INSTANT MBA: Narrow Your Focus

Business Insider

Today's advice comes from Jeff Weiner, CEO at LinkedIn, via hia post on LinkedIn:

"Shortly after Jerry Yang became the CEO of Yahoo, he invited Steve Jobs to address the company's leadership. Among many insightful things that Steve shared that day, the one that continues to have the most profound influence on me was his discussion regarding prioritization. Jobs said that after he returned to Apple in 1994, he recognized there were far too many products and SKUs in development so he asked his team one simple question: If you could only do one thing, what would it be?"

Weiner says Steve Jobs was right when he said that the key to success is to narrow your focus. Instead of spreading yourself too thin and setting out to create several products that are great, he says work on perfecting one product first before moving on to the next. He believes that if it worked for Steve Jobs at Apple, than it can work for your company too. Most employees have a hard time figuring out that one key idea or product they want to develop and end up trying to execute several projects at once. Weiner says follow Steve Job's lead and push your employees to give you a more straight forward answer when you ask them to determine what that one key product might be. 

"[Steve Jobs] said that many of the answers rationalized the need to do more than one thing, or sought to substantiate bundling one priority with another. However, all he wanted to know was what "the one thing" was. As he explained it, if they got that one thing right, they could then move on the next thing, and the next thing after that, and so on. Turned out the answer to his question was the reinvention of the iMac. After that, it was the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, and the rest, as they say, is history."

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