Friday, February 1, 2013

Leadership Profile: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs could look at two seemingly indistinguishable avocados and declare one heavenly and the other inedible. He refused to put a license plate on his car. Early at Apple, he even used to relax by soaking his feet in the toilet.

These are only a few of the many eccentric facts I learned about Jobs through his biography by Walter Isaacson. Like many of you, Jobs is a personal hero of mine. I was fascinated, inspired, and enraged throughout the book. Steve could be both a kind and a cruel man. A genius visionary and an ignorant fool.

Take for example his initial reaction to having cancer. For nine months Jobs categorically refused his doctors' advice to have surgery to remove the tumor. Instead he was the victim of his own Reality Distortion Field, believing it was better to use alternative medical solutions. His advisors told him, "Cancer doesn't work like that. You need surgery”.
We can never know for sure, but there is cause to believe that Steve didn't have to die so young. Had he been a bit more humble he would have elected for the surgery immediately. Who knows what the world would be like today if he were still at Apple's helm.

Then again, had he been a bit more humble, could he have revolutionized no fewer than three industries in his five short decades?

The trouble with Steve Jobs is that he yelled at his employees, cried to his bosses, stole from his best friend, denied his firstborn- and yet was one of the best leaders this world has ever seen.

 By Elizabeth Joy Smith

Sunday, January 20, 2013

To Hyper-Strength and Beyond!

Stop for a minute to name off some weaknesses that you think you have. Now do the same for some of your strengths and skills that you possess. It probably took you a lot longer to name your strengths and skills than it did to name your weaknesses. We all have our weaknesses; we are only human, but we are also capable of great strengths.

My business professor once gave me an assignment to list 100 skills and talents that I possess. The more I pursued this task, the more difficulty I had convincing myself that I could actually complete it. I’ll admit I was stuck after the 10th listed skill, a clear indicator that my focus needed to shift dramatically.  In regards to my capabilities, my assessment was making me quite aware that I had more of a negative perception of myself than a positive one.

We are of course meant to have weaknesses along with strengths, though we are not meant to concern ourselves with the impossible task of completely ridding ourselves of weaknesses, but rather to minimize weaknesses and develop our strengths. In fact, focusing more of our attention on our strengths just widens our window of opportunity.

Perhaps the most important secret to becoming a successful leader starts with a clear understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses and from there building and capitalizing on your strengths while not letting your weaknesses hold you back. It’s those who continue to focus and develop their strengths and move past their weaknesses who become true leaders.

“You are what you allow yourself to become”- Robert Waggoner

Here’s to looking beyond our weaknesses,


Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Starting Line

A leader exists within all of us. Why does it matter?

Because there is a direct correlation between leadership skills and the amount of success that we will attain.

It’s those of us who develop and exercise our leadership skills that will live up to our full potential.

There are many conceptions of what a leader is along with many misconceptions. These misconceptions can then give way to us having to conform to a concrete definition of a leader. The truth is, there isn’t just one way or style of being a leader.

Everyone has his or her own style of leadership. In order to identify our leadership styles, we first have to know who we are and how our mind works. An example of a simple question to ask ourselves is: am I an introvert or an extrovert?

I’m very much an introvert, so I’m not one to speak up without first considering how to answer a question or address a problem. I like to have a goal in mind that I want to meet in a given time frame. And of course, I need a well thought out and organized plan on how I want to achieve that goal.

You likely won’t lie at one extreme of the introvert/extrovert spectrum, but it’s useful to know where you fit to help you better understand this aspect of developing your leadership style.

If you wish to discover your leadership style and develop your leadership skills the link listed below will redirect you to the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality assessment:

Or check out:

It’s like Socrates famously said, “Know thyself”.

Here’s to wisdom & learning,