Steve Jobs’ leadership styles
Y Thi Nhu Dang
Some one once said that “Smart people learn from experience, but wise people learn from the experience of others”. To become a good leader, I’ve learnt a lot of things and experience from books, documentaries, films and so on written about great leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and so on. In all of them, the one that interest me the most is Steve Jobs. II.
Steve Jobs’ leadership styles
Steven Paul Steve Jobs (February 24, 1995 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur, marketer and inventor. He was also the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. He is widely known as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution. Apple success is known under Steve Jobs Leadership. Though it is not easy to characterize Steve Jobs’ leadership style to any particular theories, in this paper, to evaluate his leadership style, two theories will be used: Transactional theory and Transformational theory. Transformational leaders are charismatic and vision oriented. Leaders challenge followers to take greater ownership for their work, encourage their intellectual development, inspire and motivate them to higher levels of effectiveness. In Jobs’ case, his transformational leadership style can be easily recognized. He had a clear vision about the future of the company was to invent products of the future. These products would be a breakthrough in the technology history and Apple would become a leading company in this major. He stated “If you keep your eye on the profit, you’re going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow” He often said “You just can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new”. For that reason, he always encouraged his employees to “think different” to “make it great”. Specially, in hiring process, he didn’t just hire highly qualified engineers. Instead, he hired “musicians, and poets, and artists, and zoologists, and historians who also happened to be computer scientists” as he believed that “While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones that do.” He often motivated his followers “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle”. His inspiring speeches kept his employees motivated. Andrea Cunningham, who had lamented about his micromanagement style said of him “You have this feeling that you are going to change the world with him” and yet “the top management has worked with him for years and they give credited Jobs for the best Job they ever did was only with him”.(Elkind, 2008) Transactional leaders are the one who choose the best course of action based upon situatinal variables. Not only did Jobs have transformational leadership style, he was also considered as a transactional leader. As a leader, he was quick to judge, categorized employees as either “geniuses” or “bozos” and quickly fired those who he thought that wouldn’t helpful in serving his vision. After Apple’s best programmer told Jobs that his requests for the newest Apple II computer could not be done, the co-founder fired him on the spot without hesitation. Jobs was known to be so feared a person. No matter how heartless it might seem, everything that he did was only for the betterment of his employees, products and company. He knew that he had really good people and it was his job to make the best of them. He stated about his employees “When you get really good people, they know they’re good and you don’t have to baby people’s egos so much” and “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to...
References: Natalie H. (2013). (2013 August 20 ). Six HR Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Steve Jobs. Quantumworkplace. Retrieved from http://www.quantumworkplace.com/steve-jobs-leadership/
Anshul S. (2012). (2012 September 30). My Role Model Leader - Steve Jobs. Retrieved from http://nitieim18-cld-026-anshulsinha.blogspot.com/2012/09/my-role-model-leader.html
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