In early September, Apple CEO Tim Cook played to a full house at the Flint Center for Performing Arts — the same venue where the original Mac was announced more than 30 years ago — to introduce Apple’s newest products. Co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs made Apple events into a marketing spectacle, and since Jobs’ death Cook has struggled with finding his stride on a stage that Jobs once commanded.

Apple's Most Exciting Offering: CEO Tim Cook | Insigniam Quarterly Fall 2014

But this event, perhaps because it ostensibly featured the first set of products fully overseen by Cook, was different. There was an energy that got journalists and consumers alike excited about the new products and had many surmising that the most exciting new product unveiled was Cook himself in the role of Apple’s transformational leader.

Cook and company witnessed positive results from his showing less than one week later. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, preorders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus exceeded 4 million in just 24 hours. And both the tech and financial worlds are buzzing about Cook’s “one more thing,” the Apple Watch, which is the company’s first new product in four years.

While no one can fully replace an innovative visionary like Steve Jobs, it’s clear that Apple is in the business of creating not just cutting-edge technology, but also the kinds of transformational leaders that will keep them ahead of the competition.

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