13 inspirational quotes from Apple CEO Tim Cook

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Highlights From Apple CEO Tim Cook's Commencement Speech

As the CEO of Apple, it's Tim Cook's job to lead the most valuable company in the world.

And, long before he became CEO, Cook was responsible for managing all of the company's sales and operations worldwide. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about success, leadership, organization, and innovation.

Here are a few of Cook's most inspiring quotes pulled from interviews, essays, and commencement speeches he's given in recent years.

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

Said during his commencement speech at George Washington University in 2015

"It's been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It's also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO of Apple."

On being gay, written his essay published in Bloomberg

See Tim Cook throughout his tenure as CEO:

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13 inspirational quotes from Apple CEO Tim Cook
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures on stage during an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. announced the new MacBook as well as more details on the much anticipated Apple Watch, the tech giant's entry into the rapidly growing wearable technology segment as well (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in front of an MacBook on display after an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. announced the new MacBook as well as more details on the much anticipated Apple Watch, the tech giant's entry into the rapidly growing wearable technology segment as well (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook waves from stage after an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. announced the new MacBook as well as more details on the much anticipated Apple Watch, the tech giant's entry into the rapidly growing wearable technology segment as well (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., right, waves to customers while leaving the sales launch for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the Apple Inc. store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Apple Inc.'s stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones. The larger iPhone 6 Plus is already selling out at some stores across the U.S. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., left, and the band U2 gesture during a product announcement at Flint Center in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Apple Inc. unveiled redesigned iPhones with bigger screens, overhauling its top-selling product in an event that gives the clearest sign yet of the company's product direction under Cook. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 16: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event on October 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the new iPad Air 2 tablet, iPad Mini 3 and a Retina iMac. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 02: Apple CEO Tim Cook walks off stage after speaking during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC which is typically a showcase for upcoming updates to Apple hardware and software. The conference runs through June 6. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 17: (CHINA OUT) Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., visits a China Mobile shop to celebrate the launch of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on China Mobile's fourth generation (4G) network on January 17, 2014 in Beijing, China. Apple Inc. and China Mobile Limited, the world's largest carrier with over 760 million subscribers, signed a deal on December 23, 2013 after six years of negotiations. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., displays the iPad Air for a photograph during a press event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Apple Inc. introduced new iPads in time for holiday shoppers, as it battles to stay ahead of rivals in the increasingly crowded market for tablet computers. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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"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."

Said during his commencement speech at George Washington University in 2015

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

Said when speaking to Bloomberg about the change from iOS 6 to iOS 7

"There's this thing in technology, almost a disease, where the definition of success is making the most. How many clicks did you get, how many active users do you have, how many units did you sell? Everybody in technology seems to want big numbers. Steve never got carried away with that. He focused on making the best."

On Apple's vision and Steve Jobs' legacy when speaking to Fast Company

"We see that privacy is a fundamental human right that people have. We are going to do everything that we can to help maintain that trust."

Said to NPR when speaking about privacy

"He's not given credit as a teacher. But he's the best teacher I ever had by far. There was nothing traditional about him as a teacher. But he was the best. He was the absolute best."

On Steve Jobs when speaking to Fast Company

"So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy."

On his decision to come out publicly, written in his essay published in Bloomberg

"It's about finding your values, and committing to them. It's about finding your North Star. It's about making choices. Some are easy. Some are hard. And some will make you question everything."

Said during his commencement speech at George Washington University in 2015

"There are times in all of our lives when a reliance on gut or intuition just seems more appropriate -- when a particular course of action just feels right. And interestingly I've discovered it's in facing life's most important decisions that intuition seems the most indispensable to getting it right."

Said during his commencement speech at Auburn University in 2010 (via Fast Company)

"Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one's sexuality, race, or gender."

On being gay, written his essay published in Bloomberg

"We weren't first on the MP3 player; we weren't first on the tablet; we weren't first on the smartphone. But we were arguably the first modern smartphone, and we will be the first modern smartwatch—the first one that matters."

On the Apple Watch, when speaking with Fast Company

"Apple has always had the discipline to make the bold decision to walk away."

On the philosophy behind Apple's product development, when speaking to Fast Company

More from Business Insider:
Apple has developed a way to prevent your iPhone from getting too hot that shows the company's obsessive attention to detail
It's already possible to 'jailbreak' the iPhone 6S and install whatever you want on it
The cofounder of Apple talks about how Steve Jobs viewed innovation and instilled it into the company's products

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