Steve Job Subject ( Leadership)
Steve Jobs Subject (Leadership)
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Steve Jobs Subject (Leadership)
There is no doubt that Steve Jobs revolutionized the computer industry with his extraordinary mind. He had many amazing qualities that made him stand out from all the contemporary corporate leaders. He dreamed of a tomorrow which was impossible to even imagine in 1970’s. People never thought that computers will become this much easy to use and carry. There are certain leadership traits found in him more than anyone else. Steve knew exactly how to make dreams true and interest a profession (Issacson, 2012). He was a man of vision and due to his broad vision, apple is leading the telecommunications industry today e.g. The Macintosh and IPhone etc. As a leader he was well aware of the fact when to bring creativity in the work and products. He always brought the innovation and creativity at the right time. He was a student of Calligraphy and studied this discipline from his own interest in college. But the moment he entered the corporate world, he carried the calligraphy with him and fitted them as beautiful fonts in his computer. Mastering the message needed to be conveyed to the audience was his kind of thing which separated him from other corporate leaders (Yoffie & Cusumano, 2015). Instead of saying yes, he made sure to say no to all the unnecessary things and clear the disturbance. Steve Jobs was socially intelligent enough to convince his customers to buy his products. He was not only a businessman but was someone who cared about the dreams of his customers and helped them accomplish their dreams. He spoke to his customers on an emotional level and made a strong bond with them through products. Due to his social intelligence attribute, he was able to achieve success and placed Apple at the top. He truly understood his customers’ needs and knew what they wanted that’s why made products according their desires.
Ethical leadership is the leadership that also involves ethical values and beliefs in leading the way for others. It means setting example for the followers by keeping moral concerns for others and giving them the rights and respect they deserve. Under this kind of leadership, the leader protects the dignity of others through trust, fairness, honesty, charisma, kindness and moral support. Some corporate leaders find it quite challenging to be a successful businessman as well as an ethical leader simultaneously as it often contradicts their self-interests.
Characteristics of Ethical Leadership
There are few characteristics of ethical leadership that should be followed by any ethical leader. They include justice, respect for followers which also involves the employees and subordinates in corporate world. It encompasses of honesty no matter how undesirable the situation is as some business leaders design strategies to trap customers in order to earn more revenues. Steve Jobs was no doubt an inspiration for other business leaders and set many innovative examples but when it comes to being ethical, he lacked certain traits. There were some circumstances in which he proved to be ethical but, he reflected unethical behavior too. It depends on what kind of ethics is under consideration. He was very ethical when it comes to the integrity of his company, evolving the company and protecting the company’s reputation at any cost. He was very selfless related to Apple and never did anything for personal interests. But on the other hand, he violated certain ethical codes by providing unhealthy working conditions and environment for his employees. He never showed concern for the health of his employees. Famous example is the incident of apple factories in China where workers committed suicide and some were injured too due to miserable work atmosphere (Worstall, 2018). He had a rude and harsh attitude towards his subordinates and never participated actively in charity. He also used to park in the spot reserved solely for physically disabled people (Balch and Armstrong, 2010). This is why ethical leadership is very important for many reasons. It not only focuses on maximizing profits and achieving success but also give importance to the right thing to be done for the humanity.
Steve Jobs as a Prominent Leader
The prominent leader taken here is Steve Jobs, co-founder of the multinational telecommunication corporation Apple Inc. He made Apple the world’s biggest information technology corporation by revenue in the world. Apple drastically changed the world through greatest innovations and creativity the people have ever experienced by its high-quality products. Steve Jobs was a college dropout but had great passion for computers which made him involved in the business of computing (Young & Simon,2006). He expanded the company by introducing a variety of different products and ultimately proved himself by earning a huge name in telecommunications. He was diagnosed with cancer and died in October 2011 after leaving his post of CEO at Apple tin August the same year.
