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


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

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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

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“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)

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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.

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