It has been over three years since Steve Jobs died. Since then, books have been written and movies have been made. Each has celebrated his legacy and aimed to share the secrets he used to build the largest company in the world; things like attention to detail, attracting world-class talent and holding them to high standards.
We think we understand what caused his success. We don’t. We dismiss usable principles of success by labeling them as personality quirks.
What’s often missed is the paradoxical interplay of two of his seemingly opposite qualities; maniacal focus and insatiable curiosity. These weren’t just two random strengths. They may have been his most important as they helped lead to everything else.
Jobs’ curiosity fueled his passion and provided him with access to unique insights, skills, values, and world-class people who complemented his own skill set. Job’s focus brought those to bear in the world of personal electronics.
I don’t just say this as someone who has devoured practically every article, interview, and book featuring him. I say this as someone who has interviewed many of the world’s top network scientists on a quest to understand how networks create competitive advantage in business and careers.
• The Simple Variable That Explains What Really Causes Career Success
In December of 2013, I interviewed one of the world’s top network scientists, Ron Burt. During it, he shared a chart that completely flipped my understanding of success.The bottom line? According to multiple, peer-reviewed studies, simply being in an open network instead of a closed one is the best predictor of career success.
• How A Closed Network Impacts Your Career
To understand the power of open networks, it’s important to understand their opposite. Most people spend their careers in closed networks; networks of people who already know each other. People often stay in the same industry, the same religion, and the same political party. In a closed network, it’s easier to get things done because you’ve built up trust, and you know all the shorthand terms and unspoken rules. It’s comfortable because the group converges on the same ways of seeing the world that confirm your own. To understand why people spend most of their time in closed networks, consider what happens when a group of random strangers is thrown together.
Read more of the original article at Observer/Opinion