Monday, June 03, 2013, 11:35 am PT (02:35 pm ET)
Duke's Fuqua posts video of Tim Cook speaking at class reunionIn April, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed leadership while at his class reunion at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and Fuqua has now posted snippets of Cook's remarks, giving an insight into the style of the man who took over Apple in Steve Jobs' wake.
Fuqua has posted (via Mac Rumors) seven segments from Cook's interview so far, covering collaboration, career planning, intuition, ethical leadership, and more. Asked by an interview attendee about the importance of following rules and the dictates of professors, Cook responded that it's more important to blaze a path than to stick to the norm.
"I think you should rarely follow the rules," Cook said. "I think you should write the rules. I think if you do follow things in a formulaic manner, you will wind up, at best, being the same as everybody else."
Cook quickly expanded that advice to include companies.
"If you want to excel, you can't do that. I've watched a lot of companies do that, and I think that's a rotten strategy," Cook said. "Maybe they'll be good for a few months or something."
Cook also spoke on the leaders he found most inspirational, pointing to Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The Apple head said that photos of the two men are the only photos he has in his office, noting that he looks at them every day.
I think you should rarely follow the rules. I think you should write the rules." Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook
Cook has seen no small measure of success in the years since assuming the CEO position, with Apple's products achieving record sales and the company's stock experiencing record highs. Last year, Time named Cook one of the most influential people in the world.
Cook earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from Auburn University and his M.B.A. from Fuqua before taking on roles at Intelligent Electronics, IBM, and then Compaq. Steve Jobs brought Cook into the Apple fold in 1998 for the role of Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations, where he transformed Apple's manufacturing operations, largely through sourcing those operations to manufacturing partners. Cook moved up to the Chief Operations Officer role in 2007.
Cook finally took the reins at Apple following Steve Jobs' resignation in August of 2011. Prior to that, Cook had temporarily served as Apple CEO in 2004 and 2009 as Jobs battled pancreatic cancer. He also serves on the board of directors of Nike and the National Football Foundation.
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