Leadership

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

The CEO of Apple shares his insights into life and business, and how he takes a bite out of life every day.
10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between
Image credit: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Reporting Intern
3 min read

When Tim Cook was named CEO of Apple in October 2011, he knew he had big shoes to fill. Yet, the Apple employee never attempted to be Steve Jobs, or anyone else for that matter: He knew himself, and trusted his gut.

Related: 20 Apple Watch Tips to Help You Work and Play Better 

Born in Robertsdale, Ala. in 1960, Cook graduated second in his high school class, going on to study at Auburn University and finally Duke University for his MBA, graduating in the top 10 percent.  

Immediately securing lofty positions at companies like IBM and Compaq Computers, it was his unexpected yet brilliant decision to transfer to Apple in 1998 that catapulted Cook’s career. Calling the move “My most significant discovery so far,” in a commencement speech to Auburn’s class of 2010, Cook claims the decision came from within: the voice of intuition said “Go west, young man, go west.”

Since Cook was named CEO, Apple acquired Beats, released the Apple Watch and AirPods, and has seen stock soar. Check out these 10 quotes from the technology leader and innovator behind the products we use every day.

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On success

On success
Image credit: Entrepreneur

“Winning has never been about making the most.”

--Tim Cook

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On innovation

On innovation
Image credit: Entrepreneur

“Some people see innovation as change, but we have never really seen it like that. It’s making things better.”

--Tim Cook

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On motivation

On motivation
Image credit: Entrepreneur

“Be the best, not the first.”

--Tim Cook

Related: 7 Daily Practices That Power Your Motivation

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On intuition

On intuition
Image credit: Entrepreneur

“I don’t think that you’re born with gut instinct, a gut matures and gets better over time, the struggle that most people have is learning to listen to it.”

--Tim Cook

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On legacy

On legacy
Image credit: Entrepreneur

"History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you."

--Tim Cook

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On goal-setting

On goal-setting
Image credit: Entrepreneur

"Let your joy be in your journey -- not in some distant goal."

--Tim Cook

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On changemaking

On changemaking
Image credit: Entrepreneur

"If you embrace that the things you can do are limitless, you can put a ding in the universe. You can change the world."

--Tim Cook

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On perseverance

On perseverance
Image credit: Entrepreneur

"The sidelines are not where you want to live your life. The world needs you in the arena."

--Tim Cook

Related: What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? Perseverance.

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On character

On character
Image credit: Entrepreneur

"You don't have to choose between doing good and doing well. It's a false choice, today more than ever."

--Tim Cook

10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between

On work ethic

On work ethic
Image credit: Entrepreneur

"There's a big difference between loving to work and loving the work."

--Tim Cook

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  • 10 Quotes from Tim Cook on Inspiration, Intuition and Everything In Between
  • 1. On success
  • 2. On innovation
  • 3. On motivation
  • 4. On intuition
  • 5. On legacy
  • 6. On goal-setting
  • 7. On changemaking
  • 8. On perseverance
  • 9. On character
  • 10. On work ethic
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