Steve Ferrante's High Performance Blog for Sales/Customer Service/Leadership Champs and Progressive Professionals!

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous Brain food’ Category

Ringling Bros Circus: The End of an Era

After nearly 150 years (146 to be exact) Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus “The Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to an end this week! Sad but true. The thoughtful article below was written by Brad Deutser, president of Deutser LLC, a consulting firm that advises leaders and organizations about achieving clarity, especially in times of transition, growth or crisis. He previously worked for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Ringling Bros Circus: The End of an Era

From ring to ring, you have entertained. From generation to generation, you have brought families together. You have invited us in to witness and be a part of the Greatest Show on Earth.

But, you have also become one of America’s great tragedies. After nearly a century and a half in business, doing what you do best, you will vacate your place in the entertainment space. There will be other circuses. But, there will never be another Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. You have never wavered from your roots – your history, your way of working and promoting, and your way of entertaining. Until, recently. Pressures to change practices. Pressures to change acts. Pressures to conform to current ways.

Most people are unaware of the extent you cared for animals. Most are unaware of the brilliant business model to get people in the door to experience the circus and buy memorabilia and merchandise. Most are unaware that Ringling Bros. was the entry point for so many to begin their careers in show business. It was a gateway for many around the world to explore, to share culture, and to provide smiles. It was so much to so many.

In many ways, it was part of the American way. I remember the excitement when the train stopped in a city. I remember the authentic joy the clowns brought as the elephants paraded down the streets to the arena. I remember the genuine love of the circus by its performers behind the scenes and in the rings. I remember the sweat on the brow before each show and the smiles that filled the stands.

So it begs the question: Why did Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey fail? Or did we fail it?

I have struggled to explain how we allow our American icons to disappear. For what? Better, more wholesome family entertainment? Why did the business environment change so rapidly? Or did it?  Was it lack of strategic foresight? Was it changing societal norms? Were there simply better options? Or did we take it for granted that what was once here will always be here?

This was an icon that navigated the generations. It circumvented challenges over nearly 15 decades. Somehow it remained relevant year after year, until now. But why? To some, Ringling gave up its core values and become something different when it removed elephants from its show. To others, no matter the advances or new innovations, it was still the circus that you only needed to see once. To others, it was a lumbering icon that couldn’t change quickly enough to keep up with the pace of technology and today’s entertainment. And, to others, it was simply taken for granted that it would always be there for us, like it had been for the previous 146 years.

Perhaps, this is less Ringling Bros. giving up or giving in and more a statement of the America we live in today. We gravitate to sexy headlines. We are intrigued more by the glitz and less by the substance. We place stereotypes on things that we are reluctant to ever modify. We expose our youth more to what is ahead and much less to what is now. Reality works best when there is controversy or big names. But, that has never been the circus’ way.  Theirs was a way of basic, good old-fashioned American values.

This ending of an era sends a message to all of us.  It reminds us that relevance is fleeting.  It reminds us, as parents and grandparents, that we must find new forms of entertainment to bring our families together. It reminds us to hold on to what is important to each of us – whether it is the circus or something else. At its core, this is about family values – and working fiercely to protect them – in whatever way is most appropriate to today’s family.

The circus that convened families, generations and communities is soon to be no longer here. For many it has been replaced by the bright lights of the computer screen and video games as well as the solitude it brings. We may not be able to recreate the greatest show on earth, but we can recreate the environment and the magic that it was to families who came together to celebrate the goodness and wholesomeness it represented.

There will be many questions. What really happened to end this era? What will become of the animals for whom Ringling provided such genuine and remarkable care? What will happen to the children who no longer have the greatest show on earth?

There will be answers. But, unfortunately, not the same answers our parents had for us.

Ringling Bros., RIP.

Tom Brady – A True Pinnacle Performer

tom-brady-independence-day

In case you missed it, yesterday New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time winningest quarterback following the team’s 26-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium.

