Saturday Listening Lesson: Steve Jobs Rules for Success

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Persevere: To not quit

You need to persevere if you want to be successful. Keep trying!

(2) Talent Scout: Someone who searches for good people to hire

Our talent scouts have found some great engineers for our company.

(3) “You know”: An empty phrase we say when speaking. It has no meaning.

I, you know, have to go to the doctor on Tuesday.

Today’s

Questions

1. What is Steve Jobs first piece of advice about being successful?

a. You have to love what you do

b. You have to hire good people

c. You have to be insane

2. What is his second piece of advice?

a. You have to love what you do

b. You have to hire good people

c. You have to be insane

3. Why does he say things like “um” and “and, and”?

a. He’s confused

b. He’s insane

c. He’s thinking about what he wants to say next

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Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

In today’s listening lesson, we’ll look at what Steve Jobs thinks is needed to be successful. You’ll get some great advice from a great man and learn how to listen better.

First, here’s what he says:

People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is, uh, is because it’s so hard that if you don’t any rational person would give up. It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So, if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, and you don’t really love it, uh, you’re going give up. And that’s what happens to most people actually. If you really look at, at, at, the ones that ended up you know being successful unquote in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t. Often times it, it’s the ones that are successful loved what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough. And, and the ones that didn’t love it, quit, because they’re sane. Right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it? So it’s a lot of hard work. And, and it’s a lot of worrying, constantly. And, uh, um, if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail. So you gotta love it and you gotta have passion. And I think that’s the high order bit.

The second thing is, um, you gotta be, you gotta be a really good talent scout. Because no matter how smart you are, uh, you need a team of great people. And you’ve gotta figure out how to, how to size people up fairly quickly, make decisions without knowing people too well and hire them and, um, you know, see how you do and refine your intuition and be able to, to help, you know, build an organization that can eventually just, you know, build itself. Because you need great people around you.

First, let’s look at his two ideas.

The first key to success, he says, is to be passionate. You have to love what you do. He says that to be successful you have to work really hard. Sane people, he says, would quit. It means that only crazy people keep going. And they keep going because they love what they do.

The second key to success is to hire good people. You can’t do everything yourself, so you need good people to help you. In the end, the organization will build itself. It means you start something that grows without you controlling every single thing.

Next, let’s look at some listening advice.

Notice that he says “you know” a lot. “You know” is a phrase we use in English. It doesn’t really mean anything, but we say it while we think about our words.

Second, notice how many times he says “um” or repeats words like “and”. He’ll say “and, and”. This is another way we keep talking while we think of the words we want to say. When you’re listening, you need to not pay attention when people speak this way. Just listen for the important words.

So, how well did you understand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

A, B, C

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Loaded Word: A word that makes people think of things that aren’t necessarily about the word.

“Outside the box” is a really loaded word. It just makes me think of boring corporate culture.

(2) Outcome: Result. Ending.

We worked hard on the presentation, but had a bad outcome. They chose another company for the project.

(3) Sinking Feeling: A feeling of worry and fear.

I have a sinking feeling that the weather is going to be bad and ruin our picnic event.

Today’s

Questions

1. How does Steve Jobs define the word “design”?

a. The elements that make something beautiful

b. The things that make something work best

c. He doesn’t know

2. How do Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive feel about their first iMac effort?

a. It was great work

b. It was good but not great

c. It was bad

3. What are pressure of commerce?

a. Customers want a great product

b. A need to make money

c. Trying to get investment

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

What does it take to be great?

In today’s lesson, I’ll review a video about Steve Jobs and design at Apple. You’ll learn some interesting vocabulary for talking about design. You’ll also learn some expressions that you might use to motivate yourself and your team.

In the video, we learn that Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive feel design is about working hard and not being OK with something that’s good but not great. We also learn that people think Steve Jobs created a good environment for design. But we don’t learn what that environment is. So, as you watch, think about your opinion. What sort of environment is good for design?