Steve Jobs had a blend of different leadership styles. He was a transformational leader in a way that he transformed the computing world with his extraordinary mind. He inspired and motivated others to follow their dreams. The main ingredient in transformational leadership is the vision which makes the leaders different than others. Steve jobs had a very strong vision and was very consistent in his struggle to make his vision a reality. Steinwart (2014) considers him a transformational leader due to his three main attributes which are, creativity, vision and pensionary. But, there are some more traits of transformational leadership which is absent in his personality. They are more related to interpersonal skills. Those traits are, empowerment and interaction. He was not inspiring and motivational for his employees due to his extra strict attitude. He was not understanding rather controlling. He was harsh which made it hard for people to interact with him. He was more of a transactional leader who wanted his company to be successful and high performance of his employees at any costs. He was unbeatable in product design and marketing. Transformational leadership is about meeting followers on emotional level and showing concern, Jobs didn’t have both of these traits. Transformational leader has charisma in the personality whereas Steve was known for his anger and gave tough time to his employees.
Leadership Characteristics of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was the owner of diverse leadership characteristics which were often contradicting in nature. Steve Jobs was abrasive when it came to supervising his employees. He was surprisingly innovative in designing the products for his company and launching marketing campaigns for the promotion of the products. Although he was very careful in decision making but he also took many risks for the benefit of the corporation (Young & Simon,2006). He was adaptable with the changing environment that is why changed the design of his products according to the changing needs of his customers. He learned from his failures and made sure not to repeat them again in future. His vision was the trait which made him so successful in the world. Without his vision, apple might never be formed. Another trait of Steve Jobs involves his perfectionist attitude. He was always concerned for perfection in his products that is why he used to increase the working hours for his employees to demand better quality. A leader should have a passion and Steve Jobs had both in abundance i.e. Passion for his vision and self-confidence to shape his dream into a reality. He also challenged the limits of your employees by giving them tough tasks to handle and increasing their capacity. He was very focused towards his goals and did everything to achieve them. He had a great way of conveying his message to the world and that is why he used to apply storytelling technique in his presentations. He was authoritative and dominant in the leadership and wanted his employees to achieve the benchmarks he made for them. But he was also trustworthy and honest and this is why his employees used to put all their trust on his decisions. He preferred excellence on money and never compromised the quality of products for more revenue.
Servant leadership aspect of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs cannot be said to be servant leader as servant leader is a leader whose goal is to serve people and not just focus on the company’s progress. The truth is, Steve Jobs was very passionate about Apple and did a lot of struggle to bring the company on top. He was a servant leader for his company as he was very hard working and wanted to see Apple become the number one in the world. When Apple was close to bankruptcy in 1997, he came to Apple because of his loyalty to the company and turnaround the organization. This incident is a greatest proof of his dedication and devotion for his company. He was very attached to Apple that’s why he didn’t resign and hide his terrible health state because of cancer until 2011. Even in deteriorating health situation, he used to work hard and never compromised on his performance. He never took leaves from the company and was always available for help whenever his subordinates needed him. But he was not a people’s leader and cannot be named as a servant leader as he was very bitter on emotional levels and doesn’t served welfare much. He didn’t perform any charity nor showed any concerns for the humanity. He was contradicting in his approach towards technology as he made the technology accessible for a common man but made it unreachable for his children because he wanted them to focus on other things. Steve never provided any comfort for his employees but he made sure to make his customer’s dreams come true with the help of his high-tech products.
Isaacson, W. (2012). The real leadership lessons of Steve Jobs. Harvard business review, 90(4), 92-102.
Steinwart, M. C., & Ziegler, J. A. (2014). Remembering Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a" Transformational Leader": Implications for Pedagogy. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(2).
Worstall, T. (2018). Has Apple Become More Ethical Since Steve Jobs' Death A Year Ago?. Forbes. Retrieved 27 October 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/10/05/has-apple-become-more-ethical-since-steve-jobs-death-a-year-ago/#5bd9888c1d72
Yoffie, D. B., & Cusumano, M. A. (2015). Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs. HarperBusiness.
Young, J. S., & Simon, W. L. (2006). iCon Steve Jobs. John Wiley & Sons.
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