Now at 201 career wins, Brady is alone at the top breaking a tie with Peyton Manning for win No. 201.

Of course, this would be a monumental accomplishment for any quarterback but for the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft.. absolutely astounding.

Do Not Say Anything Cannot Be Done When There Is Tom Brady

As I wrote about in 4 Success Lessons from the Champion New England Patriots, Tom Brady prepares to win every game with a total commitment and an obsessive attention to detail.

“I’m grateful for all of my teammates and my coaches and for my family and friends,” Brady said. “There’s been a lot of great football over the years, so it’s always been about winning and I’ve been very fortunate to be on a lot of great teams. I just feel very grateful.”

At the end of the day, for Tom Brady it’s all about winning and doing what it takes to succeed at a high level.  

His results speak for themselves..

Congratulations to Tom Brady, a true Pinnacle Performer.

Steve 🙂

Defying The Odds To Succeed

A big part of achieving success is overcoming the challenges and obstacles encountered along the way.

With average or poor performers these challenges and obstacles usually hinder progress and limit success. For high-achievers, challenges and obstacles are anticipated and met head on.

High achievers understand that either the obstacle wins or you do and prepare both mentally (commitment, discipline, accountability) and physically (practice, behaviors, execution) to breakthrough and succeed. 

Either The Obstacle Wins or You Do

With that in mind, have a look and listen at the great little music video below from the band X Ambassador for their hit song “Renegades”. The video showcases an amazing group of disabled athletes and daredevils defying the odds and doing things average people do not–including the band’s keyboard player Casey Harris, who happens to be blind as well.

 

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Need More Inspiration? Check-Out Nothing Is Impossible

The Inspiring Story of Harland Sanders, founder of KFC

Business Insider Article Worth Reading > KFC founder Colonel Sanders didn’t achieve his remarkable rise to success until his 60s

Harland Sanders

Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Quotes

As you likely heard over the weekend, Muhammad Ali passed away on Friday night at the age of 74.

A true Pinnacle Performer, Ali was considered to be the greatest heavyweight boxer of all-time.

In honor of the champ, here’s a collection of my favorite Ali inspirational quotes that tie directly into achieving greatness (Pinnacle Performance)

Ali_The Greatest 1

To Be A Great Champion

Ali

Ali-on-counting-situps

Ali on Training

He who is not courageous

impossible_is_nothing

Ali Make The Days Count

im-gonna-show-you-how-great-i-am

quote-live-everyday-as-if-it-were-your-last-because-someday-you-re-going-to-be-right

Ali 1942-2016

Are You Just Another Brick In The Wall?

If you’ve been working in sales, customer service or just about any other professional services occupation for more than a week or so then you have likely come to the realization that you’re not the only one who does what you do.

In fact, there’s a very high probability that you’re one of many, an UN-monopoly in your marketplace, with many competitors trying to capture and serve the very same customers that you are.

So what’s your plan to stand out in the crowd?

As I advise all my Pinnacle Performance clients, if you look, sound and feel like your competitors in the eyes, ears and experience of your customers than their decision to do business with you will usually be based on price. If you’re looking to be the Walmart of your industry and can support high volume at the lowest price than this a fine path to travel.

On the other hand, if you’re not anticipating moving billions of dollars in goods or services, than I strongly suggest another path to prosperity; be different, be remarkable, be better, be worth more.

As I detailed here, being unremarkable is hurting your business.

ordinary pin

Most businesses and the sales/service people in them are perceived as ordinary and this contributes greatly to the ordinary results they realize. Of course, you’re not like most businesses or those average folks in them, right?

As I wrote in Would You Buy You?, YOU have a choice in the way you perceive yourself, manage yourself and, ultimately, sell yourself to others.

So take a good like at yourself and your business approach. How do you look, sound and feel from the customers point-of-view?

Remember, nothing perceived as ordinary is ever valued as something special.

