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Steve Jobs’s 10 Principles to Success That Everyone Needs To Learn

Steve Jobs’s 10 Principles to Success That Everyone Needs To Learn

Though Steve Jobs has passed away, his legacy will be with us forever. Steve was undoubtedly a very successful entrepreneur.

Here are ten life lessons about success that we can learn from him:

1. Learn how to anticipate the future

Steve Jobs once quoted Wayne Gretzky, saying:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

Steve Jobs has been a living proof of this quote all of his life. Apple has reaped the benefits from Steve’s ability to anticipate future trends. They dominated the digital music sales (shrinking the market of CD music sales), while the iPhone has also revolutionized the phone industry by introducing a very sophisticated touch screen based phone.

The ability to anticipate the future is very important if you want to achieve your goal and be successful. An example of how we can apply this to our life is by visioning what we want to be in one year (or five years, ten years, and so on) from now. By having the vision, we can anticipate future roadblocks and prepare to overcome them. For example: if you are currently working as an employee, but see your future self as an entrepreneur, you can start learning the skills that might be beneficial for the future you.

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2. Focus on the positive

Steve Jobs was an adopted child. He could have easily hated his life (and his parents – both biological and adoptive) and started to get involved with negative things during his teenage years.

However, young Steve Jobs kept focusing on the positive: he was thankful for his loving adoptive parents, he also found a positive channel (technology and computer) to pour his energy into, and in the end we all know what he achieved.

You too, can benefit from the power of positive thinking. If you are the kind of person who often sees the glass as half-empty, try to start focusing on the positive things in your life, and you will surely reap lots of benefits from it.

3. Fail forward

Everybody fails. It’s how you respond to those failures that make all the difference. In 1984, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple.

At Stanford’s 2005 commencement address, he had this to say about it:

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

The lesson that we can learn from Steve’s story is: we should not fear failure, because failure is not the end of the road. We must take failure as the opportunity to learn and improve ourselves, and success is inevitable.

4. Travel the world

The year before he founded Apple, Jobs journeyed to India. Travel has a way of broadening a person’s perspective and expanding their sense of what’s possible  – those are both traits an entrepreneur needs.

Travelling doesn’t have to cost you lots of money, or lots of time. A simple weekend getaway to another city nearby might be enough for you to experience new things and broaden your horizon.

5. Find the right partner

Steve Jobs didn’t start Apple alone. He had a great partner in the form of Steve Wozniak, who complemented Job’s skillset very well.

Likewise, you need to pick the right partner in your life so that you can be successful. The people who you surround yourself with, might make or break your life. So, choose wisely and it will help your way to success.

6. Obstacles are opportunities in disguise

Jobs and Wozniak ran out of money while developing the first Apple computer. Instead of giving in, Jobs sold his van and Wozniak sold his graphing calculator. When there’s a will, there’s a way.

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Learn to see obstacles as opportunities in disguise. Once you do that, there will always be ways to overcome those obstacles.

7. Take risks

Steve Jobs was willing to cannibalize his company’s products in the name of progress. Many CEOs would have been hesitant to develop the iPhone, knowing full well that it would help to make the iPod obsolete – but Jobs did it anyway (and took a big bite out of the lucrative mobile market).

Most of the time, we need to take risks in order to move forward. Just be careful and make sure that the risk that you took was a calculated risk. Think thoroughly, weigh the best and worse scenarios of an action against each other, and then you can decide whether the risk is worth taking.

8. Surround yourself with great people

Not only did Steve Jobs have Steve Wozniak as a partner, he also worked with Tim Cook, Johny Ive, and John Lasseter (Pixar CCO). Steve Jobs has surely surrounded himself with great people that have a lot of strength. This has enabled Jobs to create massive success with not only Apple, but also Pixar.

You can learn from him and make sure that you surround yourself with great people (people who complement your skillset) in order to achieve success.

9. Remember you’ll be dead soon

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

When you are confused, scared, embarrassed, or anything, just remember that you’ll be dead soon. Life is short; so make sure that you make it count.

10. Don’t be shy to learn from others

In high school, Jobs attended lectures at a computer technology company called Hewlett-Packard. Before turning 21, Steve had worked for both HP and Atari. He saw what these companies were doing and learned what he wanted to do differently with Apple.

You too can benefits from learning from others. I personally see this with many people who tried to achieve a certain goal (e.g.: lose weight). They have been trying really hard, however they are not seeing any results. Sometimes, help from a coach is all they need. It provides them with morale support, accountability, expertise, and a structured plan that helps them get results and achieve their goal.

If you feel like you are stuck in certain areas of your life, do not hesitate to ask for help from the experts. Sometimes that little help is all you need to start getting results and be successful.

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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