What Steve Jobs never told us about being an 'A-player'

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How to get anything you want by harnessing the power of collaboration.

Many of the brilliant minds that have etched their names into the indelible consciousness of history--such as Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Joanne Liu and Indra Nooyi--are often thought of as lone lighthouses of talent and intelligence. And rightly so.

Many of the people who make history often possess an independence and singularity of thought that helps them carve their path and get noticed faster.

However, what is often forgotten is that leaders who make it to the top of the pyramid do so because they are working with other fiercely talented, driven and capable people.

The experienced teams that support these people--those who add to their creativity, help refine their ideas, offer different perspectives of problem solving--enable these brilliant people to reach the full potential of their brilliance, and essentially make history.

RELATED: Steve Jobs' life in photos

Steve Jobs' life in photos
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Steve Jobs' life in photos
Apple Superman - Steven Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers, leans on a new "Macintosh" personal computer at a shareholder's meeting earlier this year in Cupertino, Calif. (AP-Photo/Paul Sakuma) 1.7.1984
Personal computer pioneer Steve Jobs, is shown in this 1993 photo. (AP Photo/Kristy Macdonald)
FILE--Steve Jobs, the chief executive of the animation company Pixar, speaks at the MacWorld trade show in San Francisco on Jan. 7, 1997. Jobs has turned down an offer to become Apple Computer Inc. s next chairman and chief executive officer, published reports said Thursday, July 31, 1997. Jobs said Apple s board of directors asked him three weeks ago, after the July 9 ouster of Gil Amelio, to head the company he co-founded in 1976. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
Apple Computer Inc. co-founder and current adviser Steve Jobs gestures during his keynote address at the opening of MacWorld Expo in Boston, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 1997, where in a joint announcement Apple and Microsoft Corp. unveiled an alliance that includes a $150 million Microsoft investment in Apple. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates made a video appearance as part of the announcement. (AP Photo/Julia Malakie)
Personal computer pioneer Steve Jobs of NeXT Computer Inc., delivers his keynote address during the UNIX expo at the Javitz Convention Center in New York City on Oct. 30, 1991. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Personal computer pioneer Steve Jobs of NeXT Computer Inc., shows off his NeXTstation color computer to the press at the NeXT facility in Redwood City, Calif., on April 4, 1991. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer Inc, describes his company's new Power Macintosh G4, an 8-inch cube computer, and accompanying monitors, during his keynote address at MacWorld Expo in New York, Wednesday July 19, 2000.. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Steven P. Jobs, the president and CEO of NeXT Computer Inc., shows off his company's new NeXTstation, after an introduction to the public in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 18, 1990. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Apple Computers Inc. chief executive officer Steve Jobs holds up the new laptop iBook at a press conference at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Tuesday, May 1, 2001. The new ibook will be available in mid-May with a retail price of $1,299 and has a battery life of 5 hours with built-in firewire, ethernet, wireless communications and a 12.1-inch screen and weighs 4.9 pounds. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Apple Computer Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs holds the wafer that is used to make the new IBM processor that will be used by the new Apple G5 computer at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 23, 2003. Jobs gave the keynote speech that introduced OS X operating system, code-name Panther. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs displays his company's new product, the Mini-Ipod, at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs shows off the new search software in the new Mac OS Tiger at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Monday, June 28, 2004. Tiger will not be available until 2005. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
Apple Computer Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs is silhouetted in the Apple logo at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Monday, June 28, 2004. Jobs presented the new Mac OS Tiger which will come out in 2005. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
Bono, left, of the band U-2, and Apple Computers Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs, right, hold up Apple iPods at an unveiling of a new branded iPod in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2004. Bono is holding up a new iPod with a red dial and black casing. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, left, and musician John Mayer unveil the new iPod Shuffle after Jobs gave the keynote address and Mayer performed during the Macworld Conference and Expo at the Moscone Center Esplanade in San Francisco on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new iPod showing an episode of hit television show "Desperate Housewives" showing, during an unveiling in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
** FILE ** Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs smiles during announcement of new products at an Apple event in San Francisco, in this Sept. 12, 2006, file photo. Apple Computer Inc. will report earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter after the market close on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up an Apple iPhone at the MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, Jan. 9, 2007. Apple Inc., on a tear with its popular iPod players and Macintosh computers, is expected to report strong quarterly results Wednesday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs announces the long-awaited launch of the iPhone for the German market on Wednesday Sept. 19, 2007. Apple Inc.'s iPhone will go on sale in Germany on Nov. 9 and have the T-Mobile network as its exclusive carrier. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
**FILE**Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks as a photo of a leopard is shown on the screen as he talks about the release of Mac OSX Leopard at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, in this June 11, 2007 file photo. Apple Inc.'s next-generation operating system, Mac OS X "Leopard," will be available Oct. 26 for $129, and Apple's online store is taking pre-orders, the company said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up the new MacBook Air after giving the keynote address at the Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. The super-slim new laptop is less than an inch thick and turns on the moment it's opened. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, right, talks with an unidentified man after giving the keynote address at Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
** FILE ** In this Jan. 15, 2008 file photo Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the Macbook Air during the keynote address at Apple MacWorld Conference in San Francisco. Apple Inc. said Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, that Jobs won't be delivering the highly anticipated presentation that usually marks the highlight of the annual Macworld computer trade show in January. Apple also said 2009 will be its last year exhibiting at the Macworld Expo. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2009 file photo, shows Apple CEO Steve Jobs smiling at a conference in San Francisco. A Memphis, Tenn., hospital is confirming that Apple founder Steve Jobs received a liver transplant and that he has an "excellent prognosis." Dr. James D. Eason made the announcement Tuesday June 23, 2009 on the hospital's Web site. He is program director at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute and chief of transplantation. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs uses the new iPhone during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Monday, June 7, 2010, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
FILE--In a Oct. 14, 2004 file photo shows Apple CEO Steve Jobs gesturing in Palo Alto, Calif. just after he underwent cancer surgery in July, 2004. Jobs is taking his second medical leave of absence in two years, raising serious questions about his health and the leadership of a company at the forefront of a personal computing revolution. Apple did not provide any further information about Jobs' current condition, including whether Jobs is acutely ill, whether the leave is related to his 2009 liver transplant or whether he is at home or in a hospital. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
Apple CEO Steve Jobs shows an image of the new storage center for iCloud at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
FILE - In this June 7, 2010, file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds a new iPhone at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011 said Jobs has died. He was 56. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

