12 Rules of Success from Steve Jobs

Anyone that knows me understands that I have quoted Steve Jobs many times in my leadership coaching, mentoring, speaking, and training.  I was fortunate to find an article which listed 12 rules of success that he had claimed years ago.  I wanted to share these 12 rules with my readers and followers….

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Rule #01: Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Make a difference. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Rule #02: Be different. Think different. Better to be a pirate than to join the navy.

Rule #03: Do your best at every job. Don’t sleep! Success generates more success so be hungry for it. Hire good people with a passion for excellence.

Rule #04: Perform SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate to throw bad apples out of the company.

Rule #05: Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be acted upon quickly and decisively and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Rule #06: Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.

Rule #07: Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it regardless of whether or not anyone else is using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.

Rule #08: People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don’t know about it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Rule #09: Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.

Rule #10: Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate. Let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.

Rule #11: Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Rule #12: Learn continually. There’s always “one more thing” to learn.
Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers, competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don’t like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.

I hope you enjoy these, and I hope also that you are already following some of these rules in your life.  I wish you all much success and that you reach all of your goals!

Source of information: http://www.businessbrief.com/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-12-rules-of-success/

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What is your Legacy?

PREFACE: I’ve had this blog on my mind all week.  It’s been a while since I have written and I was thinking of this very topic as my first after so long.  I had 90% of this writing complete and saved it as a draft this morning.  As I sat in church today, my pastor began speaking and I realized that his topic today was exactly in line with this very article.  He spoke of realizing  your purpose in life and leaving something to the world long after you are gone.  It’s times like these when I know that the work I do and the writings I share with the world are meant to occur.

Two Most Important DaysThis week I was watching “The Voice” and a song called “See you again” is being performed by Wiz Khalifa. The inspiring words are at the start:

It’s been a long day without you, my friend

And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

We’ve come a long way from where we began

Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

When I see you again

So many thoughts came to mind as I listen to these words. The one core though that stayed in my mind was how that, so many times in life, the moment is gone before we even realize it was happening.  It reminded me of another phrase that I heard just yesterday once again:

“Life is what happens while we are making plans”

Why are we unable to cherish and enjoy those special times in life to the fullest?  Maybe it’s because the world is getting faster before our eyes. We’ve gone from having computers on our desk and laps to having them in our hands and wearing them on our wrists.  Everything is at a faster pace than ever before in history.

But as I thought about the great people I’ve gotten to spend my life with – especially my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents – I’m reminded of what things I remember when I reminisce about the days of the past.  And then I’m reminded of the legacy that was left to me; the lessons I’ve learned; the stories that I have been able to tell; and the experiences that have shaped my life to what it is today.

Then I’m reminded of one of my personal core values that I learned first from Stephen Covey: “To Live, To Love, To Leave a Legacy“.

It may sound crazy, but one of the many things I must ensure that I accomplish in life is to leave a legacy. To be remembered for something.  To stay in the minds of others long after I am gone.

What is your legacy?  What are you hoping to accomplish in this life that you want others to remember you by?  Is it a book? Is it a charity event or effort? Is it helping others in need? Is it a great invention? Is it to help grow your company or organization? Is it to start your own company? Is it to provide a memory to your children and grandchildren of core values and a purpose in life? Or is it something even more large that changes the world forever?

We all have the potential. And we all have the same amount of time every day. Zig Ziglar stated that “We all have 24 hours in a day“. What are you doing with your days to leave your legacy?

I’ve learned that as we grow older new things become more important than others. I’ve learned many of the basic core goals of my life in just the last few years.  I feel confident in telling you that when you realize what your goals, your aspirations, and your legacy encompasses, you will know it with clarity.

I would love to hear from you, reader, and what are your plans for leaving a legacy? Your life is important. Have you found your purpose?  What is your purpose?  How do you want to be remembered?

Check out my Facebook Page!

