences. In developing Apple’s retail stores, Jobs wanted customers to have a profound, enriching experience. Jesus espoused a similar, “others first” attitude when he taught, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).
6. Master the message. Even the best ideas, if not communicated effectively, are of little value, Jobs realized. For a similar reason, the apostle Paul wrote, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders…. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to respond to each person” (Colossians 4:5-6).
7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs understood the importance of appealing to people’s desires, hopes and ambitions. Jesus offered similar motivation to his followers: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist for 40 years, he is the author of Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.
1. As you think of products and innovations that started with Apple Computers, and then were utilized by other technology companies, what has been the impact of entrepreneur, visionary and pioneer Steve Jobs on your life – directly or indirectly?
2. What other individuals, in business or other life pursuits, have had similar impacts on everyday life and work, in your opinion?
3. Unique individuals like Steve Jobs come along rarely, perhaps once in a lifetime. But which of his “rules of success” do you think could be helpful in your own professional endeavors?
4. There is a saying: “All truth is God’s truth.” In other words, whether people acknowledge the source or not, truths and universal principles for life exist because God created them to be so. Do you agree? Why or why not?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses:
Proverbs 1:7,20-33, 11:30, 13:20, 14:23, 16:26; Ecclesiastes 9:10; John 18:37-38; Romans 12:11