Apple’s former CEO shares the secret to success that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates taught him

| Entrepreneurship

There are few guarantees of success in this world. But your best chance of achieving it is by choosing a “purpose-driven life,” says former AppleCEO and longtime business veteran, John Sculley.

Sculley has called on young people to heed a lesson he learned from tech icons Steve Jobs and Bill Gates some 40 years ago.

“My advice to you is … (to) choose a purpose-driven life,” the 80-year-old said in a recent address to graduates of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Sculley said his eyes were first opened to the idea of finding “purpose” in the 1980′s. At that time, both Jobs and Gates were working on their respective “noble causes” of empowering people through technology.

”‘Noble causes’ were words I had never heard before,” recalled Sculley, who was famously lured from Pepsi to Apple in 1983 when Jobs asked him “You want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

But discovering and working toward a purpose has now become more important than ever, said Sculley. That’s because the pace of change has sped up and with it, the way we work, he told CNBC Make It.

“If you’re a young person entering the workforce, you’re now in exponential times,” said Sculley.

“In the past, people would just sit in,” he said, referring to the old, operational nature of work.

“Today, it’s more possible to have a purpose-driven life,” Sculley continued, saying that it’s now easier to work entrepreneurially and imagine and implement new ideas, regardless of where you are in your career.

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