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Steve Jobs: Leader or Manager?

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Steve Jobs: Leader or manager ?

[Haider Ali]

[University of West of Scotland]

Table of Contents

Executive Summary        


Leadership and Management        

Was Steve Jobs a Manager? A Leader? Or Both?        

Characteristics that help Steve Jobs lead Apple        

Consequences of Leadership        

Steve Jobs was right person in times of crisis        

Joining Apple Again        

First Period with Apple        



Executive Summary

The founder of Apple was able to create the most valuable brand in the world with his creativity, vision and passion for perfection. However, his management model was contrary to what is expected of a great leader. Jobs had numerous personal issues due to which he was asked to leave the company in 1985. Upon his return, he made surprising changes in his attitudes and approaches and led his firm to become one of the biggest successes of the modern era.



The concept of leadership can be understood from two perspectives. Psychologists focus on interpersonal skills, how a leader influences others. On the other hand, theorists of management see leadership in terms of what is needed to implement a strategy to achieve a positive result. Since both quarries, Steve Jobs has detractors and acolytes. The acolytes see Jobs as a brilliant leader and cited as the reason behind the phenomenal results of Apple. Critics see it as an arrogant full of errors, which managed Apple's success despite their rude behavior. The name Steve Jobs is synonymous with innovation, leadership and success. His overwhelming personality, business acumen and charisma made him a tech guru who managed to turn Apple in to one of the world's biggest success. Steve Jobs led Apple from the direction of revolution of the music industry and telephony (Cherry, 2010). He had an unusual cult to create products that had become mass products symbiosis. Because of his exceptional qualities and his believe in his products, millions of people around the world followed Apple’s presentations and queued for hours outside Apple stores to be the first to buy the latest Apple device. His experience is, and will remain in a hundred years, a case study in the best business schools.

Leadership and Management

Leadership and management are two different functions. First, there are many definitions of management, but the process of management involves budgeting and planning, control, problem solving, organization and staffing (Schein, 2010). Management also helps minimize uncertainty and increase the stability of the overall management organization is a set of processes that keep an organization running (Komives, 2011).

Leadership is associated with the skills possessed by a person to influence others, regardless of the role that is exercised or the position the leader holds (Hall, 2013). However, it is asserted that a leader cannot transfer their skills to all contexts where acts with the same effectiveness, which is to say that should know and master the situation where it is immersed and mainly be recognized as such by his followers (Hall, 2013). The major modern leadership styles include:

Behavioral theory, advocated that the action of the leader is determined by its orientation to the individual or to the workplace, being possible to teach managers to be leaders (Landis, 2014).

Management grid theory: whose contribution was the presentation of a network that points eighty-one (81) different possibilities of leadership styles, combining the two (2) dimensions identified by the researchers mentioned above, as are interest in people and production (Hall, 2013)

Situational Leadership: Situational leadership is based on maintaining a balance between two types of behavior that exerts a leader to match the level of development of his team. Jobs utilize these skills when he joined Apple for the second time and found the company going towards a downward spiral (Neumann, 2013).

Charismatic leadership: Refer the importance of motivation and behavior of the leader and his followers for outstanding performance. Among the main qualities of leaders mentioned the following: adequate vision, take risks, consider environmental constraints, the needs of their subordinates and have unusual behavior (Neumann, 2013)

Transactional Leadership: It is based on appropriate relationships between the leader and his followers, through feedback, either as stimulus or corrective, always according to the achievement of the goals prior definition of objectives and goals (Hall, 2013).

Transformational Leadership: Attributed to Bass Bernard, who based on what was written by Burns argues that the leader, besides being charismatic pays special attention to the interests and development needs staff collaborators, drive them to transcend their individual interests by the group (Mendenhall, 2012).

Visionary Leadership: Advocates that the leader must properly combine your skills, talents, resources, emotions and own energy and its partners to promote expected accomplishments (Landis, 2014).

Attribution leadership: asserts that people make on others, noted for their intelligence, expressiveness, sociability, responsibility, among others, quines remain unshakeable their decisions (Neumann, 2013).

Traits of Leadership and Steve Jobs

Jobs was a charismatic and a visionary leader. He also was a transformational and transactional leader who managed to turn the tides of his company from being bankrupt in to one of the biggest success of the modern era. Jobs possessed most of the leadership traits that an effective and efficient leader is meant to have. He was enthusiastic about his work, had social boldness to get his idea approved and adopted by the consumers, was though minded to see his plans through to the end, was self-assuring and self-motivating that permitted him not to lose control in times of crisis and compulsive. In addition, Jobs was also confident and committed towards his work and aimed for a vision that initially looked impossible. He was also creative and intuitive and was able to analyze the needs of the market and exploit the gap with the help of an innovative technology. The trait where he progressed and lacked at the same time was emotional stability. Jobs, even though considered a role model for most was known to lose his temper when things did not work out his way. He was often witnessed of shouting and pressurizing his employees to work harder and achieve more (Sharma, 2011).However, this also reflects his conscientiousness as he had a sense of purpose and kept his standards extremely high.



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