Today, I felt it was time to separate my personal Facebook page from my future writing, speaking, and other adventures of life.

If you are a follower of me here on my blog, and you have Facebook, i invite you to check out my new Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/mikelylesbusiness

Thank you for following my blog!  Without each and every one of you, I could not pursue my goals!

Keep Smiling!

New Year’s Resolution Time! 2015 is My Big Year!

It’s that time of year, when folks start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I’ve laughed at how so many of us will make promises on January 1 that we soon fail to complete.  Many of our commitments are lost by the end of January.  it’s a known fact that gyms get the most applications for new membership in the first week of January.  And then people go for some time and eventually let it drop off of their schedule.  People will start a diet, and many will lose a few pounds, only to give up when they step out of the diet to eat something that is not good for them.  People set goals to accomplish their lifelong dreams, only to give up after just a few months of moving in that direction.

I can’t say too many negative things about this, because I, too, have been one of these people.  I have planned to grow faster, do more, accomplish more, set major goals for the year, only to find that I fall short.

But in 2015, this is about to change.  I know that my diet needs to change and I need to become more healthy.  That is a goal I will set on January 1 and i will be firm on making this happen.  But this is only a minor part of what 2015 has in store for me.  I plan to reach out to schools and other institutions to look for opportunities to speak on leadership, and to begin coaching people on the things that made me successful in my life, as well as lessons learned which I can share to help others avoid the same roadblocks and obstacles that I encountered through my life.

But 2015 brings something new for Mike Lyles —- I have aspired to write a book for so many years.  And I have kept notes, articles, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and guidelines in a journal for more years than I can remember.  I am pulling all of the things together and in 2015, I will be planning to publish a book.  And I hope you, my followers, will be interested in reading my thoughts and being part of this journey with me.  I have read so many books as well as experienced so many things in my life that I feel the book will have something that everyone can relate to, regardless of whether they are a computer geek like me, or whether they like leadership and management coaching.  I want this book to be something that touches everyone in some way and gives them something to use practically in their lives.  Keep your eyes open.  2015 is the year of the Lyles Book!

There are so many other things I plan to do in 2015.  The list is too long to share in a single blog.  But I can assure you that as I check off the long list of goals for my 2015, that the world around me will be changed!  No time for procrastination anymore!

So what’s your plan for 2015?  Have you already started thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2015?  Have you procrastinated in 2014? 2013?  Years before?  We are not getting any younger, and life is not slowing down to give us more time to complete what we want to do.  Look around you and examine what you do each day.  Are you wasting your time doing things that have no value to your life, and your message to the world?  Make a list of things you want to accomplish in 2015.  Prioritize that list.  Look at the first two items on that list, and break those items down into tasks that you can do every day to move you in the direction of completing the goal.  You will be surprised what you can accomplish if you give even 10 minutes a day to your goals.  Tell those that are close to you about your goals.  Tell them when you plan to complete them.  And tell them to help you be disciplined.  Sometimes a word of encouragement will help you to stay on track.  It’s human nature to want to keep those people that are important to you happy.  So if you have someone watching your goals, you are less likely to procrastinate.  Make it a team event!

Always remember the words of Steve Jobs, who said:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

2015 should be the year of “Never, never, never give up!” (quote from Winston Churchill).  Make it year that you look back on and say that this was the year you turned your life around in the most positive direction!   One small goal that you complete today may result in an amazing impact to your life in 2015 and beyond.  Never underestimate how important what you do every day will do to move you closer to your goals in life.

And if you’re reading this and saying “I don’t have goals” – then today is the day you need to set at least TWO.  Get them on paper and get started on them.  What is your purpose in life?  What do you want to leave as your legacy?  It’s been said that the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.  Make the best of this life.  Set your goals.  Go after them.  And let’s celebrate 2015 a year from now!

Get ready for my book!  It’s coming my friends!

Bucket List – Another Item Checked Off

Through my life and career I have created a bucket list of things I want to do before my time here is up on Earth.

