Tim Cook took the stage in front of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. today, to give the commencement speech for George Washington University’s class of 2015. Cook accepted the invitation back in February, and is being awarded an honorary doctorate from the school.
Most of the speech is typical affair for a graduation address—”your values matter; they are your north star,” etc.—but Cook has sprinkled in some interesting anecdotes from his childhood and early days at Apple. He also talks about the impact that Steve Jobs had on his life.
Here’s a video of Cook’s speech, first spotted by 9to5Mac:
And here is one of my favorite tidbits regarding Steve Jobs:
“I always figured that work was work. Values had their place. And yes there were things that I wanted to change about the world, but I thought I’d have to do that in my own time, not in the office. Steve didn’t see it that way. He was an idealist. And in that way he reminded me of how I felt as a teenager.
In that first meeting, he convinced me that if I worked hard and made great products, we too could help change the world. And to my surprise, I was hooked. I took the job, and changed my life. It’s been 17 years, and I have never once looked back.”
As you’ve probably figured out by now, Tim Cook is a superb public speaker. And given his journey from humble beginnings, to the CEO of the world’s most profitable company, he likely has a ton of wisdom to impart. If you have the time, I recommend watching this speech.