My parents were going through a challenging divorce, so I was sent to live with my Grandparents in Robertsdale. My Grandfather was from South Georgia and moved to Deerfield Beach, Florida to farm in the 40s. After seeing Deerfield Beach grow from a farming community to a populated tourist destination and retirement community, my Grandfather wanted to retire to a farming community with close access to a major city. When I arrived in Robertsdale, I was immediately at home due to the small community and genuine people.
As a junior at a new school, I eventually met Tim Cook, who was a senior. Tim was one of the smartest students at the school, but I must disclose that it was a very small school and he ended up as the salutatorian of a class of roughly 140 graduating seniors. Tim and I were friends, and I remember spending time with him at my Grandparent’s house, and I recall him being smart and funny. Tim went to Auburn and the last time I saw him was when a few of us went to Auburn for the weekend and we stayed at Tim’s apartment.
Years later Beth Childress, a friend from high school, sent an article about Tim’s rise to COO of Apple. Now I see him on the nightly news as the CEO of Apple and I can’t help but be proud of him. He has excelled due to his talent, intelligence and ability to navigate the challenging waters of working for Steve Jobs and then following Jobs’ legacy.
Tim is now the highest paid CEO in the world and he has made strides in making significant changes at Apple. According to a Forbes article, Cook’s direction since becoming CEO was to build a culture of harmony, which meant “weeding out people with disagreeable personalities—people Jobs tolerated and even held close” (1). Wikipedia states that Cook’s three keys to his leadership at Apple: people, strategy, and execution. “If you get those three right the world is great place”.
I’m so proud of all the things that Tim has accomplished. In addition to his hard work and leadership ability, I, as well as his other Robertsdale High School classmates, can attest to his genuineness and humor. His success is an example that even if you come from a small rural community, you can accomplish your goals.
Now I have to go purchase the new iPhone5S.
(1) “This is Tim Cook’s Apple: A Company Where ‘Mini-Steve’ Gets the Axe”. Forbes. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2013.