Perhaps the most underrated of Steve Jobs’ many talents was his maniacal ability to be totally convinced that whatever business position, opinion, or strategy that he was holding at a particular moment was the 100% right and righteous one, that all who disagreed with him were fools and/or ill-intentioned, and that everyone at Apple had to right away rally around (and do so 24/7!) his suggested course of action.
And Steve Jobs could, would, and did regularly change his mind on these opinions, strategies, and suggested courses of action, often to diametrically opposed positions in just a few days time and every time he did…
…he then held that new view with the exact same if not more fervor than the point of view so recently discarded.
While some would call this lacking in solid beliefs, chameleon-like, and just all around not to be admired, This “Quality of Certainty,” when arrived at without guile and from an authentic place, is a powerful executive management and leadership trait.
Words to describe folks like this: Charismatic, Enthusiastic, Persuasive, Change Agents.
And resilient too, possessing of that inspirational knack of re-framing obstacles and rejections as the fault not of themselves but of the “other,” and thus both able to bounce back quickly from adversity and be energized and not drained by setbacks and difficulties.
So how does an executive develop more of this Certainty and put it to use in his or her business?
Well, first by accepting, as with all personal qualities, that some people are more naturally possessive of it than others, but equally so that it can be developed through practice, focus, and modeling of those with the quality in abundance.
Secondly, by repeatedly taking the time too convince and “sell oneself” as to the righteousness and value of our business proposition. And when we just can’t bring ourselves to do it for our current line of work, then to know it is time to find it for something we can.
And, finally, by being careful to not equate a general energy drain with lack of business conviction.
This is true now more than ever, as the technology of our modern life that requires us to be “always-on” inevitably dents our spirit and dampens our spark.
So take time for downtime, off the grid, and away from the maddening crowd. And be pleasantly surprised by the certainty that will naturally bubble up for what we are doing, saying, and offering right now, right here.