Get closer…

 “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”

Steve Jobs

What do you want most from the companies that you choose to spend your hard earned money with? Are these the types of companies that pay close attention to your needs and anticipate your next need, even when you don’t know you want it? I have to admit that the products or services that I like the most from some of my favorite organizations are things I never would have thought to ask for. This reinforces for me that these companies are paying close attention to their customers and constantly seeking ways to find new ways to add value and differentiate themselves.

How are you doing this for your customers and those that you care about?

Think simple…

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Steve Jobs

When you come up with a simple solution to a problem does it feel fulfilling to you? Sometimes it seems that we come up with complex solutions to problems to justify our involvement or our participation. The perception is that if it is simple then anyone could do it, but doing something complex takes special skills and talents. Our identity as leaders and contributors can be wrapped up in HOW we solve the problem instead of focusing on the problem that needs to be solved. We justify our worth based on the activities required to make things complex. I can admit that I have been very guilty of this over the years, especially when I was younger and seeking to prove myself. I wanted to create complex solutions that solved the problem instead of finding the cleanest and simplest path forward.

Complex can be fun and exciting but simple is beautiful and elegant. I agree that simple can take much more time than complex, it requires getting out of your current mindset and seeking new perspectives to address a challenge. But the reward for creating simple answers to complex issues is that everyone can understand and appreciate the solution. You don’t have to spend nearly as much energy explaining and teaching, instead you get people engaged and using because they intuitively understand. Creating simple is hard hard work, but the juice is worth the squeeze…

Do you design your life for how you want it to work?

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like.  Design is how it works.”

Steve Jobs

Design isn’t just for the technology and the things we see and use. It is how we make decisions, how we live our lives, who our friends are, etc. When you think about life through the lens of being intentional and owning the design for how it works what different decisions would you make? Why haven’t you made them?

A+ or bust…

“I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1. Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

Steve Jobs

It is amazing how impactful great talent can be on a team.  The right person elevates the performance of everyone around. They are a force multiplier beyond just what they contribute individually.  However, the reverse is also true…  

The wrong person can weigh down the team and limit overall performance.  If an A+ player runs circles around B or C players then B and C players are simply dead weight that slows everything down.

Be the best, don’t ever be comfortable being or hiring a B or C player.  If you are hiring people, hire the best, don’t ever settle.If you are a B or a C player today then call it like it is and figure out what you need to do to grow and become an A.  If you are an A, figure out what you have to do to become and A+.

Never settle with less than the best, from yourself or from those around you…

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