THE INC. LIFE

5 Powerful Leadership Lessons from Major Business Icons Steve Jobs and Elon Musk

Master any one of these five major ways of leading and you’ll be stronger and more effective in all areas of your work and life.

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BY Sylvia Lafair - 10 Jul 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

As children, we look at our parents and teachers to understand life. Sometimes the advice we get is really good. Other times, we must do a full turn around and get on another, more positive path.

Learning from the best and following in their footsteps, is another vastly productive way of moving from good to great. That's what gurus like Tony Robbins teach. He had to leave behind the negative methods of his family and find others to emulate.

Many of us came from families where we learned what NOT to do. Now, learn what you CAN do to make your life more vibrant and fulfilling.

Here are two of the most forward-thinking individuals that can show you behavior patterns that will keep you at the forefront of your work life.

I picked Jobs and Musk because they stand apart from the multitude of good and competent leaders, they are exemplary models of courage and because of that, they have brought new ways of thinking into all our lives.

If you see yourself in this category, I suggest you take just one of the following behaviors and spend time literally practicing to mastery. Once you get the hang of one of these, move onto the next. Soon, you will find a strength inside that will surprise you.

Here are the patterns that are vital for creators and pioneers.

Don't want to do it alone? Get a coach or read everything you can get your hands on about the topic you pick.

  1. Learn a lot about a lot: Curiosity is at the core of creativity. Jobs took what he learned from the fine art of calligraphy into designing the amazing beauty of Apple products. Who would have guessed? Musk was a science-fiction devotee and that helped him see new worlds, even leading him to the possible reality of riding rockets to Mars. Ready to fly with him?
  2. Be decisive: Don't let others rain on your parade. Stay true to your dreams. You may need to keep the most impossible ones to yourself or surround yourself with other pioneers that will not judge your yearning to be free. Good, if you have a garage like Jobs did, or a brother like Musk has, so you can keep focused on growth and possibilities.
  3. Take risks: Drop out of school or quit a meaningless job if you are called to the open road. Do what you need to do even if your more traditional family members or friends are shaking their heads. Jobs left Reed College and somehow, he found his way. Musk went to Canada with little money and few contacts to find his new way. The foundation of taking risks is believing in yourself. Tell yourself you can do it. Make it a practice to stand firm in what you need to do, no matter what.
  4. Accept failure: Failure is feedback from the universe. You need to pay attention. If you fail once, it may just be a mistake that needs correction. However, if you keep making the same mistake over and over, my friend, you have a pattern. That means, you need to look more deeply at what must be redesigned. Fear of failure is often an ego thing. So, when you fail, ask yourself the questions, "Who am I disappointing, or who do I hope to impress?" Once you can face failure, you can make the changes needed in lightning speed and move on. Jobs had to look at how his adoption played a role in his relationships and what happened if he was criticized. Musk, who was bullied as a kid in South Africa, tends to fight back as if his life depends on it. For both, acknowledging failure and learning from it is mandatory.
  5. Avoid being mediocre: It takes determination to stand out from the masses. That means, developing a strong outer core, so that those afraid of change who want to see you trip and fall, and fall hard, cannot stop you. Find people who are unique and hang out with them. Go to networking events and find the people who are outspoken and talk with them. Take adventure trips for vacation instead of going to a comfortable beach and chilling. Both Jobs and Musk have taken the road less traveled. Find your own special road and get going.

Remember, pick one of the above and focus on it for at least three months, then go on to the next. Soon, you'll be on firm ground to follow your dream from idea to completion.

 

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