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    Creativity Mastery Leadership Effort Teamwork
    Leadership Quotes Decoded: Steve Jobs

    Leadership Quotes Decoded: Steve Jobs

    "Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people."

    It's hard to think of a more transformative and visionary business leader than Steve Jobs. Jobs was first and foremost a marketer and showman. While he wasn't completely clueless about technology, he surrounded himself with talented designers, technologists, and other specialists to propel himself, his company, and ultimately society forward.

    Jobs had passion and an appetite for risk - he was well known for his RDF ("Reality Distortion Field"): he could convince others to take on incredible challenges and to pursue goals that others may see as crazy.

    Although he's well know for being a tough and uncompromising leader, he also managed to build some of the most effective teams the tech industry had ever seen. Jobs's knack for team building would later be confirmed when, 12 years after leaving Apple, he returned and revitalized the company after many had written it off.

    "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

    In 1976, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen bus for $750 to help cover costs associated with starting Apple. At only 21 years old, Steve Jobs was so confident that he could change the world that he sacrificed his biggest asset - his vehicle. This confidence and "big bets" mentality would eventually become his trademark. Part of what made Jobs so successful is that he fully believed in himself and his ideas. When you're talking about a task as monumental as creating early computers, it helps to truly believe you can accomplish anything.

    "I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."

    Almost all successful businesses and individuals have one thing in common: perseverance. With more than 7 billion people on the planet, there are bound to be people who are smarter, have more money, or know more people than you — and that's okay. But you can still accomplish more than most of your peers by working hard and not giving up.

    Perseverance is important in all walks of life, but especially in entrepreneurship. Many great entrepreneurs have, at some point, found themselves down on their luck with everybody doubting them - Jobs certainly did. In times like these, it's important to stay focused on the task at hand and constantly push forward.

    "My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others' negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts."

    There are many traits that are often found in successful people, but the ability to build strong teams is among the most important. No matter what position you may hold at a company, you're a part of the team and you can only be successful if that team delivers. Picking just the right mix of people can make all the difference.

    In the case of Jobs, many team members paved the way in bringing his vision to life. Steve Wozniak, for example, had technology skills that surpassed Jobs' and is credited with inventing the Apple 1 computer. Later, Johnathan Ive, Apple's Chief Design Officer, became an equally influential figure - he was the creative force behind many of Apple's most revolutionary products including the Macbook Air, iPod, iPhone, and others.

    So much has been said and written about Steve Jobs that it's hard to separate fact from fiction. What's undeniable, however, is that he not only succeeded in business but also influenced our society in profound ways. That takes leadership.

    Leadership Quotes Decoded: Teddy Roosevelt

    Leadership Quotes Decoded: Teddy Roosevelt

    Perhaps one of our nation's most energetic leaders was the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Elevated to the top office after an assassins bullet laid low his predecessor, President William McKinley, Roosevelt became one of the most consequential Chief Executives of the 20th-century.

    He was not afraid to speak his mind, indeed, is contemporaries found it near impossible to get him to stop talking on any subject. Because of this, history has a wealth of quotable quotes that point to the leadership skills of this extraordinary American.

    His success is even more amazing when you consider his childhood. He suffered from crippling asthma and a weak constitution, and his parents did not think he would see his tenth birthday.

    "Believe you can and you're halfway there."

    Owing to his weak physical condition, and motivated by his father's exhortations that "sickness is a shame and maybe a sin," more often than not, the young boy was found engaged in strenuous exercise that aimed to push more air into his weakened lungs.

    Believing that only hard work stood between him and his goal of a robust and healthy body, his early years embodied his attitude. More importantly, it fueled his belief whenever he entered the public arena whether as part of the New York Assembly, as Secretary to the Navy, or President of the United States, that showing up was half the battle.

    "A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car, but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad."

    Education and public service went hand-in-hand in Roosevelt's mind - he understood that he enjoyed a privileged place in American society. What he could not tolerate however, was the elite class that did nothing more than pursue their relentless search of profits to the detriment of their fellow countrymen. While he did not disapprove of concentrated wealth, he was fanatically against the concentration of wealth that was earned through devious measures and then leveraged against the interest of the common man and woman.

    Not surprisingly, then, he focused a lot of his attention on busting business trusts designed to rig the economic system in favor of the "Robber Barons." To attack corrupt trusts engaged in restraint of trade, Roosevelt wielded the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Law like a weapon. His targets included J.P. Morgan's Northern Securities Company, the nation's largest railroad monopoly, and John D. Rockefeller's Ohio-based Standard Oil.

    "Speak softly and carry a big stick: you will go far."

    Elevated to the presidency at the very beginnings of America's experiment with global imperialism, Theodore Roosevelt had long been an expansionist with dreams of an American hegemony that was destined to span the globe. While he gained his own combat spurs during the Cuban campaigning phase of the Spanish American War, his policies following his elevation to the presidency were a combination of threat and bluster.

    From the pressure applied on Columbia to wrench their Panamanian province from their control to sending the great White Fleet on a worldwide tour of American military prowess, Roosevelt understood the power an American naval battle cruiser had as an a tool of diplomacy.

    Whether you agree with Roosevelt's actions or not, he had a profound impact on his nation and on the world. This has earned him a prominent place in history as one of the most impactful presidents of the USA.