Leadership Comparison

Topics: Leadership, Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. Pages: 10 (3720 words) Published: June 9, 2013

Comparing two leaders to decide which is the more effective requires more than the textbook analysis of leader, follower and situation. It requires understanding not just the results achieved, but also the way in which the leader achieved them. This study compares Steve Jobs of Apple and Mike Lazaridis of Research in Motion discussing their differences in leadership style and philosophies, their use of power, how they engendered trust in their followers, what values they held, their emotional intelligence, business acumen and their penchant for being either egotistically driven or humbled for success. One or more of these characteristics will be critical in defining one of these CEOs as the more effective leader. This research was informed by secondary data consisting of peer reviewed journal articles, books and technology writings were used to inform this study.

The study concludes that Jobs was successful in using multiple, measurable leadership structures to motivate, empower and guide his team of followers to numerous business successes best illustrated by the evaluated period. The outcome reinforces the notion that good leadership not only revolves around being able to adapt to changes in the leader, follower and situation matrix, but having exceptional vision is a vital trait of contemporary leadership bringing wide-ranging benefit to the organisation. In this study that vision became the determinant of the path and resulting success or failure of the companies under its leader. Jobs as a person was widely recognized as being cruel, a control freak, profane and even notoriously difficult, but as a leader was still very able to motivate his followers to buy into not his needs but to be a part of the bigger picture. History.

Table of Contents



The Leaders, The Followers And The Situation1
Mihalis "Mike" Lazaridis1
Creativity at RIM; from the top, down2
Steven Paul Jobs4
A Leader’s Credibility4
Exercising Power5
The Leader As A Motivator6

Comparing the Leaders6
A Leader’s Vision7
Personality – Ego vs Humility8
The More Effective Leader8



When John Maxwell said, “everything rises and falls with leadership”, he accurately summed up the usual cause of a business’ success or failure in six eloquent words. Through a comparison of the leadership roles of Apple’s Steve Jobs and Research in Motion’s (RIM) Mike Lazaridis this central theme features prominently in the companies’ current market position, employee outlook and bottom line (Zenger and Folkman, 2009). Leadership is also linked to situation and context involving interaction between leader, followers and situation (Hughes, Ginnett and Curphy, 2011). In this comparison, internal and external situations brought out the leader’s true notions of leadership and put their companies on their paths to future success or ruin.

Hughes, Ginnett and Curphy (2011), clearly state that there is no simple recipe for effective leadership. Analyzing leadership requires a firm understanding of the leader: his or her personality, expertise, character traits, et cetera, the followers; their levels of competence, motivations, and the situation; complex or simple. In addition to this interactional framework for analysis proposed by Hughes, Ginnett and Curphy (2011), Jobs and Lazaridis will be further analyzed by their values, vision, use of power and the outcomes created by complex situations in an ever-evolving technology landscape during their most tumultuous period; prior to, during and after the 2007 release of the ‘revolutionary’ iPhone.

The Leaders, The Followers And The Situation

Mihalis "Mike" Lazaridis

Mike Lazaridis founded RIM while still a student at the University of Waterloo. He created and ruled his empire from his abundant expert, hands on knowledge of physics and electronics...

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