Don't Just Be Another Brick In The Wall

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Let’s LinkIn!

Steve Ferrante is the Grand PooBah & Trainer of Champions of Sale Away LLC., providing Pinnacle Performance Sales, Customer Service and Leadership training, speaking and professional development services to success-driven businesses throughout North America. For detailed information visit Sale Away. Steve can be reached directly at 866-721-6086 ext. 701 or via email at steve@saleawayllc.com

Reflection for Progression

As I often say in my Pinnacle Performance Training, if you want to be better externally (at work/sports/life) then you must first be better internally by focusing on your personal development and the beliefs and behaviors that support success in your chosen endeavor.

All of this takes conscious self-reflection as to where you are, where you want to be, and what it will take to fill the gap between the two and achieve your goals.

With the hustle and bustle of our daily routines, few of us take the time to reflect on our past with consideration of changes to improve our future. Well here’s your chance…

The image questions below are some of my favorites from the thought-provoking site, Thought Questions. They do a great job of giving us meaningful things to think about.. what I call ‘reflection for progression’.

Keep in mind,  these questions have no right or wrong answers.  As they say, asking the right questions is the answer.

 

Thought Questions

Thought Questions 1

Thought Questions 2

Thought Questions 4

Thought Questions 5

Thought Questions 6

Thought Questions 8

Thought Questions 12

Thought Questions 13

Thought Questions 14

Thought Questions 15

Thought Questions 17

Thought Questions 18

Thought Questions 21

Thought Questions 25

Be Well

Steve 🙂

See All of Steve’s Pinnacle Performance Quotes > Pinnacle Performance Quotes on Pinterest

The Bizarre Behaviors of Business Conference Calls

For many business people, conference calls are a regular part of the job. If you’re one of them than this great little parody from the fine folks Tripp & Tyler will certainly seem familiar to you. 

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Corporate Culture Will Make Or Break Your Business

While having great products and services is certainly important, the results in any business are ultimately created by the people that represent your business and those products and services.

Those ‘people’ are your corporate culture and they, above all else, are responsible for the level of success your business achieves.

Truly great companies have great workplace cultures. So, if your company has everything but a great culture than you have everything but a great company.

If Your Company Has Everything But A Great Culture

This short video speaks to the importance of corporate culture and establishing clear values to support and guide proper employees behaviors.

tony hsieh culture quote

For more corporate culture, see my LinkedIn article here > Eight Great Practices for Creating a Winning Team Corporate Culture

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Steve Ferrante is the Grand PooBah & Trainer of Champions of Sale Away LLC. As producer and host of Pinnacle Performance Training, Steve delivers sales, customer Service and winning team culture training, speaking and professional development services to success-driven organizations throughout North America. For detailed information visit Sale Away. Steve can be reached directly at 866-721-6086 ext. 701 or via email at steve@saleawayllc.com

In Remembrance of Steve Jobs: 11 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Him

Hard to believe it’s been four years since the untimely passing of Steve Jobs. Much has been written about his remarkable life and achievements over the years – some great, some not so great with most not all that memorable. 

The article posted below falls under the “great” category and has passed the test of time remaining a favorite bookmark on my computer for the past two plus years. The author, Celestine Chua, does a admirable job paying tribute to Steve Jobs along with detailing valuable life lessons that are perfectly aligned with “Pinnacle Performance” and achieving success.

Although the article was originally published in Oct 2011 (after Steve’s passing) the success lessons shared are timeless and well worth revisiting today and on a regular basis moving forward. 

