You know him as the man behind Apple, and the reason why you may be reading this sentence on an iPhone or MacBook. If you know much about Steve Jobs--and at this point, who doesn't--then you recognize him first and foremost as an icon, an entrepreneurial spirit whose legacy lives on in the technologies we couldn't bear to live without.
But the important takeaways from Jobs's life don't stop at mere products--the professional knowledge and insight that his work can give you are equally (if not more) important.
As one of the most successful business leaders of our time, it's no surprise that Jobs was a master decision maker. Did he always make the right decision? No, but he always picked himself up, learned from his mistakes, and tried again. This can often be the core challenge for many entrepreneurial hopefuls, as diving into the complex waters of business is no easy swim when you lack courage or resolve.
This, according to Steve Jobs, is the heart of his approach to making decisions:
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. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Steve Jobs was aware of something special when he made his decisions: He knew that he didn't know everything.
As leaders, we often feel pressure to be the smartest person in the room--to know about every move being made, and every piece of information pertinent to our organization. However, this is incredibly unrealistic--no one person can know everything there is to know about an organization in today's increasingly complex and volatile business environment.
When you accept and remember that you cannot predict every future move made by your clients, consumers, or even business partners, you will be able to prevent yourself from making decisions that do not come from a positive, firm, or bold place.
Your decisions should come with confidence and resolve, and should not feel forced or come from uneasiness. They should not be dictatorial, and should express faith in the unknown.
Finally, when you're at a crossroads and not sure which direction to go or which decision is the best one, stop for a minute and ask yourself this simple question:
"What would Steve Jobs do?"