“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb
“The man who moved a mountain was the one who began carrying away small stones.” – Chinese Proverb
It’s that time of the year again, the time in which managers sit down with their team members and provide feedback on their respective performance over the prior year. And while these reviews should merely be a confirmation of performance feedback that management provides throughout the year, they are an opportunity for a deeper discussion on the impact of that performance and the trajectory it foretells for us as individual contributors.
Understanding one’s performance in the recent past is always helpful. But what I’ve found to be more important in these reviews are the discussions around professional development – the opportunity it provides for each individual to establish a formal development plan and improve their performance as a member of the team while positioning them for future growth as an individual. Continue reading
“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” – Anonymous
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott
Today’s message is one of courage and perspective. It is a message that will both tug at your heart yet inspire you. It’s a message of perspective, and how things can change in an instant. It’s a message that no amount of planning can prepare you for what life might throw your way. But it is also a message to recognize the strength we all have inside us – if we only knew how to tap in to it. Continue reading
For this week’s Leadership Thought, I thought we might pay tribute to one of the world’s greatest innovators, Steve Jobs. With his recent passing, much has been said and written about the power of his leadership and his relentless focus on innovation. The following article from Carmine Gallo provides a great summary of what he calls Steve Jobs‘ seven rules of success. It’s worth a read:
STEVE JOBS AND THE SEVEN RULES OF SUCCESS, BY CARMINE GALLO | October 14, 2011
Steve Jobs’ impact on your life cannot be overestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.
Over the years, I’ve become a student of sorts of Jobs’ career and life. Here’s my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our “inner Steve Jobs.”
- Do what you love. Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, “I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.” That’s how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.
- Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” Don’t lose sight of the big vision.
- Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn’t have any practical use in his life — until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don’t live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.
- Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned to Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the “A-Team” on each product. What are you saying “no” to?
- Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?
- Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas, it doesn’t matter. Jobs was the world’s greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.
- Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It’s so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don’t care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you’ll win them over.
There’s one story that I think sums up Jobs’ career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that’s the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.