It isn't often that I write a tribute to someone who has died, but I found that I was affected by the sad death of Steve Jobs. Death sometimes has that impact on me, particularly if it was someone I saw as brilliant. Michael Jackson was the last occasion where this happened.

But it is strangely different with Steve Jobs. For a start, I managed to avoid the Apple empire almost entirely. I don't have an iPad, Pod or Phone. I sit in the Microsoft, MP3 player, Android camp. So why the impact of his death on me?

The answer is simple. It is to do with the way he lived his life, aligned with who he was. It is to do with his taking the risks many of us avoid, for all sorts of rationalised reasons - not the right time, I won't make it, let's play it safe, etc. Steve Jobs had nothing to do with those ideas. He lived his life to the full, followed his intuition, and wasn't afraid to take what seemed like the more difficult path at any point in time, with faith that things would work out in the end.

I never forgot the words he used in his famous address at a Stanford graduation. Words that would grace anyone in the personal development arena.
• Follow your heart in work, as with all things. If you do what you love, you'll do great work.
• Don't settle for things that don't make you happy.
• Trust your instinct - life's events will make sense in hindsight.
• Accept setbacks and move on, not losing sight of the bigger dream.
• Live every day as if it's your last, because one day it will be!
• Take the things you learn with you, as you will use that learning some day.

I first watched this video as I was in the throes of deciding to leave a well-paid job, with a potential partnership track, to strike out self-employed just a few months after the banking crash that ushered in the biggest recession since the thirties. Right advice, right time, and I acted on it.

His life is also testimony to the fact that you can have setbacks and recover to do great things. He was adopted, dropped out of college, was fired from Apple first time round, and was diagnosed in 2004 with the cancer that eventually killed him. Did any of these things stop him, make him sorry for himself, or deflect him from his mission? Not a bit of it! This fact, in itself, is inspirational.

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man. He achieved so much, revolutionising the way things are done in our society. He wasn't perfect, and I don't think he would ever claim that. He was brilliant in what he achieved. But he was also brilliant in the way he achieved what he did, and in the enduring values of life and death that he embodied.

For me, that is the greatest tribute that can be paid to anybody. His words and actions are an anthem to how we should live our lives. He was taken away too soon, but will be remembered forever.

RIP Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited - don't waste it living someone else's life".

Author's Bio: 

A published author and coach consultant, Mark has 25 years experience of helping people develop their leadership, power and career to become the best they can be. His motto is 'bringing personality to work, and work to life'. He owns Brilliant Futures, and can be found at