Leadership

Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein both attributed their extraordinary success to this personality trait

Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new iPhone that was introduced at Macworld on January 9, 2007 in San Francisco, California.
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Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new iPhone that was introduced at Macworld on January 9, 2007 in San Francisco, California.

Though Steve Jobs was born a little under two months before Albert Einstein's death, both the visionary co-founder of Apple and the most influential physicist of the 20th century agree that one trait was at the heart of their success: intuition.

With the iPhone turning 10 today, the mobile device serves as a longstanding testament to Job's successes and intuitive nature.

In his self-titled biography, Jobs touted the power of intuition and described its impact on his work at the helm of Apple. "Intuition is a very powerful thing," he told writer Walter Isaacson, "more powerful than intellect."

Notably, Merriam-Webster defines intuition as "quick and ready insight."

At the time of its launch, competing smartphones, like Blackberry, were using QWERTY keyboards and styluses. The iPhone's innovative design featuring a multi-touch screen, completely revamped the style of smartphones as we know it and propelled Apple as a leader in mobile technology.

In a 2005 Stanford speech, Jobs again credited his intuitive mind as having a significant impact on his work. "You have to trust in something," he said. "Your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever."

Jobs added, "This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

Rewind a few decades and Albert Einstein was facing criticism for challenging centuries of scientific thought.

One would assume that Einstein favored logic over intuition, but the reverse is true. Einstein is widely quoted as saying, "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant."

The objection to Einstein's groundbreaking theory of relativity in the 1920s was unprecedented and extremely fierce, but the physicist followed his instinct and stood by his work. Einstein's general theory of relativity is now renowned as a pinnacle of modern-day physics.

"All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge," Einstein once told a friend, according to Psychology Today. "At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason."

See also:

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