The key ingredient when you approach any life task, business venture, or client meeting is to do so with a willingness to collaborate with those around you.

Steve Jobs and his 'A players'

Many successful and powerful people don't employ this tactic with any regularity and that's largely because teams often don't make history--their leaders do.

Outside of sports, our society doesn't really celebrate teamwork the way it should.

Steve Jobs gets all the credit and the programmers and designers who worked under him and refined and developed his ideas--his "A players"--get to die in obscurity.

In order to allow the bulk of your potential to truly develop and flourish, adopt the viewpoint that we're all in the same boat.

Everyone in your boat has a variety of strengths and weaknesses that can be properly harnessed to meet the loftiest of common goals.

Really brilliant people are willing to inspire others to work harder or risk more daringly in order to meet such collective objectives.

In conjunction with a willingness to collaborate needs to be an acceptance of who you are, and the discipline to stop guessing what others are looking for.

Rather, assume that you are what and who they're looking for, while bringing something useful to the table.

You are not perfect, you don't have all the answers, and you will make mistakes--but you have a singularity that cannot be duplicated. It's what makes you an original.

Thus, your viewpoints, your experience, your charms all contribute to the solution. It's your job to determine how to harness them in the most applicable and beneficial manner.

RELATED: Steve Jobs' 10 best quotes

Steve Jobs 10 best quotes
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Steve Jobs 10 best quotes

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”

(Photo via Getty)

"My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time."

(Photo via Getty)

"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

(Photo by Bloomberg via Getty)

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."

(Photo via Getty)

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

(Photo via AFP/Getty)

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.”

(Photo via Getty)

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

(Photo via Getty)

“Sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.”

(Photo by Bloomberg via Getty)

"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."

(Photo via Getty)

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

(Photo via Getty)


Your team can help you grow

Once you embrace this mindset, your own inner level of confidence and charisma should organically rise and that's important.

Given any professional situation or challenge, you need to believe that you--with all your flaws alive and well--are the solution.

The situation might be bleak, scandalous, intricate and take years to solve, but with this attitude you know you are capable.

Maybe not after the first try or even the second, but with a mind committed to collaboration and a refusal to guess what others want, along with a commitment to your individuality--nothing can stop you.

RELATED: Tim Cook opens up about his 'lonely' job
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