“I don’t know where I am going but I’m on my way.”
“I don’t know where I am going but I’m on my way.”
ideas group blog
I woke up today to the news of the departure of Steve Jobs. As many technology enthusiasts and people in business I was in shock. Just last week I used video clippings from his product demos in my Public speaking workshop in Jeddah. For some he was a man of contradictions, for me he was a genius and the greatest CEO of all time. This is a man who accomplished his vision in his own way, and nobody denies that he has “changed the world” or at least he has changed the way we communicate with each others, contributed in making our lives easier and set new standards for innovation.
What makes Steve Jobs in my view the greatest CEO of all time are the below 5 Leadership traits.
Having a vision: Steve Jobs had a clear Vision “To change the world” for a lot of people this might seem as an unattainable dream, however through persistence focus and self trust, Steve Jobs made his vision possible by innovating his first vision “Think Different”. He had a strong belief in his goal and all the challenges he has faced didn’t not stop him from achieving it.
Being genuine: Steve Jobs was truly charismatic, and the way he had all this charisma was by being himself, being different than anyone else and not trying to fake his feelings. In his public appearances he showed a lot of enthusiasm and that was contagious because he was genuine.
Building a team of experts: Although Steve Jobs was the most iconic person in Apple; he could not have done it by himself. He had the ability to attract the best people around him and made sure that Apple and Pixar both had the best people in the best positions and most importantly people that work well together.
Selling skills: To be a great Visionary CEO it is crucial to have great selling and influencing skills. Steve jobs wasn’t born as a great sales person, on the contrary he worked on sharpening his skills. It was his entrepreneurial drive that made him create ways of convincing people, be it convincing people in working for him - the famous sentence that he has said to John Schuley: Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” - or in introducing a new product.
Challenging the status-co: Steve Jobs was very well know for his risk taking, as a matter of fact he was fired from Apple because of his risky ideas. As Alisson Linn from MSNBC puts its “He has taught us that it is ok to fail.” Steve Jobs was always good as figuring out what people wanted and never backed away from trying new things.
An icon to be remembered, the world will miss you Steve Jobs.
Camil El Khoury
“I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life,”
Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford commencement speech.
“You spend a lot of time, searching for the right candidate, then invest money and time training that candidate to find out that the effort wasn’t worth it.” said one of my clients - a Human Resources Director in a corporate organization in Abu Dhabi.-
Employee retention is a major organizational issue these days especially that career options are abundant and more entrepreneurs are emerging in the Middle East region.
So the question is how do I know that this candidate is the right one for for the job and my organization? and how do I know that this position will be filled by the right person?
Plan for jobs ahead of time: I know this step is a bit hard especially for smaller businesses as they await a new contract or client to start the job hunt. However the downturn of not doing this is urgency; When you have to fill a vacant position you will accept the best available option and end up with a 20% chance of success. On the contrary, when you are at ease in filling a position you will only hire the right person for the job.
When in doubt do not hire, keep looking: Rightly said by Jim Collins in Chapter 3 of his amazing book “Good to Great”. A company should actually limit its growth based on its ability to attract and hire the right people. You want to be sure and remove any uncertainties, the sooner you can do it the better it will be.
Hire the attitude and train the skill: Imagine if you have a team member, so skilled at the job and so talented in what he/she does, however has a very negative attitude and ruins the work of other people. For this specific reason, chronological and competency based interviews no longer work alone. It is easier to train a person with the right attitude than to change a person’s behavior. However be careful as attitude alone is not a determining factor for all jobs; as for some positions individuals should have a certain level of experience and knowledge to be successful.
The most successful and sustainable hiring decisions come from a Value Alignment; that is ensuring that there are similar/compatible values between the organization and the interviewee.
Camil el Khoury
Contrary to common belief the key to influence is to speak the very minimum and listen to the very maximum.
We have been receiving meeting requests from one of the well known IT solution providers in beirut to introduce us to their services. When we decided to upgrade our printing solutions, we have called this company in but clearly mentioned to them that we only need printing solutions with specific specs and nothing further.
The sales person, a presentable young man, started off with some chit chat and then dived into his presentation. He started by introducing their company’s newsletter that we already receive and took my colleagues through it page by page. He then moved to describing each product that his company represents from telephones, to servers, to PCs, to laptops etc... My colleague interrupts him to thank him 1st for taking them through his presentation however as clearly mentioned to him, we are only looking for printing solutions since we are familiar with their newsletter and especially that the office is fully equipped. He, however was so committed to his presentation that he insisted on elaborating further on their laptops and the brands they represent. When my colleagues told him that there is no need to go through this section since we are all mac users in the office, he started showing them the mac laptops they have which are already in use in the office. By that time, both of my colleagues were disengaged and considered this meeting as a complete waste of time.
Obviously this salesperson was presenting in good faith, however instead of influencing his prospects he has actively disengaged them.
The key to profoundly influence someone lies in the below 3 steps:
We should ask other people questions, and show interest in their answers. Here you have to resist the urge to talk about yourself or use “I” statements. You also need to resist probing questions i.e. Asking questions with one possible answer.
This important step is almost forgotten. It is not enough to listen to others, we also have to understand what is being said and show it to the other person. If I don’t understand, I cannot act.
We usually omit the first two points and go straight to this one, however when we listen then understand, there is a great chance that this part is no longer needed. How many times you had people coming to ask for advice and after listening to them they find the solution by themselves?
Remember the key to influence is to listen more and talk less
Camil El Khoury