Approach the future with the authority of ownership
Change is inevitable. Most of us know that’s true, but we can still struggle with how to approach it. When Apple began their voyage into the modern world, technology was developing at an unprecedented rate. CEO Steve Jobs came to a very important conclusion: Change was not something Apple needed to predict; change was something Apple needed to create.
We know the rest of the story. Apple charted a new course and, in doing so, piloted a path that changed the technology industry forever. Now take a look at what you can learn from Steve Jobs’ leadership of Apple to grow your business and start creating change. (These tips have certainly helped us.)
Trust what you sell.
Keeping consumers as the focus is the consensus in most industries, but Steve Jobs stood out by giving people what they didn’t know they wanted until they had it. Apple delivered on the promise of pioneering change as progress in a way their customers had yet to imagine. This required customers to actually build trust in Apple’s vision for the future—a trust that Apple delivered on again and again.
Focusing on trust changed our business, too. This past year, iostudio targeted a specific kind of client: those who want to create positive change for the world. As content marketers, we know we do our best when doing good for others. We are passionate about our clients’ values because working for great clients allows our products to make an impact far beyond our walls. This year, we’ve not only served new clients—we’ve joined causes, from neonatal healthcare to water conservation to financial futures. In sharing values with our clients, we are able to help them achieve their vision.
Accept risks for big rewards.
Steve Jobs was known for his intelligence and foresight, but he also took enormous risks. Under his leadership, Apple took chances with design, moving from the known to the conceptual. That involved risk. His approach may have hurt Apple in 1980 when Jobs removed the cooling fan from the Apple III, but look at Apple now. When real risk is instrumental in creating change, the rewards are often just as real.
As an example, this year we proposed a dynamic new CRM for the U.S. Navy recruiting contact center. Our team had a vision for an advanced solution that was outside of the traditional call center software, where the CRM would mobilize data to create a better experience for prospects and accelerate the flow of prequalified leads to recruiters. Now complete, the Navy’s new leading-edge CRM is able to prequalify leads with precision, customize queue control for smarter call attempts, and employ multichannel text and chat. All represent massive payoffs for our client.
A huge reason behind Apple’s success can be attributed to Steve Jobs’s unwillingness to turn and look back. An undying need for what comes next drove Apple forward, and the minute Jobs stepped down, production changed dramatically in the company. For a time, Apple lost their edge, their ingenuity and their way.
As you build your company, analyze the data, relate it to the present and go. Once you push the gas, there is no more looking back. iostudio did exactly that a year ago when we committed to find new purpose-driven commercial clients and serve them with the same ingenuity with which we’ve served our federal clients. Today, we partner with some of the most vibrant businesses in the healthcare, ecological and financial services industries. Our products are better for it already—and we’re just getting started.
Steve Jobs didn’t try to predict the future. He didn’t try to guess what was coming next. He decided to build the future. Chances are that you hold the very proof of that decision’s impact in your pocket. You can create change that is equally real.
Remember that there is one key crucial to success, and that is drive. Be persistent. Even if your ideas get turned down or your initial assumptions prove incorrect, don’t let setbacks on the path deter you. Pull out your machete and carve yourself a new path. In the face of adversity, never back down. Let your tenacity be the foundation for your journey.
In the end, Apple became more than a company, growing into a symbol of innovation for the 21st century. Steve Jobs and the Apple team taught us a valuable lesson about change. Let’s not miss the biggest point: Taking hold of the future has nothing to do with understanding change, but it has everything to do with creating it.
Make the future yours by seeing it as your opportunity. So when change comes your way, embrace it as your own. This is the excitement you’ve been waiting for.