The concepts of leadership and management are often used interchangeably. However, the 21st century positions leadership and management as the two distinct organizational categories. Today, management and leadership represent the two different organizational concepts that produce significant influence on the state and effectiveness of any organization’s culture. Apple is a company which, among few others, was able to create a new vision of a talented leader in business. Through the prism of Apple’s experience, a leader is a person who uniquely combines the roles and responsibilities of a talented leader and a hard working manager.
A good leader is the one who creates and maintains a healthy organizational culture through vision, communication, charisma, inspiration, and the desire to win. A leader is a person who can protect the culture during bad times by making the company more flexible and adaptable to the changes in business and economic environments. Management versus Leadership: Is There Any Difference? That management and leadership are two different categories is difficult to deny. Today, “management competency involves establishing and executing a set of processes that keep a complicated system operating efficiently” (Hass et al.
2008, p. 7). Key elements of management include planning, organizing, controlling, and monitoring (Hass et al. 2008). Managers are being actively involved in the processes like budgeting, staffing, and problem solving (Hass et al. , 2008). Management is believed to keep the basic organizational bureaucracies functioning (Hass et al. , 2008). Leadership comprises a different set of functions and processes. The latter create and promote change and help organizations to adjust to changing business conditions and environmental shifts (Hass et al.
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2008, p. 7). Leadership is about creating a vision, aligning individual interests with those of the organization, and motivating/ inspiring people to change themselves and the organization, for which they work (Hass et al. , 2008). These differences, however, do not mean that leadership and management are absolutely different and never merge. It would be fair to say that the success of any organization is in how well it can combine its managerial and leadership practices, to form a cohesive set of cultural principles, approaches, and beliefs.
When talented leaders create a new organization or initiate a change, sound managerial processes must be in place, to maintain the pace of the ongoing change and to control organizational growth (Hass et al. , 2008). When the company develops an effective system of management which controls and monitors organization’s development, effective leadership is needed to build a strong organizational culture and to cope with the growing resistance to change (Hass et al. , 2008).
Henry Mintzberg emphasized the need for a good manager to be a good leader. A balanced combination of managerial skills and leadership talents is the basic precondition for any company’s continuous business success. According to Mintzberg, the roles and responsibilities of a manager are divided into the three basic categories: informational (monitor, disseminator and spokesperson), interpersonal (figurehead, leader, and liaison), and decisional (entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator and negotiator) (Koontz & Weihrich, 2006).
To build and maintain a healthy organizational culture, a leader must: (a) promote and control information exchange processes; (b) monitor and assess each department’s operations and success; (c) highlight external views into the organization and align them with the subordinates’ vision of the organization from within; (d) empower and supervise teams; (e) allocate and monitor the effectiveness of various human and material resources; (e) negotiate conflicts and create a cohesive atmosphere of collaboration in the organization (Koontz & Weihrich, 2006).
A talented leader “is considered to be someone with vision and ability to articulate that vision to the team, so vividly and powerfully that it becomes their vision” (Koontz & Weihrich, 2006). Vision, strategy, and people are the three different dimensions of strategic leadership in organizations. Vision defines the purpose; strategy articulates the plans to achieve the purpose; while the people dimension defines who carries out the strategy (Koontz & Weihrich, 2006).
According to Appelbaum and Paese (2010), to build and maintain a healthy culture, a good leader will have to be a: (1) Navigator (working quickly through the complex set of issues); (2) strategist (developing a long-term course of actions and aligning these with the organization’s vision); (3) entrepreneur (identifying and using opportunities for new markets and products/ services); (4) mobilizer (building proactively various resources to quickly achieve complex objectives); (5) talent advocate (hiring and retaining the best talents); (6) captivator (building commitment and passion toward the common organizational goal); (7) global thinker (integrating information from various sources, to optimize organizational performance; (8) change driver (creating an environment that accepts change and making change happen); and (9) enterprise guard (promoting and improving stakeholder value through effective decision-making).
Leaders, Organizational Culture, and the Example of Apple The process of creating a healthy organizational culture is not an easy one. Leaders are the sources of the major cultural vision and are the foundation of healthy cultural environments in organizations. The process of building a healthy organizational culture begins the day the leader decides to create a new organization; here, the leader is to fulfill the two distinct roles: (1) to establish and assess the legitimacy of the economic and socio-political environment; and (2) to integrate separate structural and human organizational factors into a single system of business operation (Sinha, 2009).
