Growth Mindset profile – Steve Jobs

Entrepreneur, innovator, inventor, pioneer – there are many ways to describe Steve Jobs.

The man behind Apple has been credited with revolutionizing the personal computer world, before going on to conquer the fields of phones and music as well. However, life wasn’t always easy for this visionary, especially where building the Apple Empire was concerned. In fact, Jobs is often referred to as one of the world’s most famous failures, something that can be an inspiring talking point for student motivation.

If you are looking for a growth mindset role model that can help motivate students, Steve Jobs is a perfect personality to choose

Growth Mindset.

The Steve Jobs story

Jobs was born in California, and was given up for adoption.

He lived with his parents in San Francisco, and though intelligent, struggled to retain focus in school. He developed a love for electronics at an early age, and began experimenting with the early ideas of Apple after meeting Steve Wozniak in 1971. Apple would go on to become a massive success, amassing a value of $1.2 billion after it’s first day of trading. However, as the next few models suffered from design flaws, stock fell, and Steve Jobs was eventually fired from the company he started. He would return to Apple in 1997 as CEO, and oversaw the renewal of the brand as we know it today.

Jobs frequently tried new things and took risks, entering into areas of technology that were unprecedented. He rose to a challenge, and was persistent despite facing numerous setbacks and failures. For these reasons, he is a perfect example of a growth mindset individual, and so having your class study his story is a great way to instil these values in your students.

How to motivate students using Steve Jobs as an example

Steve Jobs is a prime example of somebody that views failure as feedback.

Jobs encountered numerous setbacks throughout his career, whether it was related to product development or business issues. For many people, being ousted from a company they built from the ground up would be considered a prime example of failure, but rather than accept his fate, Jobs immediately turned his attention elsewhere and founded a new company.

Ask your students, would they enjoy music on their iPods, or games on Apple computers, if Steve Jobs had accepted this failure? Remind your students about this approach to challenges and difficulty, and to embrace failure as an opportunity rather than a limitation. This quote from Steve Jobs is a brilliant summation of approaching failure and change the growth mindset way, and so you may wish to have it visible in your classroom for inspiration:

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”