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The Real Transformers

The Real Transformers
Spring 2010 | Volume 33, Number 1 | Features

Making History: Catalysts for Change

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs
Photo of Steve Jobs by Paul Sakuma/Associated Press.

As the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. and former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, Steve Jobs has earned a devoted following by leading the development of products that are both functional and elegantly designed.

Jobs’ understanding of the role aesthetics plays in consumer appeal has helped to transform the way people do business, connect with their world and each other, experience entertainment, and even tell stories.

Other entrepreneurs have contributed to today’s digital and technological revolution, among them Bill Gates of Microsoft and Google co-founder Larry Page. What makes Jobs’ transformational leadership stand out is a unique trait: failure.

At the height of his success with Apple, Jobs was publicly fired from the very company he founded. It was a devastating moment, he shares, and yet he sees that moment as the best thing that could have happened to him. Forced to start over, Jobs says he entered perhaps the most creative period of his life. And a few years later, he found himself back at Apple and able to usher the company into a renaissance of innovation and influence.

“People relate to his story of failure,” says Daniels. Jobs says his failure helped him realize he was free to be less sure of things and to explore what he loved to do — which gave him opportunities he wouldn’t have had otherwise. This message and his vulnerability point his followers beyond his accomplishments to the realization that good things, even great things, can come from failure.


Winston Churchill

Rosa Parks

Martin Luther King Jr.

Mother Teresa

Oprah Winfrey

Steve Jobs

Nelson Mandela

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