The Seven Rules of Success According to Steve Jobs

The Seven Rules of Success According to Steve Jobs

Written by Hedley Lawson, Global Managing Partner, Aligned Growth Partners, LLC

Since Steve Jobs' tragic passing in October 2011, people across the globe have been revisiting the impact he made in the field of innovation and on people's lives. His leadership at Apple, Pixel and its influence on virtually every high technology company in the field of computers, movies, music and mobile devices has been incalculable.

One of Jobs' greatest legacies is the set of principles that drove his success and have had a profound influence on others, myself included. Here are those Seven Rules of Success:

1. 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 was everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. During the lengthy interview process with then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, Jobs asked "Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" As a business owner or manager, don't lose sight of your big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs was noted as saying that creativity is connecting things. His view was that people with a broad set of life experiences can, if they really try, often see things that others don't. The underlying message is, don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields, not just the optical industry.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was publicly proud of what Apple chose not to do as much as what Apple consciously chose to do. Upon his return to Apple in 1997, he led a company with 350 products and pared the vast majority of them to 10 products in a two-year period. He did so to enable Apple to put an "A-Team" on each targeted product. It's important to ask yourself, "What am I saying 'no' to?"

5. Create insanely different experiences. Innovation in the customer-service experience was another of Jobs' areas of precise focus. With the conception of Apple Stores, he ensured they would be unique because they would enrich lives and create a visceral connection between customers and the Apple brand. For business owners and managers, ask yourself, "What am I doing to enrich the lives of my customers?"

6. Master the message. There are countless examples of companies that have conceived the most clever concept or idea in the world, but weren't able to effectively communicate their ideas. The result is numerous examples of business failures. Jobs was a renowned corporate storyteller who informed, educated, inspired and entertained in each of his presentations. As business owners and managers, how are you communicating with and inspiring your customers to work with or purchase products or services from your business or lab, to reap the rewards of your value proposition?

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs understood the customer. He knew that any Apple products would not capture a prospective customer's imagination if products were too complicated. As a business owner or manager, what are you doing to help your customers reach their dreams --- and your dreams?