The Apple Company and the African Shoes Story

The Apple Company and the African Shoes Story

Dear Students,

The topic of my sharing today is: The Apple Company and the African Shoes Story

Over the years, many students have asked me this same question – how can I be successful in my future career?  What I told them is, life in the working world is very different from school.  There are no clear rules so to speak.  But there are principles you can follow to increase your chances of career success.

The first thing to develop a great career is to equip yourselves with knowledge, different kinds of knowledge.  A lot of you here may be using the beautifully designed i-phone.  But do you know why the founder of Apple Company Mr. Steve Jobs could invent something so nice and popular?  Steve Jobs once dropped out of college but he continued to attend Calligraphy class.  Day after day, he has developed a deep understanding in the art of calligraphy which turned out to be so useful when he ran the Apple company.  He once stated, “If I had never taken the Calligraphy course, the Mac computer would have never had multiple typefaces and proportionally spaced fonts.”  This story tells us that the knowledge you gain today, no matter how irrelevant it seems to be, may make a big difference in future. 

Second, never mind going an extra mile.  In the working environment, some people are very calculating.  They do not do less but they do not do more also.  They don’t understand that if they just do a little more, thing may happen in a completely different way.  Let me tell you a story here:

A boss asked his two salesmen to go to Africa to sell shoes. Salesman A told the boss, “Look!  The Africans do everything bare-foot.  There is no market for our shoes.  I will not go there.”  Salesman B, on the other hand, said, “Fine, boss.  I will do that.”  He took the shoes with him and flew to Africa.  When he arrived there, every African was without shoes.  He decided to wear the shoes pair by pair and walked, and ran, and jumped and even kicked the rocks in front of the Africans.   For the first two weeks, he was a joke and was laughed at.  But soon, the Africans started to realize that a pair of shoes could actually protect their foot.  I do not need to tell you the rest of the story.  Yes, the salesman made a great profit in Africa, returned to his own country and got a promotion in the company.

Dear students, if you want have career success, remember what Steve Jobs said and the African shoes story.  Equip yourselves with knowledge and never mind going an extra mile.  Thank you.