External legitimacy implies the need for the leader to create organizations and products which meet society needs, follow the basic financial and legal requirements, and fill the existing market gaps (Sinha, 2009). Internal integration is the leader’s responsibility to create or leverage diverse resources, including workforce, and to integrate these resources with the structural procedures and operations within the organization (Sinha, 2009). According to Sinha (2009), the process of creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture usually follows a common sequence of steps, from the selection of employees, through humility-inducing experiences, training, adequate rewards and careful adherence to the company’s values, to reinforcement of organizational culture through success stories and consistent role models.
In this sense, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs exemplifies all of these elements: he is a role model for his followers, a talented manager who can successfully integrate human resources with the basic operations and organizational structures, and the carrier of the company’s vision, which inspires and reinforces the sense of change in Apple. My practical experience suggests that every organization is unique, and so are their leaders. Every leader must cope with a complex set of leadership and managerial responsibilities, which each organization’s unique needs. “As founder and CEO, and a very visionary and hard driving one at that, Jobs has imprinted aspects of himself on the culture.
From his creation of the Macintosh, to the current iPad, Jobs’s personality and mindset shine through” (Ancona, 2010). Generally, to be a CEO means to be able to allocate resources effectively, to monitor job performance and the company operations, and to prepare the organization to change. Jobs is among the few who changed the image of traditional CEO changed his organization to the extent which turned Apple into the leader of the technological market. The recent iPad and iPhone 4G products have created a revolution in the public ideas about technology and its opportunities. Jobs seeks to prove that there are no limits to innovation; nor are there any limits to organizational and leadership success.
Jobs’s leadership phenomenon suggests that talented managers (read: leaders) will have to (a) provide clear priorities combined with extensive communication and sufficient freedom to improvise; (b) enhance learning through experimentation and learn from the future uncertainties; and (c) link the existing projects to the future at predictable intervals (Anonymous, 2002). Steve Jobs does not simply monitor the quality of business operations. His leadership functions are not limited to setting a vision and hiring the best talents. Jobs’s leadership makes him an example hundreds of his employees would be willing to follow. In this sense, Jobs confirms exemplification to be an essential element of successful leadership. Jobs is self-sacrificing and demonstrates relentless commitment to the continued success of Apple in the computer market through developing and bringing a user-friendly computer to people (Harvey, 2001).
Jobs is able to organize people around a common goal and positions himself as a person, who can quickly assess the far-reaching implications of every situation and its potential effects on the organization’s performance (Harvey, 2001). The success of Apple is in providing customers with the applications they need – the applications that are aesthetical, user-friendly, and extremely sophisticated. These are the applications that give customers a sense of being ahead of others and, simultaneously, push Apple to the foreground of the global competitive markets. Globalization, Management and Leadership: A New Set of Ideals Chalhoub (2010) is correct in that globalizing markets impose new forms of competitive pressures on business organizations and players.
These competitive pressures require that companies learn to both cooperate and compete (Chalhoub, 2010). Today, business performance in organizations heavily depends on the managers’ ability to make effective investment decisions and to use technology and innovation as essential component of their business culture (Chalhoub, 2010). For years, the term “innovation” was used to signify the process of developing and launching a new product or idea; today, innovation includes processes which organizations can use to build performance-driven cultures (Challhoub, 2010). Globalization results in the development of the new cross-cultural ideas in management and leadership.
Diversity of human resources, ideas, and solutions has become the distinctive feature of present day leadership. Globalization increases labor mobility and causes a strategic shift away from industrial age to a global knowledge environment, in which the creation and transition of knowledge create new competitive opportunities and are the sources of the new competitive advantage (Chalhoub, 2010). In this atmosphere, leaders must turn their organizations into a complex composition of global knowledge from various sources – the task which Apple successfully fulfilled. Globalization requires that companies adopt a new global entrepreneurial mindset and encourage entrepreneurship, to foster innovation and to reward employees for their achievements.