In Remembrance of Steve Jobs: 11 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Him

steve-jobs

1. Life is what you make it out to be

If you don’t know anything about Steve Jobs other than generic public knowledge, here’s a quick run down of his background:

  • He was born out of wedlock, to graduate student parents who gave him up for adoption thereafter.
  • He was adopted and raised in a working class family. His foster father fixed cars for a living.
  • His biological parents wanted a girl, not a boy.
  • He dropped out of college, after only 1 semester. His highest qualification was high school.
  • While he was attending Reed (his college), he would be “sleeping on the floor in friends’ rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple”.
  • In 1985, he was fired, very publicly, from the very company he founded (Apple), after losing a power struggle with the board of directors. (He would then later return as CEO (in 1997) after Apple bought over NeXT, the company Steve founded after leaving Apple.)
  • In 2003, he discovered he had cancerous tumor in his pancreas. He would then engage in a long battle with cancer for the next 8 years, till his recent passing.

Most people who didn’t know Steve would assume he probably had a privileged life, had a silver spoon in his mouth, and had his path to success laid out before him.

But it wasn’t the case, as you could see above. He was born out of wedlock. He wasn’t the child his parents wanted. He was given up for adoption. He was fired from the company he created. He was publicly humiliated during that time. And he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer, which ultimately took his life.

While he was not necessarily dealt with the best cards, it didn’t matter a single bit. Rather than complain or let himself be paralyzed by the situations, he made the best out of what he was given – then went to create the kind of life he wanted, eventually becoming the CEO of one of the most valued companies in the world, a billionaire many times over, and one of the most respected people in the world today.

When life gives you a curveball, what do you do? Do you (a) sit and whine about it (b) make the best out of it or (c) throw the curveball back at life and create your home run? Most people do (a) – these are the whiners. Some people do (b) – these people generally do good, but that’s about it. Few people do (c) – these are the true winners.

You always have a choice in how you live your life. Don’t victimize yourself because no matter how bad things may seem at the moment, there are hundreds to hundred thousands of people out there who are worse off than you. When you rise above what you are given, that’s when you soar.

2. Dream big – very big

Before Apple’s rise in the last decade, Microsoft was the undisputed giant in the world of personal computers. Before iPod, mp3 players were known only as mp3 players. Before iTunes, it seemed almost unlikely for anyone would pay for music online, when music piracy was so rampant. Before iPhone, Nokia was the long-time market leader for mobile handsets. Before iPad, there didn’t seem to be a need for tablet computers – PCs and laptops seemed to do the job just fine.

In each situation, no one would have ever thought things would change.

But the status quo was broken, each time, with exceeding results. With each product release, Steve Jobs (and his team) revolutionized the industry and created a new movement – from personal computing, to mp3 players, to music distribution, to mobile phones, to tablet computers.

iPod became integral to the lifestyle of masses, became synonymous with mp3 players, and paved the way to the collapse of CD sales. iTunes became the #1 music vendor in US in 2008, with 10 billion song downloads as of 2010 (after just 7 years of being online).  iPhone created a demand for touchscreen phones, broke Nokia’s long-time market leadership and changed the game of the mobile phone industry. iPad 2 sold more than all other tablet PCs combined since the iPad’s release (in 2010) and is expected to account for 83% of the tablet computing market share in US by 2011 (source).

These happened because Steve allowed himself to dream big – to see beyond what was in the present, to think outside the box, to go where no one had ventured before.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Apple’s Think Different commercial(#9 on the list)

How do you set your goals? Do you base them on what has already been achieved out there? Or do you base them on your boldest, grandest, deepest heart’s desire? The latter is how you’re going to create a movement and shake the world. What are your biggest, wildest dreams? Set them and go for them.

3. The greatest things started somewhere

Steve Jobs started Apple in his parents’ garage, along with high-school buddy Steven Wozniak. Not exactly the most glamorous start for the world’s largest technology company today – Not that it mattered, because it would never have grown if there was never a start in the first place.

I often hear of people saying that they can’t do X because they need to wait for A, B and C to be in place. Fair enough, but are these prerequisites really necessary or are they just excuses not to take action? If we are forever waiting for things to be perfect, when will we start taking action then?

Likewise for you, how can you get started on your dreams today, even if in a small capacity? It’s from starting that you get to somewhere. The greatest things were at a time, but just a dream.

