Learning from Steve Jobs

Gleaning from SJ – by Leslie Choudhury

Steve Jobs’ impact on our life cannot be underestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For many people, leaders, managers, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success. We need to learn from this. What are you creating that is worth sharing?
Over the years, I’ve become a student of many great leaders and of course of Steve Job’s career and life. Here’s my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our “inner Steve Jobs.” Question that remains is will we?

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” Asked about the advice he would offer would-be leaders, he said, “I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.” That’s how much it meant to him. Passion is everything. Nothing can or will substitute passion. In dealing with companies and people I have come to realize this is a critical success ingredient. I recently had to advise an old friend, to quit his job because he was not passionate about it and if he could not get passionate then ‘get out’. In the alternate scenario I encouraged a young, vibrant lady to take up a leadership role because she was full of passion and it needed that step for her to realize what she is capable of. When you do what you love, it isn’t a job, it is where you get your natural adrenalin rush from, it is fun, it is like a favourite sport, hobby … and sometimes people have to tell you to stop!

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. I once asked the founder and former chairman of Sony Corporation, Akio Morita, “What was his Vision?” His was a simple vision, “To make things smaller and better!” Sony grew from nothing to one of the largest most successful electronic companies in the world. Their success was through ‘innovation’. They have made a dent in the world. How do you want to spend your life? How will you be involved in changing the world?” What is your vision? Don’t lose sight of this vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn’t have any practical use in his life — until he built the Macintosh. Jobs travelled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don’t live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields. Networking is a key to success. I cannot imagine to be where I am today if not for knowing the right people, having been connected with a variety of people and experiences. I have been involved with sports, music, church and para-church organizations, civil service and corporate think-tanks, hospitality, travel, time-share, and education. As Steve Jobs says, you can only connect the dots looking backwards. Today, I can so embrace what life unfolds as I made the connections yesterday that keep paying off tomorrow.

4. Say ‘No’ to many things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the “A-Team” on each product. What are you saying “no” to? I have said no to Seychelles, Qatar, Fiji, New Zealand, numerous assignments, appointments, jobs, directorships, etc as they would have not helped me focus on being what I want to be or getting where I want to go. Life is about choices. We must choose to focus. Many people focus on what is urgent and not on what is important. We must focus on what is important, crucial, vision-critical not what is urgent.

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are we doing to enrich the lives of our customers? Are we creating memory banks for our clients? Moments clients will relish, touch them, change them and remain in them forever … we can! I love having an impact on a person long after the face to face encounter. I always think about what I can do different, how I can give people those kind of ‘life changing’ experiences?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas, it doesn’t matter. Jobs was the world’s greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation. What is the story we tell our customer? What is the story they will tell others? I recently had a series of workshops conducted for DELL computers on ‘Emotional Intelligence’, where every single available seat was taken up and in fact quite overbooked. When asking each person, why they were there in my workshop it was immensely encouraging to hear them say ‘I was told I should not miss this opportunity by so and so’. If our message is right, touching, life-changing, it will be spread!

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It’s so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Our customers don’t care about our products. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if we help our customers reach their dreams, we’ll win them over.

There’s one story that I think sums up Jobs’ career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? ‘Dream Bigger’. I think that’s the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in our craziness, believe in ourself, believe in our vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas. I just finished attending a symposium where a lovely lady named Sharon from Australia talked about ‘Selling Goosebumps’ ! We are in the business of selling dreams, creating dreams, making dreams come true ..making memories, creating experiences that bring a warmth to the heart and souls of our customers. I want to be part of this …do you?

See it, be it, live it !!!


Dealing With Negative People !!!

Have you ever been faced with trying to stay positive when others around you are negative? Negative people can be a challenge to be around. They will bring you down and drain your energy. A negative person can throw your best laid plans to be positive right out the window. Whether your child or spouse has an occasional negative day or you deal with a family member, friend or co-worker that is chronically negative, there are things you can do to remain positive in the face of negativity.

1. Let the Negativity Pass
Whatever you do, do not argue with a negative person. Arguing only adds fuel to the fire. A negative person will feed off any negativity that will strengthen his mood or attitude. I have noticed when my children are in a crabby mood, it is best to avoid trying to convince them to analyze and adjust their attitude. As soon as I take the approach of being in opposition with them, they seize the opportunity to prove to me that life stinks. Their negativity intensifies and the situation gets worse before it gets better. Sometimes the best thing to do is remain silent and let the negativity pass.

2. Negative People Need Love
You know how difficult it can be to give love and positive attention to negative people. Unfortunately, that is often exactly what they need. Deep inside that mean and critical person is a person that is usually afraid he or she is unlovable. It is our challenge to rise above the negative attitude and love the injured person inside. How do you show love when someone is negative? You must listen to what she is trying to tell you. Acknowledge the feelings she has by saying something like, “You sound very angry right now”. Even if you don’t quite understand the person’s feelings, know that your reality is different than someone else’s. Ask how you might help the negative person. This shows legitimate interest in her happiness. Offer a hug even if you get rejected. Remember not to take a rejection of your love personally. A negative person often has difficulty receiving love from others.

