This Innovation Expert's Research Shows How Anyone Can Be Like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs

This Innovation Expert's Research Shows How Anyone Can Be Like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs
2. Believe you can overcome all obstacles and achieve your objectives.<\/b><\/h2>

It sounds like something you might read on a cat poster, but another uniting feature of Musk, Tesla, Jobs, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein&nbsp;and other innovators is an intense faith in their own ability to overcome obstacles. This &quot;self-efficacy,&quot; as psychologists refer to it, can motivate people to take on tasks that other people would deem impossible, and to stick with them even when the going gets tough. When&nbsp;Musk announced his intention to create reusable rockets, space industry veterans said it was impossible, but Musk remained coolly confident and responded that he thought he could do it. That &quot;I think I can do it&quot; is key -- Musk&#39;s gut level faith in his ability to achieve any goal, and overcome any obstacle, is one of the most important aspects of his character that has made him a larger-than-life innovator.<\/p>

3. Spend time thinking and working alone; challenge assumptions, and embrace your weirdness.<\/b><\/h2>

Another big part of why Musk, Einstein&nbsp;and Jobs were able to be such original thinkers is because they had a sense of &quot;separateness&quot; -- a feeling of being different or disconnected from the crowd, which freed them to reject the conventional wisdom and assumptions that constrained others. Einstein wrote about this at length in an essay titled &quot;The World as I see it<\/a>,&quot; noting,<\/p>

&quot;I gang my own gait and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends&nbsp;or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties I have never lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude -- a feeling which increases with the years .... Such a person no doubt loses something in the way of geniality and light-heartedness; on the other hand, he is largely independent of the opinions, habits&nbsp;and judgments of his fellow and avoids the temptation to take his stand on such insecure foundations.&quot;<\/i><\/p>

Related: Amazon&#39;s Lesson About Disruption: Rattle Any Market You Can<\/a><\/b><\/p>

When Musk was a child, he was small, nerdy&nbsp;and frequently bullied. He had few friends, and had such a curiously introspective streak that his family thought he might be deaf<\/a>. However, like other serial breakthrough innovators I have studied, he was an insatiable reader who read every book in the local library, and even memorized long tracts from the encyclopedia, and taught himself to program computers. Later he taught himself rocket science. Many serial breakthrough innovators have this tendency of working on their own and being &quot;auto-didactic&quot; -- they enjoy teaching themselves. This helps them form their own beliefs about how the world works and what can be done, rather than letting others define that for them.<\/p>

One of the most exciting things about studying Musk and other breakthrough innovators is that it reveals that even though these people often have special, difficult-to-imitate abilities or traits, the mechanisms<\/i> by which these abilities and traits lead to innovation are often something we can tap ourselves. We can nurture our own breakthrough innovation potential and the breakthrough potential of others.<\/p>

Related Video:&nbsp;Why You Shouldn&#39;t Try to Be the Next Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg<\/a><\/b><\/p>

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