As much as we love a business visionary like, Steve Jobs—and we love him to pieces—we are not Steve Jobs, and never could be. Nor should we. All leaders have their own unique talents, which they will use in different ways to bring out the best in themselves and others.
Here are 5 ways to discover your own strongest qualities and put them to work in business and in life.
- Don’t compare yourself with others—but do approach people who inspire, and even intimidate, you. Are there people in your life who wow or even intimidate you? Are you jealous of them? Go up and introduce yourself, allow yourself to be a part of their lives, and even offer to contribute to their milieu if you are so inclined. Consider aligning yourself with people you feel competitive toward—it’s a new world and we have much to learn from each other
- Don’t concentrate on weaknesses, concentrate on your strengths. First, find out what your strengths are. Go online and take a Briggs Meyers test, an Enneagram test, or buy the Gallup Strengths Finder 2.0 book. Self-understanding and self-support is key. Working on one’s weaknesses only brings misery and self-doubt. Concentrating on your strengths brings a better sense of fulfillment and forward progress.
- Eliminate your weaknesses by partnering with others. Albert Einstein was initially a failure who leaned heavily on his wife. Many now believe she ultimately helped him devise his famous equation. Let’s be honest: He was a dreamer with his head in the clouds (and thank goodness he was). He came to success in roundabout ways. His wife kept her head on straight and together they accomplished greatness. That is the value of having a partner and team, varieties of perspectives, talents, and skills to get the job done. How is your team? Do you have someone’s back? Do they have yours? Are there complimentary skill sets involved? If you have people who believe in you, you can go far together. Whether it’s a mentor, employee, or co-worker, get their back and let them get yours.
- Use failure as motivation. Things aren’t always going to go your way, no matter how well you and your teams properly align with your goals. Sometimes we need a good kick to get us going. Sometimes we need the pain of failure to reset, revise, and reassess. Are you taking risks? Are you failing? If so, good going.
- Co-create, cooperate, and co-lead. Innovation requires flexible teams who cooperate, co-lead, and co-create. Mr. Jobs was a hierarchical leader in a time of radical shift from singular creative to co-creative. Over time, he learned what he was best at and how to use his skills, talents, teams, and life lessons. He then built and empowered teams of people around him who were able to help him execute his vision.