3. Focus on the Positive
If you try really hard, there is always something positive to be found in any situation. Pretend you are on a treasure hunt and search for any gold or jewels you can emphasize. Even a negative person has positive qualities. When a person is drowning in negativity, it can be difficult for them to see the positive. So often my clients focus on the negative aspects of themselves. They forget about all the great things they are doing. I admit that sometimes a negative person doesn’t want to see the positive. This might require her to shift her outlook. Negativity can become a habit and habits are hard to break. Be patient and gently remind your grumpy friend or family member to look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Hopefully, in her down time, she will begin to reflect on what you have said.

4. Ask Negative People to Elaborate
You may hear a negative person say things like: “Women are fickle.” “You can’t trust doctors.” “My husband makes me miserable.” These kinds of statements are a type of cognitive distortion referred to as generalizations. To help a person sort through her distorted thinking, ask for more specifics. Questions like “Which women are fickle?” or “What specifically about your husband is making you miserable?” force a person to evaluate what he or she is really trying to say. A negative person will either give up because it takes too much effort to explain himself, or he or she will get to the bottom of the issue.

5. Detach and Avoid Trying to Change the Negative Person
Learning to detach emotionally from a negative person can greatly benefit you and the other person. A negative person will fight you if you try to change them. If you want, you can try a little reverse psychology and agree with everything she says. I once read a great article about a mother who was exasperated with her son’s negative mood. Everything she tried to soothe him and make him feel better backfired. She finally gave up and started agreeing with everything he said. When her son told her his friends were mean, she agreed with him. When he complained that his teacher didn't know anything, she couldn't agree more. After several minutes of this kind of dialogue with her son, his mood suddenly shifted. He declared that he was tired and he went to bed with a smile on his face.

6. Stay Away from Negative People
If you have negative people in your life that are critically affecting your mental and physical health, you need to evaluate whether or not you want these people in your life. Some people are so chronically negative that you have no other choice but to remove them from your life. It’s possible to do that with friends. You can find another job if your boss or other co-workers are bringing you down. Other people, such as children and spouses, are difficult to remove from your life. In this instance, professional counseling may be the answer. To protect your well being, you need to enforce very strong boundaries with negative people.

7. Keep Your Own Negative Thoughts and Behaviors in Check
If you do nothing else but focus on managing your own negative thoughts and behavior, you will come a long way towards remaining positive. A negative attitude is contagious, but a positive attitude is infectious as well. Hang out with positive people that encourage you to be your best self. Use positive affirmations to overcome negative self-talk. Express your gratitude for all the positive things in your life. Take the time everyday to watch all the beautiful things going on around you. Read inspirational material and listen to joyful music. Take care of yourself spiritually. Do whatever you have to do to remain positive and happy despite the negativity you face.

The world will be a better place because of you and your attitude. And you never know, you just might help a negative person make a change to a better way of living.

Leslie Choudhury – Int’l Speaker, Trainer, Consultant and Author
Serious fun for serious business

 See  it,  be  it,  live  it !!!


CEO – Dreamz Image International
Director – Directive Communication International
Associate Director – ADMC Pte Ltd
65 96347354

Connect to me on http://www.facebook.com/leslie.choudhury

The Power of Doubt

It doesn’t matter what your goals are for the coming months…eventually, you’re going to have days when you doubt yourself.
It may start out small, a thought so tiny and insignificant that you barely give it a glance, or it might smack you right in the face.
That’s when it happens – your momentum stops!

I’ve been there plenty of times. When I started my first business I doubted myself constantly. I was afraid I was going to fall flat on my face, and that my friends and family would laugh at my dream.

I felt like I was all alone, with no one who truly ‘got it’.

But you know what?

Self-doubt is a very human emotion that hits us all at one time or another. But, you CAN’T let those feelings of self-doubt stop you from following your dreams.

If I’d listened to my self-doubts, or the occasional ones still have, then I would still be wishing for more as opposed to enjoying more.

Wanna change your self-doubt into confidence…

Next time you experience doubt, write it down on a piece of paper. Then, on the other side of the paper, write down the complete opposite.

I promise it’ll make you feel amazing…

If you doubt that you’ll ever find a way to leave your dreary job, which takes too much time away from your family and your health.

Then write down: “I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to leave my job.”

Then, write down the exact opposite on the other side of the page.

“I’m GOING to start my own home business so I have the freedom to spend more time with my family.”
See the difference?

That second sentence is full of life and power and DOING. You’re saying you WILL do this. Not you’re going to try, or you might do it. You WILL do it. And writing it down strengthens your drive.

Listen, it doesn’t matter WHAT your dreams are…YOU have the power within you to accomplish them.

Keep Moving Forward!

Power of Words

BooYaa !!!

The Power of Words

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!”

