Steve Jobs: Life Lessons for Catholic Leaders

Steve Jobs died yesterday.

I’m mourning him today.

And, I’m thinking about the impact of his life on the world.

Steve Jobs did change the world. I really admired him.

Not just for the products he created. But also for his attitude, perseverance, and genius in marketing.

All this has been a huge influence on me for catechesis and evangelization.

Steve Jobs dared to dream

The thing about Steve Jobs is that he dared to dream.

He went full speed ahead. He didn’t let failure, disappointment, and even betrayal stop him.

He was ousted from the company he founded only to come back, save it, and then make it a meteoric success.

He innovated. He created. He changed the face of business. He changed the world…through computers. How much more could we change the world through God?

What if we dared to dream? What if we didn’t mire ourselves in outdated models of communication? What if we embraced the possibilities that might come through innovation?

I don’t mean to the content of the Faith, but to the way it’s delivered.

The greatness of Steve Jobs

To me Jobs was great not just because of the iPhone and all that other stuff. He was also great because of the way he delivered all those great products and creations.

Jobs is great because of his genius in marketing. He’s great because he understood motivation and how to get people behind a dream. He’s great because he understood the power of simplicity and focus.

Steve Jobs wasn’t out to make computers! He was out to make a dent in the universe! And, he infused that huge thinking into every part of his organization. He knew that to make Apple great, everyone had to have that vision. Everyone had to believe that dream.

If no one inside the organization had that vision, no one on the outside would have it either. And Apple would just be another company. Not a game changer. Not a life-changer.

How many within the Catholic Church have that kind of vision? How many parish staff are content to do things the same old way just because that’s the way it’s always been done? How many in diocesan leadership don’t communicate the awesome, life-changing vision of Jesus Christ to their members?

The Church exists to evangelize! But we’re content to sit back and cater to the Cradle Catholics. We make the Church no more than a sacramental “filling station.” Not the beacon of light to the world.

Steve Jobs was a product evangelist. We need more Jesus evangelists.

Steve Jobs mattered

Steve Jobs made his mark on the world by being who he was to the nth degree.

That’s something all of us can seek to emulate…but maybe not exactly in the same way.

Fear is what holds us back. Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of making mistakes.

We need to live our lives to utmost making as much as we possibly can of the talents and spiritual gifts God gave us. And, we want to infuse that personality and drive with God’s grace. God can take away fear. Grace can make you all you’re meant by God to be.

The impact of a life fully lived on the world is evident in Steve Jobs! Let’s make our lives count for God!

Life lesson takeaway

Lesson to learn from Steve Jobs…think different! Dare to dream!

Don’t let fear stop you from making your ideas reality. Don’t let failure and disappointment define you.

Think, innovate, change, grow, work, work hard, and make a dent in the universe!

What is your legacy? How will you make a dent in the universe?

In the words of Steve Jobs, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Image credit: Matthew Yohe


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  1. “The Church exists to evangelize! But we’re content to sit back and cater to the Cradle Catholics. We make the Church no more than a sacramental ‘filling station.’ Not the beacon of light to the world.” Marc, I couldn’t agree more! Well said!

  2. nice reflection………could be mistaken, but did you miss the most important “lesson”………..the power, the beauty, the dignity of adoption!

    imagine if steve jobs had been aborted! Wow, what a different world.

    Let’s commend our Catholic faith for the willingness to proclaim the sanctity of life!

    • Marc Cardaronella says:

      So true! Definitely shows the beauty of adoption over abortion. I read somewhere today that Steve Jobs was a testament to the power of life. I totally agree.

  3. Marc,
    Your post also makes me think of the impact we Catholics could have if we stood together on things. Sometimes we don’t work together or “dream” together to make a huge impact on the world around us. For example a few people are into pro-life work and a few people want to defend family life more in society, a few others want to do social justice work, etc. Imagine if we fulfilled our dreams more through collaboration and not only encouraging people to live it but actually working together to fulfill our dreams. May the Holy Spirit continue to set our hearts on fire so we can then set the world ablaze! Great post Marc!

    • Marc Cardaronella says:

      That’s so true William! I do really think we are all over the place in what we emphasize in the Church. A few simple points to focus on could make our message stronger. That’s the way Steve did it! He didn’t try to do everything with his products. Apple products only do the important things and do them very well. That’s a something we could work on. Of course, with a billion Catholics, that’s a tough one. I think the Pope does try with his messages. Maybe we need to listen to him and get behind him more huh?

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