The video begins with Steve Jobs saying:

Design’s a really loaded word. I don’t know what it means. And, so, we don’t really talk about design a lot around here. We actually just talk about how things work. Most people think it’s how they look. But it’s not really how they look. It’s how they work.

Jonathan Ive and the lady then go on to say that Jobs is very good at creating an environment where good design can exist.

At 0:46 Steve Jobs says that everyone wants to make something great, but they don’t all succeed. “There’s a big difference in the outcomes.”

After creating some good work on the new iMac, Jonathan Ive says:

But we had that sinking feeling. You know when you start to…you,you are aware that you’re trying to convince yourself something’s actually better than in your heart you really know that it is.

He has the sinking feeling because he’s been working on the new iMac a lot. And even though it’s good, in his heart he feels that it’s not so great.

Steve Jobs explains exactly:

It’s just not really great. It’s OK. It’s good. But let’s not fool ourselves and call it great.

These are a nice few sentences that you might use with your team after they’ve done some good work, but you need them to do better.

Both men want to do better. Jonathan Ive says Steve Jobs says they could do better.

Steve Jobs explains that:

All of the pressures of commerce are at your back saying no you can’t do that.

The pressures of commerce are the business pressures–the pressure to make money faster, to release a good product fast instead of a great product slowly.

Jonathan Ive finishes by saying that Steve Jobs allows many people to enjoy the design process together.

So, how well did you udnerstand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, B, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) To drive value: This means to increase the value of the company, basically to help the company increase profits. Other stuff, like number of customers, can also mean value.

I can’t drive long-term value without sacrificing short-term profits. That’s our choice.

(2) Conflict: Disagreement, different people want different things

The marketing and development teams are often in conflict. It’s a big problem. If they can’t work together, we’ll all fail.

(3) To hide behind something: To use something as an excuse, a reason for failure.

Don’t hide behind the economy. Lots of companies are succeeding even though times are hard.

Today’s

Questions

1. He explains two things in this video. What’s challenging about his job and …

a. …what’s boring

b. …how he makes value

c. …what’s exciting

2. Who is he responsible towards?

a. Shareholders, employees, customers

b. Shareholders, suppliers, customers

c. Shareholders, employees, suppliers

3. What doesn’t he like to hide behind?

a. A value-driven economy

b. A bad economy

c. A customer-driven economy

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

Today’s video is about a CEO and why he likes his job. It’s by WOBI and is called: Mark King–What I Enjoy Most About Being CEO. Today, I’ll help you understand that video.

So, in this video he explains two things. He explains what’s challenging, or difficult, about his job. And he explains what’s exciting about his job. Let’s check the most important quotation first. He says:

Being a boss is a challenge because of the responsibility to the shareholders for driving value…responsibility to the workers to provide an environment that’s right for them…and responsibility to the consumer to provide a product that they will really enjoy. A lot of times, the shareholder, the employee, and the consumer; what they want is in conflict. How do you manage the conflict?

His point is that he has three groups that he should make happy. The first are the shareholders–they want value, or profits. Employees want a good working environment. And consumers, of course, want a good product.

He then gives the example of this conflict. If there’s a product that has some problem and you should take it back from the stores, then that’s bad for the shareholders right? For some employees it’ll be bad because that will mean more work and lower bonuses. But for consumers? For consumers it’s great. They won’t have bad products.

So how about you? What would you do in this situation? Do you care more about the shareholders, employees, or consumers? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The exciting part of the job for him is that the challenge never ends. This means that he likes the conflict. He likes balancing the three groups. For example, he says that you can’t hide behind the economy. This just means that even if the economy is bad, he still has to keep trying. Even with a bad economy, the exciting challenge continues.

As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, A, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson

Watch

On YouTube

YouTubeLink

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Tush, Tushie, Duff: Butt

Stop sitting on your tush. Get up and do something.

(2) Prevalent: Common, everywhere

Smoking was prevalent in the ‘50s, but these days, not so many people smoke.

(3) To huff and puff: To breath heavily

I was huffing and puffing while I went for a run.

