3 Steve Jobs Qualities All Leaders Should Aspire To

Is there anyone left still grousing about the iPhone 4S? If so, there shouldn't be. Steve Jobs' passing is a stark reminder that life is too short to not follow our hearts -- an admonition he delivered to Stanford's 2005 graduating class in a now-legendary commencement speech. 

As an investor and consumer of iGear, I'll miss Jobs' insistence on quality. As a human being, I find myself wanting to share in his passion for living life at capacity.

I've been writing about Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) for the better part of eight years now. In that time I never once met Jobs and rarely spoke to any of his team. Yet as my Foolish colleague Evan Niu writes, I never felt disconnected from Apple. Jobs got under my skin in ways other leaders couldn't.

Maybe it was the marketing. Jobs put on a magnificent show in introducing the iPod in 2001 (find the video in our live blog stream from last night). "Your whole music library in your pocket," Jobs said in introducing the device. Simple, understandable, brilliant marketing. Apple would go on to sell hundreds of millions of iPods, making billions for investors.

Or maybe it was his attention to the tiniest detail. How Jobs would personally call dissatisfied customers or insist on the proper color scheme for a new product. He elevated the same artistry present in great software design to hardware design, and in the process he changed the way we visualize a computer. Every tablet maker and smartphone seller -- from Google to Samsung to Amazon.com -- owes him thanks.

Or maybe it was his enthusiasm. Jobs cared. Maybe too much at first -- the Apple board fired him, after all -- but as he told his Stanford audience, he never lost his love for the company he co-founded. I suspect we all knew that, and in a way it helped us trust that Apple's products were made with the sort of care you'd expect from a parent coddling a child. The sort of care that leads to trust, and repeat purchases.

Or maybe it was a combination of all three. All I know for sure is that Steve Jobs is gone but not forgotten. I'm staring at his legacy -- the screen of my MacBook Pro -- as I write. Thanks, Steve, and thanks to your family for the time you spent away helping to make products for the rest of us.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, and Amazon.com and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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