Performance appraisal is the distinctive feature of global leadership, without which building a healthy organizational culture is virtually impossible (Chalhoub, 2010). Globalization makes leaders more attentive in their choice of the best leadership style, because the latter “help create a social identity that goes beyond financial rewards and attracts employees with a cause – those who draw personal satisfaction and pleasure from intellectual growth” (Chalhoub, 2010, p. 243). Participation, collaboration, innovation, and knowledge management are the features, which every leader must know and use, to make his organization competitive in globalized markets. Steve Jobs and Apple exemplify a complex set of innovative and leadership ideas or, to be more exact, ideals.
Innovation is the basic feature of Apple’s continuous success in the market. The culture at Apple is not about technological innovation, but the development of the innovative employee mindset. By spreading innovations and making it available to consumers, Jobs was able to build a new commitment: people do not simply create new computers or cell phones, but seek to change the way customers think, work, learn, and cooperate (Ancona, 2010). At Apple, innovation is the core element of the organizational culture, while culture is the determining feature of the company’s strategy. Based on this information, leaders and companies can use the following strategies to build their culture: 1.
Pennington (2009) suggests that companies decide that their culture is the source of competitive advantage. To build a healthy organizational culture, leaders should conduct regular audits, to identify areas that no longer work efficiently (Pennington, 2009). Creative tension must provide employees with a compelling goal and present them with the ultimate prize they get for their achievements (Pennington, 2009). I believe that annual employee surveys could help to identify the needs of employees and to link them to the strategic company goals: from my experience, annual surveys are the most effective way for leaders to identify employee needs and to link them to the major company goals.
To maintain a healthy organizational culture, the leader must hire the best talents and to help applicants align with the culture, to improve achievement results and their working relationships (Pennington, 2010). For organizational culture to be healthy, the leader will need to cultivate culture carriers at every level, drive out mistrust, and protect the culture when times are bad – this is what Steve Jobs did for Apple in 1997, making the company innovative and adaptable to changes (Anonymous, 2002). 2. Rogers and Meehan (2007) suggest that to build a healthy organizational culture, leaders must set expectations, align the leadership around common goals, required behaviors and vision, focus their organization on delivering business agenda, manage culture by managing its drivers, and communicate and celebrate the desired cultural change.
Ultimately, the success of the major cultural endeavors is measured on a day-to-day basis through the continuous improvement of business operations and even through the responsiveness of the customer service team to customers’ complaints (Rogers & Meehan, 2007). Whether leaders can utilize the existing knowledge and build a healthy culture depends on how well they understand their organization, its drivers and controversies, and how effectively they can integrate available human resources with the existing operations and structures. Conclusion The concepts of leadership and management are often used interchangeably. However, the 21st century positions them as the two distinctly different organizational categories. Management exemplifies a set of processes necessary to keep the organizational system operating efficiently.
Leadership creates and promotes change, inspires employees, develops commitment to the common objectives and goals, and makes organizations more adaptable to the changes in economic and business environments. Globalization has changed the image of leadership, making it more complex, flexible, and diverse. The mobility of labor force and the growing diversity of ideas turn performance appraisal and innovation into the basic features of global leadership success. Steve Jobs is a unique example of talented leadership, which comprises innovation, commitment, self-sacrifice, and is a role model for dozens of employees to follow. Steve Jobs proves that leaders are the fundamental creators of a healthy organizational culture and are the basic sources of commitment to change.
- Ancona, D. (2010). Insanely great leadership. Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2010 from http://views. washingtonpost. com/leadership/panelists/2010/01/insanely-great-leadership. html
- Anonymous. (2002). Transformational leadership @ Apple. Strategic Direction, 18, 6, 5-7.
- Appelbaum, L. & Paese, M. (2010). What senior leaders do: The nine roles of strategic leadership. DDI Competitive Advantage. Retrieved July 16, 2010 from http://www. ddiworld. com/pdf/ddi_WhatSeniorLeadersDoTheNineRoles_wp. pdf Chalhoub, M. S. (2010).
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- Rogers, P. & Meehan, P. (2007). Building a winning culture. Business Strategy Series, 8, 4, 254-261. Sinha, J. B. (2009). Culture and organizational behavior. SAGE Publications Ltd.
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