>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

“Get rid of the crappy stuff”

Posted: 09 Aug 2010 12:16 AM PDT

Regular readers will know that I am something of an Apple fan. I bought my first Mac (an LC2) in 1989 and, apart from a short gap during the dark days, before the second coming, have had Macs ever since.

I am not just a fan of the products, I am also a fan of the business, these days, it seems, most people are. Apple are notoriously secretive about their business, but there are a few gems we can learn from.

Steve Jobs has a reputation for being very demanding and a perfectionist. Like all extreme talents, he is an extreme person, not necessarily the easiest to be around, but effective.

At the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored conference earlier this year incoming Nike CEO, Mike Parker, revealed the advice Steve Jobs had given him as he started. “Get rid of the crappy stuff.”

This was no reflection on Nike, their products or their business, more a reflection of Jobs’s personal and business philosophy; Get rid of the crappy stuff.

Fundamentally this is an austere philosophy of excellence, focus and confidence.

It requires first that you work in an area you are not just an expert, but you are devoted to. It is only through devotion that you can develop the kind of confidence that enables you to know, at a glance, what is crappy.

It is austere because it is about removing everything that is extraneous, everything that might drain energy from the value. Many of us are over stretched and tired because we give too much energy to things that are not adding value.

It is about focus, because once the crappy is gone all focus is productive, valuable and rewarding.

Another aspect of the Apple philosophy is their ability to operate in “start up” mode much of the time. When Apple started working on the Macintosh in the early 80’s it was already a hugely successful company. The Mac division was set up, by Jobs, as a start up, with a start up mentality. They called themselves “The Pirates of Silicon Valley” and set out to rock the industry they had started less than a decade before.

Apple still operates in start up mode with small teams of brilliant people operating with high levels of autonomy and the flexibility to shift people between projects depending on where they are needed. According to Posterous founder and ex Apple engineer Sachin Agarwal on his blog the Apple Remote iPhone app was created by a single person.

Steve Jobs summed up his philosophy in his inspirational speech at Stamford University: “You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

If you are still looking for what you love or cannot always tell what is “crappy” right away either in your work or home life – give me a call.

One to one personal coaching summer offer: As usual I have a summer three for the price of two coaching offer for sessions completed before the end of August. In these sessions we will articulate your personal Purpose, Vision, Mission, Values and Strategy and get started on making it happen. Email me to book your sessions.

Join us on our Authentic Business Radio show every Thursday at 5pm UK, 6pm Euro or 12.00 EST.

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With love


Neil Crofts
Neil Crofts
authentic business

+34 646391384
Skype – neilcrofts


About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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