Recently, I was honored by the folks at http://www.ziglar.com by being featured in their weekly newsletter. I am forever grateful to them for allowing me to be part of this, and I hope that I get another opportunity to do this again soon!!

The following link will take you to the article, and if you are not already a subscriber, I would encourage you to do so!

Zig Ziglar Newsletter

This is only the beginning for me. While Ziglar was one of my first stops, I plan to write for many more soon!!!

5 Reasons You Should Stop Pursuing Your Dreams

Dreams.  Goals.  Ambitions.  Everyone has them.  Even those who say they do not, are, in essence, setting a goal to not have them.  The question, however, is, what are we doing to reach the dreams and goals in life?  What is stopping us from achieving the things that we want?

I have spoken to many, listened to their goals, dreams, ambitions, and I have heard the excuses as to why they are not setting the path to achieve them.  And this has inspired me to compile a list that I will call “5 Reasons You Should Stop Pursuing Your Dreams”.  I’m sure when you saw the title of this article, your first reaction was “Why would anyone suggest reasons to stop pursuing their dreams”.  Well…..I want to provide you with something I’d like to call “The 180 Look“.  That is, to take a 180 degree turn, and think differently about the roadblocks and obstacles that are continually keeping you from reaching your goals in life.

1.  “It has never been done before”.

Who hasn’t heard this excuse?  It’s impossible.  It’s unattainable.  No one has ever done it.  Why do you think you can?  All of these are examples of the kinda of thoughts and inputs that we have when we are considering something that may have never been accomplished before in our lives.

But I challenge you to rise above this negative thinking.  The “180 Look” for this reason is simple.  Tell this to Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.  Tell this to Michael Jordan, likely the most famous basketball player of our time – if you want to read all the records he broke, you will need to set aside a long time to read through them.  Tell this to Michael Phelps, who singlehandedly broke a 48-year-old Olympic record in 2012 by finishing his career with 22 medals.

2.  “You do not have the skills to do it”.

How often has someone shot down your dreams by telling you that, no matter how bad you want to do something, that you don’t have the ability or the skills to accomplish it?  Don’t listen to these negative comments.  Many times people will disguise their jealousy as concern.  Ensure that you are able to differentiate between someone who is jealous and someone who is being genuine and being sincere.

The “180 Look” you should take here is to remember that skills can be learned, but having the heart and the passion to accomplish your goals is the critical key to achieving them.  Feeling that nothing can stop you and that obstacles can be overcame is more important than initially having the skills to accomplish the dream.  Additionally, you should focus on things which make you happy.  Examine your life.  Look at your current career, your current job, school, or day-to-day activities.  Are you happy doing what you do? Is this really the direction you wanted to take when you think about your dreams, goals, and ambitions?  If not, then keep looking, keep experimenting with the world around you – and surely you will find the direction you want to take!

3.  “You’re doing fine right where you are – you don’t need a change”.

Albert Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.  If you’re stuck in a career where you feel nothing is ever going to improve, then think about change.  If you’re taking courses toward an education or degree and you feel it’s not the right path for you, then change.  And if you’re sitting where you are, because you feel this is as good as you can get, but you know what you want to do with your life, then consider a change.  But be sure that it is something you are willing to dedicate yourself to and not give up.  You have to be willing to possibly sacrifice certain things in your life to accomplish your ultimate goal.

I heard someone say once that your Human Resources department is not going to set your career and move you to where you want to go.  This, obviously, is not a negative statement to our HR partners, but merely a statement to remind us that your career and your growth depends heavily on the decisions you make and the opportunities you reach out to take.  The “180 Look” for you to remember is that it is important to periodically examine where you are in your career.  If you are where you feel you need to be, then no changes are needed.  However, if you are not where you feel you need to be, then let today be the “First Day of the BEST of Your Life“.

4.  “You’re dreaming of a perfect world – you don’t really want to do this”.