We all heard that saying when we were children, and, like so many other childlike chants, it was a great myth. Words do have power, immense power, and they can cause much pain, because when they are repeated in negative fashion, people, especially children, may end up believing them. “You’re a bad boy,” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You’re a loser,” “Does your face hurt? It’s killing me.”

These are only slight examples of the negative language we often hear. We have all heard them, and unfortunately have been guilty of dishing them out as well.

During the 1980′s ( my dad told me) there was a big push for building self-esteem, and workshops were available everywhere teaching us how to make people ‘feel good about themselves.’ This 180 degree turn seemed valid in theory, but what happened in many cases was positive feedback became the new mantra, and yet the effect didn’t always achieve the desired results. Why? Because recipients only benefited from the praise if they believed it was genuine.

This brings us to an important point. Self-talk and self-belief are the keys. No one can ruin our day without our permission, and always feeling good about ourselves is impossible. I hold this to be true – that self-esteem and self-worth are not synonymous. Self-esteem is having pride in oneself and generally feeling good about who we are. I don’t know about you, but I certainly have had moments in my life when I wasn’t too proud of my actions, and without question I have had times when I didn’t feel good about me.

This moment of “lack of self-esteem” would indicate that something is terribly wrong. Contrary to the education of self-esteem, nothing is wrong – we are simply human.

Self-worth, on the other hand, is acceptance of who we are – all of our strengths and weaknesses, all of our abilities (or lack thereof), all of our joyful moments as well as those times of sorrow; our contributions and our refusals, etc. See a pattern?

We are worthy simply because we are God’s creation, and we are loved for every part of us.

Whether we are in a good place or a bad one, whether we are contributing or contaminating, whether we have done something to be proud of or something to be embarrassed or ashamed of, nothing diminishes our worthiness.

The negative actions and the ensuing consequences may affect our self-esteem, but it has no impact on our self-worth!

Be the person you were born to be…believe, use that tongue to encourage, to build people up, to help, to empower…your words can mean something and can be tremendously powerful….understand the power of speaking good….the power of words !

Are You A Winner ?

What is a winner? For some to be a winner is to be a good sport or having fun. For others, it was about crushing the competition. How you answer this question is a reflection on you. Here are some of my own principles of winners:

Keep learning- If you stay stagnant, people will pass you by. There is always something to learn. If you make it a point to keep up on the patterns, trends, technologies in your field of work, you will have an advantage. If you spent 30 minutes on a particular topic or area a day within 6 months we would be considered an expert in that area! You can always learn something from someone, even what not to do! Simply put there is so much for us to learn so let’s keep learning.

Do your best- Compete against your best self, not others, and you will continue to improve. Too often we look at other people as our measuring stick. Stop comparing yourself to others and compare yourself to your best yesterday self. How have you gotten better? We can learn from others but compete against ourself. Be the best I can be should be our motto!

Communicate truthfully- Being honest is its own reward; it will help you sleep well at night. Don’t oversell yourself. It is so better to have someone else tell you that you are better than you say that you are. Your weaknesses are endearing. So wear them honestly. I find when I open up and be honest people listen, people can relate and i am far more effective in my communication.

Honour your agreements- If your word is trustworthy, you are a winner. People love to work with people that they trust. Trust and honesty go hand in hand. Your word has to be as good as gold. Everytime I can follow-through on something I have promised, I feel good but more than that I have built up my credibility, the trust. Today, when I say to people whom have worked with me, I will get this done, they know I will. It is not about big promises, its about all the little ones as well.

Move steadily forward- Setting goals and moving ahead toward your dreams makes you a winner. If you are actively doing one thing every day to move you toward your dreams you will move steadily toward achieving them. Moemtum is important, which is why winners keep records, of times, achievements, goals etc. Pushing a moving rock to new direction or to speed it up is easy when it is moving but trying to puch something stagnant is a tough task. Momentum is crucial to achieving goals.

Accept blame- People will respect you if you admit your mistakes. No one is perfect, but those who take responsibility for their mistakes are respected. Perfection is annoying because no one is perfect. So, when you mess up, and take your lumps, people will appreciate it. Too many people want to lay blame or someone, something else but really the only time we progress is when we face facts accept blame and then decide how to make it right.

Celebrate the achievements of others- Other people’s successes are not your failures. When you honour other winners, you are a winner. I love watching manchester united play, when one player scores eveyone partakes in the celebration and they hail the person that did it. The power of Praise is too often left unsaid, undone, yet if we learn to recognize another’s achievement, another’s victory, we lift her/him and in the process lift ourselves.

How do you define winning? Are you a winner according to your own definition?

Leslie Choudhury – Int’l Speaker, Trainer, Consultant and Author
Serious fun for serious business
See it, be it, live it !!!


CEO – Dreamz Image International
Director – Directive Communication International
Associate Director – ADMC Pte Ltd
Owner’s Representative – Sun Island Group of Resorts
65 96347354

Connect to me on http://www.facebook.com/leslie.choudhury