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Be Curious Like Steve Jobs and 4 More Business Tips From the Week The best tips of the week from, from adopting Steve Jobs' curiosity to protecting yourself from the bird flu.

By Brian Patrick Eha

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The California Report

A roundup of the best tips of the week from

Eighteen months after his death, Steve Jobs continues to inspire entrepreneurs. His vision and epic determination helped make Apple one of the world's leading computer companies, and his design sensibility lives on in products today, including those made by competitors.

One of Jobs' greatest qualities was his intense curiosity. "Curious people always have a range of interests and a broad base of knowledge in many disparate fields and subjects," says Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of video-game company Atari and author of Finding the Next Steve Jobs (Net Minds Corp., 2013). Curiosity drives entrepreneurs like Jobs to learn their companies inside and out, and to never stop looking for ideas to improve their businesses. What's more, that rich foundation of knowledge enhances their ability to tackle challenges. "Being able to problem solve is more advantageous than just knowing the right answer," Bushnell says. More: Hyper-Curious and Willing to Fail: How You Can Be More Like Steve Jobs

Look for determination in job candidates.
When making hiring decisions, it's easy to be drawn to flashy, whip-smart candidates. But sparkling personalities won't get your company through the tough times. According to Michael Matthews, a professor of engineering psychology at the U.S. Military Academy, the best predictor of success is grit, or the ability to persevere in challenging circumstances and get the job done. During interviews, ask candidates to share substantive examples of times in the past when they took on big challenges and conquered them. "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," Matthews says. More: True Grit: What You Really Need to Succeed

To become an online leader, support others.
Today's hyper-connected world places a premium on social conversation and collaboration, making it nearly impossible to build a digital following without supporting others. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used to say, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." But it's important to be thoughtful about your online generosity. For example, when you share a link on social media, tell your online followers why you liked it or how it impacts them. Engaging with other people will show that you're approachable, and will make others want to engage with you. More: 5 Ways to Be a Better Leader Online

Offer frequent feedback to make your employees feel valued.
To prevent burnout among your staff, make sure employees feel valued and trusted. "If they don't feel valued, they typically burn out quickly," says Diane Fassel, an organizational consultant and author of Working Ourselves to Death (iUniverse, 2000). "But if they feel valued, they tend to work hard and cope well." There's no shortcut. To make employees feel valued, you have to start a genuine dialogue with them about their work and offer positive feedback for a job well done, says Fassel. For instance, handwritten notes recognizing their efforts can help boost morale and keep employees engaged in the business. More: How to Keep Employees Engaged

When traveling, wear surgical face masks to avoid getting sick.
Wearing face masks in crowded public places, especially during flu season, may earn you strange looks in the United States, but it's a common practice in Asia. That's no surprise when the H7N9 virus, known as the Asian bird flu, has infected nearly 90 people in China and Taiwan, 17 of them fatally, this month. Pack a few masks to wear when you're traveling, but change them regularly. According to Karen Anderson, manager of Infection Control and Prevention at the California Pacific Medical Center, they're only effective barriers to bacteria and flu viruses when dry, and over time your breath makes them damp. More: Asia Bound? 5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Bird Flu

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

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