4. Certifications don’t matter

“Truth be told, I never graduated from college. And this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.” – Steve Jobs, during his address at Stanford Commencement 2005

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed after just 1 semester. His highest education qualification was high school level. He would become one of the many billionaire school dropouts today who would put the age old belief that certification is essential for success in life to shame.

I’m not saying to quit studying or not to have any cerification. After all, I myself am a college graduate and a product of the formal education system.

All I’m saying is that whether you succeed or not in life is independent of your certification. There are people who succeed in life and are graduates, just as there are people who succeed and don’t have any certification. What’s more important is your skill level, your attitude, and your aptitude (which can subsequently be honed through 10,000 hours). 

If you are studying at the moment, or if you have plans to study/get some form of certification in the future, be conscious of why you are pursuing it, and whether it meets your needs.

For those who are in school – Are you drifting your way through school so you can get a piece of paper at the end of your course, as a ticket to the working world? For those who have earned your certifications – Are you hiding behind them as a safety shield and using them as an excuse not to grow? And for those who don’t have certifications in what you want to pursue in – Are you letting this be an excuse not to pursue what you want to do in life?

5. Live every day like it is your last

Steve Jobs was a strong proponent of living life to the fullest – every day. This was clear from many of his quotes:

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

If you reflect it on yourself, as you living your life to the fullest? Or are you wasting your days away, sleepwalking? If you were to die today, will you die happy or with regrets? What can you do about those regrets now, before it’s too late? What are all the things you want to do before you die? How can you start working on them now?

6. Stop listening to what others say

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

Steve Jobs faced his fair share of naysayers in his lifetime. When he was fired very publicly from Apple in 1985, he was dismissed by the industry as a “flash in the pan” – i.e., had a showy beginning, but with nothing to tell at the end. Business leaders and press saw him as a has-been.

What followed though, was one of the most remarkable comebacks in business history.

After getting fired, Steve went on to create NeXT, a computer platform development company. He also purchased the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd, and later spun it off as Pixar (which was subsequently acquired by Disney in 2006).

“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.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

In 1996, in an ironic twist of events, Apple, after a decade of steady losses since firing Steve Jobs, acquired NeXT for the computer platform system which it was missing. Steve stepped in as interim CEO in 1997, before being appointed as official CEO in 2000.

Under his leadership, Apple was brought back from the brink of bankruptcy, and is today the largest company in the world (surpassing Microsoft in 2011) by both revenue *and* profit. He continued to serve as the CEO until 2011 this year (when he quit to tend to his health).

How’s that for size?

If Steve Jobs had listened to his detractors when he was fired, he would never have achieved the success he did. Rather, he listened to his heart and did what he felt he had to do. Being guided by that led him to realize his goals – many times over.

“People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself.” – Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, on Steve Jobs

Whatever your dreams are, follow them. Don’t listen to the naysayers, the people who discourage you from living the life of your heart’s desire. Following their words will only make your life a shadow of theirs’, not the life you’re looking for. Listen to your inner voice and follow it, because you can never go wrong with it.

7. Do not underestimate the impact you can have on the world

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was just 1 person, but look at how he revolutionized the technology industry and impacted masses with his work. It’s safe to say that iPod, iPhone, iTunes, iPad, among his other creations have positively impacted millions (if not billions) of lives around the world. This would have never happened if he didn’t pursue his dreams.

Likewise for you, there is a world out there waiting for you to impact it. Are you ready to start your revolution?

“Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” — Steve Jobs’ legendary pitch to John Sculley (then PepsiCo CEO) in 1983, to get him to run Apple (Sculley later pushed Jobs out of Apple in 1985)

“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” – Steve Jobs

What is the change you want to bring to this world? What do you need to do to make it happen? How can you start your revolution, with effect from today?

