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Lessons In Mastery From Steve Jobs Part 2

Lessons in Mastery from Steve Jobs (part 1) highlighted some principles that contributed to Jobs’ incredible success using examples from Isaacson (2012). They were: Focus, Simplify, Anticipate and, Commit to Excellence. Lessons in Mastery from Steve Jobs Part 2 will cover another three keys that will help you achieve your vision.

Keys to Mastery

Add Value

Jobs’ focus was on value for customers, so when developing the original Macintosh, Jobs’ intended to make it ‘insanely great.’ He never emphasized profit maximization, reasoning, “focus on making the product great and the profits will follow,” and they did follow – in a major way. Further, in discussing his driving force Jobs said “My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation.”

Value Strategy

Look at your vision from the perspective of the additional value you’ll be able to give, and the person you’ll become in pursuit of it. Think about those who will benefit from its achievement: your organization, your family, your community, the world. Tony Robbins said “Power moves to those who are truly committed to serving,” and I fully believe this. When you take a ‘how can I serve?’ perspective, opportunities will find you. So, when thinking about your goal whether it’s to grow your business or to get the body you’ve always wanted, focus on how much more you’ll be able to give. I love Robin Sharma’s advice – don’t get fit to get fit, get fit to have the energy to change the world!

Trust your Intuition

Jobs listened to his inner self and trusted his intuition saying “Intuition is a very powerful thing – more powerful than intellect.” Quoting Henry Ford “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’” he argued customers didn’t know what they wanted and it was up to Apple to show them.  Jobs used his intimate intuition about the desires of customers to guide Apple’s highly successful product development.

Intuition Strategy

Intuition, a powerful gift possessed by all, is described as the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. In Leveraging your infinite wisdom, I describe intuition as infinite intelligence: an unlimited source of love, abundance and creative power. It’s a knowing within you that transcends your thinking and analytical faculties.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should never think and analyze, because there are times when these are the muscles you should flex. My message here is that some situations will benefit more from your intuition than your intellect. And, when you’re in touch with yourself you will instinctively know which faculty to call on. To connect with yourself and harness your intuitive power spend some time in quiet reflection and listen to your voice of wisdom; it has something important to tell you.

Create a Mastermind Team

Jobs was adamant about working with only the best and was notoriously unapologetic for his blunt honesty about performance. He felt that Apple managers shouldn’t be so polite that mediocre people felt comfortable staying at the high performing organization.

Since Jobs’ biography many analysts have dissected his leadership approach.  However, Isaacson (2012) advises that those who decide to emulate Job’s roughness without understanding his ability to generate loyalty are making a big mistake, saying, “It’s important to note that Jobs’ rudeness and roughness were accompanied by an ability to be inspirational. He infused Apple employees with an abiding passion to create ground breaking products and a belief that they could accomplish what seemed impossible.”

Mastermind Team Strategy

When Anthony Robbins said “People’s lives are the direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group” he was telling us to choose our friends wisely because they have a direct impact on our success. I discuss this in more detail in Leaders surround themselves with leaders where I advise you to surround yourself with other exceptional people. A team of masterminds will raise your standards, your beliefs about what’s possible, and who aren’t afraid to challenge your perspective. To reach mastery level you need to expand your peer group to include inspiring, motivated and passionate leaders that that will raise your standards.


Focus Focus on the one to three things at most that will have the most impact on achieving your goal. When you commit to mastering your high-impact strategy you avoid being “a jack of all trades, a master of none.”

Simplify Simplify by clearing away mental, emotional and physical clutter. The skill of simplification is closely related to the skill of focus because when you remove the unnecessary components we are better able to focus on what’s most important.

Anticipate From a business perspective: know both what your competitors are doing now and what may be doing next. It’s acting on the latter that will give you the edge. From a personal perspective: consider what else your role model could be doing or what they could be doing differently to get better results.

Excellence Follow Robin Sharma’s advice and ‘Adore mastery. Abhor mediocrity.’ A true master recognizes his work as his craft and takes pride in his masterpiece.

Value – remember what Tony Robbins said “Power moves to those who are truly committed to serving.” When you take a ‘how can I serve?’ perspective, opportunities will find you.

Intuition – To connect with your infinite power that transcends your thinking faculty, spend some time in quiet reflection and listen to your voice of wisdom; it has something important to tell you.

Mastermind –To reach mastery create a mastermind team of inspiring, motivated and passionate leaders that will raise your standards.

To your journey towards mastery!

With so much love,


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