Today’s

Questions

1. What does it mean “to not question something?”

a. To not bother it

b. To not think about whether it’s bad

c. To not worry about it

2. A social interaction got her walking. What’s a social interaction?

a. Something with another person

b. Something with exercise

c. Something unhealthy

3. What was her solution for the problem of choosing health or work obligations?

a. She thought outside the box.

b. She started walking while she worked.

c. She became more creative.

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

Nilofer Merchant says “Sitting has become the smoking of our generation.” Scary, but she has a great idea. She says: Got a meeting? Take a walk. Today, I’m going to help you understand her video.

Before I can help you , you’ll need to actually watch the video (see above).

Also, here’s a link that shows you the best way to watch videos.

Today’s video has three parts.

Part 1 is Sitting Is Bad For You. This is from the start to 1:22.

Part 2 is How Her Idea Began. It’s from 1:22 until 2:02.

Part 3 is What She’s Learned. That’s from 2:02 until the end.

So, in Part 1 she explains that people sit too much–usually 9.3 hours a day–and that sitting too much causes health problems like cancer and diabetes. She says that sitting is so prevalent that we don’t even question it. To not even question something is a phrase we use sometimes. We use it to refer to bad stuff that most people don’t think is bad.

Unfortunately, scary statistics don’t cause us to change. In Part 2, she explains a social interaction finally changed her. Basically, a friend asked her to walk during a meeting. She made the idea her own and now she walks 20-30 miles (that’s 30-50 kilometers) every week.

In Part 3, she explains what she learned.

1. Going out of the box leads to out-of-the box thinking. (This just means walking made her more creative.)

2. She found a solution for how to exercise while meeting her obligations. So it’s also possible to find other tough solutions.

In the end, this is a simple, but very attractive idea. Sitting too much is bad for us, so why not get off your tush and start walking?

As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, A, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Phone Call Skills

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Pardon: Used to ask someone to repeat something.

Pardon me? I didn’t understand. Could you repeat that?

(2) To check: To learn if something is ok.

I have to go back to the office and check if all the papers are ready for tomorrow’s meeting.

(3) Confirmation: Knowledge

Stop being nice. Tell him directly that she has to improve or find another job.

Today’s

Questions

1. How can you get someone to repeat what they said?

a. Tell them that you’re sorry.

b. Say sorry or pardon with rising intonation.

c. Say sorry or pardon with falling intonation.

2. How can you check if you understood?

a. Repeat the information.

b. Ask them to repeat what they said.

c. A and B.

3. How can you get confirmation?

a. Ask, “Is that right?”.

b. Send an email follow-up.

c. A and B.

7________________________

Phone Call Skills

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Phone_Systems

By Jeremy Schaar

When English is your second language, talking on the phone can be pretty hard, right? Actually, talking on the phone is always harder than talking when you can see the person. On the phone, you can’t see a person’s face. It’s so much easier to misunderstand someone.

So, what can you do if you don’t understand? Today, let’s look at a few, polite ways to check your understanding.

First off, you might want the person to repeat what they said. You can say:

  • Sorry?
  • Pardon?
  • Sorry, could you repeat that?
  • Sorry, what was that?
  • Pardon? I didn’t understand you.

Note that your voice should go up when you say sorry or pardon. This will tell your listener that you didn’t understand. In fact, just making a sound that goes up can be enough.

Simple, right? Well, unfortunately, saying those things often doesn’t work. The person repeats what they said. Or they say it in a different way. But you still don’t understand. Or, you might understand, but you’re not sure.

Well, you have to check to see if you understand and get confirmation from the other person. How can you do that? First say that you’re going to check if you understood. Then repeat back the information. Then ask if you understood well.

Let’s assume that the information is that the meeting is on Tuesday at 9:00am. Here are some examples:

  • Let me see if I understood. You said that the meeting is on Tuesday at 9:00am, right?
  • Do I have this right? We’ll meet on Tuesday at 9:00am.
  • I think you said we’ll meet on Tuesday at 9:00am. Is that right?

Next week, we’ll look at some example calls. Want more practice? Got questions? Comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, C, C

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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