8. Failure only happens when you deem it to be so

Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he created. By most people’s standards, this would be the epitome of failure. Most people would give up, hide from the world and wallow in self-pity, right at this point.

Not him though. As I detailed in #6, he went on to create 2 successful companies (NeXT and Pixar), got rehired into Apple, turned it around in one of the biggest comebacks in business history, and made it the biggest technology company today. He never gave up on himself and fought for what he believed in.

Many of you often ask me how I got the confidence to quit everything in my life and plunge right into pursuing my passion back in 2008. How about failure – what if I failed? What would I have done?

Here’s the thing about failure – The biggest lesson I learned about failure is this: There is no failure until you deem it to be so. This means even if you lose all your money, go bankrupt, lose your housing, suffer some major setback, or fall flat on your face, you have not failed. It is only one of the many, many mid-points toward your end goal. The only point you fail is when you give up – because that’s when the story ends.

That’s the reason why I was able to pursue my path so relentlessly, without hesitation, even in the early days when I had no supposed reason to believe everything would work out. I knew as long as I kept going, it was a matter of time before I reached my goal. Anything that was going to happen before that would merely be an occurrence along the journey – nothing more, nothing less.

So if you often hold back in your decision making because you’re afraid to fail, know that failing doesn’t exist until you declare you have failed. So as long as you keep going, and have no intentions to give up on your dreams, you can never fail. It’s a matter of time before you get to where you want to be.

9. Do what you love

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is […] to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

I talk about the importance of pursuing your passion all the time, with good reason. You have the rest of your life to work, so rather than do something you don’t like THEN retire and do the things you’ve been meaning to do all your life, why not pursue your passion and make that your life’s work? Sure, you *may* have to backtrack a bit where income is concerned, but that’s just temporary. As long as you deliver top value, and keep outdoing yourself (see #11), it’s a matter of time before you achieve *both* passion AND money.

Don’t make yourself work in a job you dislike, because that will be to waste your life away. Do what you love, because that’s what life is about – doing the things you love.

10. Have faith – Never lose hope

“Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” – Steve Jobs, on getting fired from Apple back in 1985

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

Even when things looked bleak, Steve always had faith that things would work out okay one day. It kept him going and allowed him to make the best out of his life (see #5).

No matter what rough patch you may be going through now, don’t give up. Don’t lose hope either. As long as you keep going, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. You are not here to suffer – you are here to blossom as an individual. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s up to you to assign that reason. (see #1)

11. Outdo yourself – Over, and over again

As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, I don’t follow any of Apple’s news or of its product releases/updates. Hence, news on iPhone 3/4/5, MacBook Air, iPod mini/nano/shuffle/touch/etc are lost on me.

However, the fact that people care about these models, discuss about them at length and continue to buy them (over and beyond initial hype), shows they do find value in the new models. Be it thinner, lighter, faster, longer battery life, or increased functionality, these upgrades are things which consumers find valuable, and have their lives improved as a result.

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs

“None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.” – Jobs responding to whether he did market research for the iPad

What I love about Steve Jobs is how he relentlessly pursued betterment, both in his life and his work. He was already successful in his early years, but this didn’t stop him from wanting to become better. Beyond settling for status quo, he kept pushing for innovation – each time creating one game changing product after another. Because of that, he kept growing, and so did Apple.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

If you look at your past 3-5 year history, have you been outdoing yourself? Or have you been stagnating? What can you do to outdo yourself? As the CEO of your life, what is the new trajectory of growth you want to embark for the next few years?

Concluding

I hope you found this tribute meaningful in some way, and got a few lessons out of it. I learned a few new things about Steve Jobs and Apple in writing this article, which made me even more respectful of their success today. Steve Jobs was indeed an inspirational man with an incredible spirit.

If you could apply just a couple out of the 11 lessons above, I’m sure it will make a world of a difference in your life.

RIP Steve Jobs (1955-2011) – A visionary, genius, and legend.

Tag Cloud