Lead Like Steve Jobs

The headline to this article was 50% click-bait and 50% to prove a point.


Don’t Be Lead Like Somebody Else
Confession: I read tons of articles on how to lead like __________. Sometimes it is Steve Jobs. Sometimes Warren Buffet. Sometimes Mark Cuban. Sometimes some other random famous leader. Here is the thing- the world does not need another leader like them. The people who I lead don’t need Mark Cuban leading them, they need me. The people you are leading need you to be YOU.

Lead Like YOU
The world needs you to lead like YOU. The world needs your style/brand of leadership. Let your personality shine. Let your quirks shine. Let your crazy show. Please for the sake of the world be you. Stop being a copy and be the original you are. We need you to lead like YOU. For the longest time I have tried to lead like someone else. When I do, my team suffers. The work the team produces suffers. My wife suffers as I come home frustrated. When I let go of those leadership masks and lead like me things change. I have seen it happen. I am not perfect at this. It is a daily battle to let go of those masks. It is hard to believe that I am good enough if I am being me. You may experience the same thing. Here’s the thing, we are awesome and the world needs us to lead like ourselves. Will you join me in taking off the masks?

But Shouldn’t I Be Improving My Leadership Skills
Yes. We should all be looking to improve our skills. Improving skills and leading like someone else are totally different. Learning to listen better as a leader is different than trying to lead like Steve Jobs.

I Dare You
I dare you to lead like you. I dare me to lead like me. Are we up for it? Only time will tell. For one week let’s lead like ourselves and see what happens. My guess is that the world will be a better place. And our teams will be much happier and productive. And have a greater impact on the world.


great leaders love failure


Poor leaders dislike failure.  Good leaders accept failure.  Great leaders love failure.

This may sound like heresy to some of you.  A few years ago, it would have sounded like heresy to me.  Let me explain why I believe it to be the truth.  First I need to dispel some myths about failure

Myth #1: Failure is permanent.

When we think failure is permanent we can become paralyzed.  Often in my life, I have been afraid to fail because I thought if I tried and failed I would permanently be a failure in that area.  How crazy is that, failure is an opportunity to start over with knowledge of how not to do something.

Myth #2: Failing means I am a failure.

When I failed often I felt like I was a failure.  Or I thought if I tried and failed I was a failure.  This is bull crap.  Failing means I was brave enough to try.

Myth #3: When you fail it means you weren’t supposed to do that particular thing.

Often I have felt if I failed at something I wasn’t destined to do that particular thing.  However, failure just means another obstacle to overcome.

Smashing these myths has helped me love failure.  Failure is an essential part of changing the world.  Failure guides us to the best plan of action.  People who continue to fail change the world.  The person who fails and gets up over and over makes a difference.  The best basketball player of all time failed over and over.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

The best basketball player ever failed over and over again and that is why he was the greatest player ever.  He dared to fail.  There are many famous people who have succeeded because they were willing to fail.  People who failed and did not think it was permanent.

Where do you need to fail?  Where do you need to step out and dare to fail?  The world needs you to fail and keep on failing.  If you are a leader the world needs you to love failure and encourage your team to fail.

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napkin thoughts (002): perfection kills creativity

WP_20130904_00420130904162828Do you have a desire to be perfect? I do.

Do you have a desire for the things you make to be perfect? I do.

The desire of perfection leads to not creating or finishing things.

Have you ever experienced this?  Perfection kills creativity.

The creative process is messy.  It has to be.  If we wait for the draft to be perfect we will never finish the draft.  If we wait until the product is perfect we will never release the product.  Even as I write this post, I am trying to make it perfect and I never will.  At some point if I want to impact people I will need to hit the publish button.

The question that always comes to my mind is when will I know when something is ready to release.  It depends.  How is that for an answer?  My general rule of thumb is 80% or above.  Some projects require 90% or better.  It may be different for you.  However, I know this, your product will never be perfect.  There always will be an error.  Guess what?  That is okay.  Release it to the world.  Inspire us with your creation.  Stop hiding it.

What have you been working on that you won’t release because it is not perfect?

What is the percentage needed for you?

What is one thing you can release, publish, sing, show the world today?

We need your creation(s).  Remember perfection kills creativity.

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quotability (001)- never give up

Never Give Up


“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

Some of my most creative ideas have come from not giving up.  I guarantee that some point in the creative process you will want to give up. I want to encourage you to not give up. In my experience pushing through at the point of wanting to give up will result in something great being formed. You may have to scrap your current draft, just don’t give up.

Some of my best leadership moments have come from not giving up. Change takes a long time and if you are a leader who wants to bring about change it is going to take a long time. It will be hard. You will get hurt. Don’t give up. You can do it. Keep going.

If you are or want to be a creative leader it will be even harder. More days than not you are going to want to give up; don’t. The world needs your creative leadership. If you give up, the world will be missing out.

Never, never, never give up.

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napkin thoughts (001): creativity = assembly


Have you every uttered the phrase “I am not a creative person”?  Or “I am not creative, like ______”?  Or “If ____ was here we could have a creative answer to this problem”?

These are all myths.

Everyone is creative, some just need to uncover or rediscover their creativeness.

Have you ever heard the creativity myth that being creative means you have to come up with original ideas?  I have.  Many times in fact.  This scares people away from allowing themselves to be creative.  The truth is…

Creativity = Assembly

Creativity is about stealing ideas from many different places and assembling them in a way no one has before.  It is that simple.

What do you think?  Does creativity = assembly?

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creating as leading

creative (1)

Ever since I was little kid I enjoyed creating things.  As a kid I had a brown paper grocery bag filled with junk; this junk included things such as, empty milk jugs, empty paper towel rolls, a tube for a bike tire and other household trash.  With these parts I wanted to create a jet pack.  I thought it would be cool if I could create a jet pack and fly to wherever I wanted.  Try as I could I never was able to create the jet back.  Eventually I threw the bag away.  Sometimes I wish I had the bag to try to make the jet pack I always dreamed of.

As I grew up I noticed another thing about myself.  I was a leader, when I was in groups I would lead, in sports I would lead, I never thought much of naturally leading a group of people.

Being creative and a leader did not seem to mesh well in life.  As I read articles on creativity, rarely do they talk about using creativity in leadership.  When I read articles on leadership rarely do they talk about using leadership skills in creative endeavors and rarely talk about needing to be creative as a leader.

Up until recently I have tried to divide these two characteristics I have.  I even created a pseudonym for my creative work.  I thought I couldn’t associate my creative work with my leadership roles in life.

Now I have this theory.  In order to be a leader one must creative.  Not pie in the sky creative, rather one who creates things.

A leader is one who creates.

Leaders can create in many different ways.  A leader can create vision.  A leaders can create a healthy culture.  A leader can create trust.  A leader can create structures which allow people to succeed.

For me, I lead better when I can create art (film, story, curriculum, and things like this).  I love creating vision, structure and things like that as well, but creating art really causes me to be a better leader.

Below is one of my contributions of being creative to the world.  I played only a small part in making this film a reality and was surrounded by genius people.  It was great being part of multiple teams to create such a powerful piece of art.

What do you think, do leaders need to create?  What causes you to be a better leader?

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