Steve Jobs’ Daily Question

Steve Jobs, without a doubt one of the greatest visionaries and innovators, once said,

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? “And if the answer is ‘No’ too many days in a row, I know I’ve got to change something.”

It is this kind of introspective approach towards daily life and work that is a powerful tool for private business leaders wanting to improve performance and growth. The very spirit of Jobs’ philosophy is a restless pursuit of passion and purpose. It means to the business leader that they need to be in a constant state of evaluating whether they are on a path that is a personal fit and also fits the vision of their company.

The MasterThink team frequently works with companies that have achieved rapid growth in the past, but who have hit a plateau. These companies are too often locked into behaviors that once served them well but have now become constraints.

The crux of the issue is that human beings too often default to the familiar, to what feels safe, even when it no longer serves them.

Living in that safe world protects people from the pain of transformation, but also blocks the path to their goals. Whether personally or in business, it is essential to recognize when your established patterns are limiting growth. As a business leader, your challenge is to move out of the echo chamber of routine and undertake a fresh review of your company’s direction.

The very thing that Steve Jobs reflected upon is exactly what MasterThink brings to the table when working with our clients. The following eight steps are the things that you can work on every day to change what you are doing and why you are doing them.

Daily Reflection
Kickstart each day with a moment of personal reflection. Pose the same question to yourself that Steve Jobs asked and honestly try to answer it. Do I really want to do what I’m about to do today? If your answer is ‘No’ too many times, then it is time to dig into the “why”.

Identifying Limiting Behaviors
On a business level, pose the same question. With the help of your team, identify the barriers slowing your company down. Then ask what behaviors are behind the barriers. Recognition of these patterns is the first step to taking meaningful steps towards changing them.

Challenge the Status Quo
Privately owned businesses often have the agility to pivot faster than their larger counterparts. Use this to your advantage by challenging the existing state of affairs and adopting new and innovative approaches to business problems.

Set a Vision for Change
Create a clear vision of what the change would look like in your business. The vision should always be inspiring, challenging, and most importantly, attainable. Is it?

Build a Culture of Growth
Create an environment where everyone values continuous improvement even more than the comfort of their current system. Challenge your people to suggest new ideas and be willing to try them.

Planning and Action
Shift from reflection to action. Make a change roadmap that would include short-term goals and long-term objectives, and a well-thought-out plan for executing them.

Measure and Adjust
Set up metrics to measure the effectiveness of the changes that you are making. After you have determined what is working and what isn’t, be ready to promptly change and adapt new strategies.

Commit to Learning
Embrace both success and failure as learning opportunities. A growth mindset will keep you and your business evolving, no matter the challenges you face.

The willingness to ask the tough questions and the courage to change are some of the earmarks of great leadership. It liberates a business from limiting behaviors and sets the company on a path to continued success.

Let the wisdom of Steve Jobs and our experienced team at MasterThink team be your guide to a future where every day is lived with determination and purpose, and every business decision leads you where you want to go.

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