Five on Friday — September 6


“You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

We’ve all heard that one before, and you can probably still feel the air of condescension tightening your chest as you think back to the last time someone assumed that a cliché could suddenly trigger enlightenment. But, as trite as it may seem, not every problem requires an innovative solution—more often than not, there’s someone out there who has already gone down that road, and all you have to do is follow in their footsteps.

(That’s not to say that you should abandon all new ideas. You just need to remember that while your circumstances may be unique, whatever you’re struggling with can probably be boiled down to a common core problem.)

With that in mind, here is a set of valuable business and life lessons to be learned from a variety of successful people.
 
Listen to the Advice of Successful People

Successful people know that there were great people who came before them and that there are great people who will come after them. They listened to the advice of the former and left advice for the latter. Here is a compilation of quotations from 4 successful entrepreneurs, including Donald Trump and John D. Rockefeller, and some lessons to take away from each.
 
Lessons from the Life of Steve Jobs

There are countless lessons to be learned from the life and career of Steve Jobs, but this list of 10 is a good place to start. Among the most important is that you can’t do it all yourself, and that you need to be an effective leader of your team if you want to succeed on a large scale.
 
Know Your Objective, and Always Have a Backup Plan

This is one among 7 other lessons about leadership that were shared by a Navy SEAL commander. SEALs are known for their effectiveness and efficiency, and those are two things in which each and every business should strive to excel.
 
Take Breaks, but Earn Them

Scheduling dedicated rest periods into your days or weeks can provide a much-needed mental break that will help you continue pursuing successes. Huffington Post offices include nap rooms, and Arianna Huffington advocates disconnecting periodically to avoid burning out. Sleeping all day won’t get you anywhere, but a quick nap in the middle of a marathon work session will help you feel refreshed enough to keep pushing through.
 
How to Conduct a Meeting Like Jeff Bezos

Step One: Say goodbye to PowerPoint slides and lists of numbers, and say hello to full and complete sentences. Amazon’s meetings are structured around six-page memos, and staff members are given 30 silent minutes to read before discussion even begins. This allows time for information to be absorbed and provides answers to questions before they are even asked, helping meetings run more smoothly. It also forces the presenter to put more thought into what they want to convey—it’s easy to compile data, but taking the time to write out the meaning behind the material provides a much clearer, more easily understood message.

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