To be honest, this is actually good advice.  It is important for everyone to examine if they REALLY want to pursuing the goal.  Weigh the options and evaluate the pros and cons of where you want to go.  If you still feel it’s where you want to be, then set your sights on the accomplishment and get started!

Is there a perfect world?  Probably not on this planet.  But you surely can find a way to be in a world where you enjoy what you are doing if you search hard enough.  The “180 Look” is for you to find things you enjoy doing, things that make you happy and give you satisfaction when you have accomplishments.  Evaluate whether you are good at it or whether you need more experience, training, support, or guidance.  As mentioned earlier, not having the skills nor experience is not a reason for giving up – it’s merely a reason to try harder and obtain them.  And lastly, if your goal is related to your career, it’s always beneficial to seek something in which people will pay you for your work.

5.  “No one will ever support you”.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”  – Steve Jobs
 

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone you knew gave you their full support for all the things you do in your life?  I have bad news for you.  It’s never going to happen.  Even the most accomplished people on the planet have had to rise above adversity, disbelief, non-support, and criticism.  The “180 Look” that I beg you to consider is to never let someone else’s opinion or criticism keep you from doing something you truly cannot stop thinking about accomplishing.  Sell yourself to those who don’t believe – show them it can be done – and enjoy the journey.

The purpose of this writing is to share with you how that you can overcome five of the major reasons that many will stop chasing their dreams – today, tomorrow, and in the future.  I challenge you to never give up, and if you really want to accomplish something, then set your path, and begin.

It has been said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.  Start walking!

 

Work-Life Balance Is A Fantasy

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Find your ‘work-life balance’”.  We’ve heard it all our lives.  And everyone has suggestions on how to accomplish this balance.  The focus has always been on finding a way to be successful at work while still finding the time to live your life outside of work.

It’s time to be enlightened, folks.  There is no such thing as a work-life balance.  It doesn’t exist.  And as you read further, I hope you understand why I make such a bold statement that may have never been made before.

I heard a character in a movie ask another character “Where do you live?”  The second character replied “Everywhere!”  This comical retort got me thinking this statement was more true than funny.  Many of us, if asked this question, would give a street name, a city, a country, because we would be thinking about where we spend our lives in a house.  But I challenge each of you today to think differently.

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The reason I say work-life balance is a fantasy, is that the two are not mutually exclusive.  I read a very interesting story once called “The Dash”.  And it spoke of how that, at the end of our lives, there is a date of birth and a date of death with a “ – “ (dash) in the middle.  What you do with your ‘dash’ is what makes the difference.  That simple dash is your life and everything you do during that dash defines ‘life’.

If you are at work, you are still living your life.  If you are at home, you are living your life.  If you are out with friends or family, you are living your life.  Everywhere you turn, you are living your life.  Therefore, instead of focusing on a ‘work-life balance’, focus on a “Life Balance” where you focus on every aspect of your life no matter where you are.  Give 110% in each and every one of those aspects.  Your family and friends should remember you as someone who is dedicated, thoughtful, kind, and loving.  Those who work with you should remember you as someone who is dedicated, goal-oriented, a team player, resilient, focused, hard-working, tenacious, and unwilling to give up.

If you focus on being the best everywhere you go, paying attention to the urgent and important needs, showing kindness to others, prioritizing each and every aspect of your life, you will find that you no longer have to worry about ‘balancing work and life’, because your life will be all that you have, and work, friends, family, and all others will be things that together MAKE your LIFE.

One of my favorite writers, Zig Ziglar stated once that “No one ever said on their deathbed ‘I wish I had worked more’”.  The focus of your life should never be whether you should work more or less.  It should be whether you are giving quality and priority to the things in your LIFE that matter the most, in the right order.

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When this life is over, all that will be left is the memory of you.

The question you have to ask yourself today is how do you want to be remembered.  And what things can you do today to ensure you meet those goals in your LIFE?