Some would say that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers Inc. , was an exceptional leader. However, there are many who would disagree with that statement. Jobs could define leadership in some aspects, yet he fell short in others. Jobs’ leadership style is difficult to pin down because his position fit very many styles. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 and in 1984 he created the Macintosh, the first small computer with a graphic interface. Unfortunately in 1985 Jobs was forced to leave after an internal power struggle with the companies CEO.
Jobs later returned to a struggling Apple after 12 years and turned the company around. During the 12 years he was away, Steve Jobs created successful companies such as Pixar and NeXT. Pixar was acquired by Disney and NeXT was acquired by Apple Computers upon Jobs’ return. Jobs created such technological staples as the Ipad, Ipod, and Iphone. Steve Jobs was also known for his excellent speeches and captivating his audience. Unfortunately in 2011, Steve Jobs lost a long battle to pancreatic cancer. The characteristics of a superior leader are not hard to identify.
Drive, integrity, self-confidence, and knowledge of business are characteristics of an exceptional leader. All of the above described Steve Jobs. Jobs was a very driven man, not for money, or power. Jobs believed that power is a necessity for what actually drove him: achievement itself. Jobs’ persistence was shown even more after leaving Apple. Steve could have spent his life dwelling over his loss, but instead he created two new, very successful companies. Maybe this drive is why Forbes named Jobs 2007’s most powerful person in business.
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Integrity was important to Jobs; his drive would push him to live up to what he promised. At times, following through with his promise would not always come out in the “nicest” way. Jobs was known to be difficult to get along with, especially in team meetings. Steve Jobs’ self-confidence was over flowing and considered arrogant by some, but he always believed in what he was trying to accomplish. Jobs’ knowledge of his business was extraordinary, revolutionizing technology at every turn. One of Jobs’ greatest quotes on leadership is “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” (Jobs, 2006).
Steve Jobs’ leadership style is very difficult to clearly identify. Jobs’ characteristics and traits sporadically fit into different leadership styles. Jobs would be classified as an autocratic leader, he tells people what to do, asserting themselves, and serving as a model team member. Jobs was definitely not a democratic leader, it has been said that Jobs hated team meetings and was rather rude when employees spoke their mind. Steve Jobs could also be classified as entrepreneurial, despite the fact that he is a multibillionaire, his work ethic never changed.
Andrew Dubrin defines an entrepreneur as “someone with a strong will for achievement and a sensible risk taking, high degree of enthusiasm, tendency to act quickly on opportunity, being impatient, visionary, amongst others” (Dubrin, 2010). Dubrin’s definition describes Steve Jobs to a tee. A transformational leader is one who “brings about major, positive change for the group, organization or society” (Dubrin, 2010). Jobs’ leadership showed many similarities to a transformational leader except one, Jobs lacked the humane qualities necessary. Jobs’ could also be considered a charismatic leader.
Steve’s exceptional ability to captivate his audience during a speech is the time his charisma can be clearly seen. Jobs could fit himself into whichever scenario necessary to reach his audience. Steve Jobs is such an exceptional businessman, leader, and innovator. I have enjoyed learning more about his leadership and his career. Jobs has made me realize that there is no cookie cutter style of leadership that one person can follow. I found it helpful to relate different leadership styles to an actual person. To have a detailed explanation about how the text about leadership changes into real life is useful.
He has made me open my eyes to the possibility that no one leadership position is more effective than another. Jobs was not necessarily the warmest of bosses yet he was still able to find that personal connection with his customers. Steve Jobs was able to interest and excite the consumer to have his latest “miracle. ” Not every leader is great at everything, even the best struggle with certain aspects of their leadership. For me, I can see how the lessons that I have learned in my research will apply in my future. I have learned not to ever give up, always keep your eyes focused on the goal ahead.
No matter how big or small the project is, the end goal is the same; success. Steve Jobs’ ability to rise above disappointment or despair and move on with such drive to succeed is extraordinary. This drive has motivated me to want to strive for the same. Steve Jobs has given me the examples of leadership that shows that how a strong leader can revolutionize the world. Think of how many homes have Iphones, Ipads, Ipods, or any other Apple product in their home. The products have become the “norm” in many homes. What a feeling of accomplishment Steve Jobs’ must have felt.
All of his hard work and ingenuity is shown in the excitement his customers show with his inventions. I would consider Steve Jobs to be one of the most effective leaders that I have had the pleasure of researching. Being able to overcome being pushed out of the company that he co-founded is unbelievable. Only to later come back to that company and be able to turn around the sinking company. What a display of true leadership Steve Jobs showed the country. Steve was able to show not only his fellow Apple employees but everyone in the world how drive and perseverance can inspire anyone to reach for the stars.
References Bateman, . & Snell, . (2009). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. : . Retrieved from, MGT330 website. Jobs, S. (2006, January 24). The leader-follower [Video file]. Retrieved from Subconscious Films website: http://www. subconsciousfilms. Kramer, D. (2010). david. kramer. wordpress. com. Retrieved from http://davidkramer. wordpress. com/2010/02/15/leadership-behaviours-and-attitudes-of-steve-jobs/ Steve Jobs Leadership Case Study. (2011). Retrieved from http://www. leadership-with-you. com/steve-jobs-leadership. html
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