Leadership entails influencing others to perform their functions in the different capacities to achieve a common goal. Organization and management of human and physical resources is a crucial aspect of leadership, as it determines the success of the organization (Weihrich et al., 2010). Steve Jobs' entrepreneurial capabilities not only enabled him to cofound Apple but also made it the most valuable company before his death. Jobs had operated successfully under the different economic environments and had always inspired employees at Apple Inc. to perform above average individuals.
As a chief executive officer of Apple Inc., he wielded most of the powers, especially in making the decision, on the direction, which he wanted the company to take. Through establishing the boundary, where the work would be done and products should be produced, Jobs inspired others especially in the company on the need of maintaining focus (Schermerhorn, 2010). Excellent leaders are capable of bringing out the best in others through defining boundaries, building an environment that will nurture and support innovation and growth of talent, and providing vision.
Leadership Profile and Attributes
Making way for achievement of both personal and organizational goals is a key element in a charismatic leader. At Apple Inc., the myriad of the quality products made were the result of the unraveled handwork, visionm and enthusiasm inspired by Jobs to make the world a better place (Lussier, 2009). Jobs started a culture of innovation at Apple and helped to save the company from plunging into bankruptcy. He helped to transform at least seven industries that included music, personal computing, retail stores, phones, and digital publishing. His personal contribution to making the first Apple computer can work as a good example of exemplary leadership.
In many instances, he rubbed shoulders with his engineers and designers on the way they wanted the Apple products to look like. In many cases, his advice was pivotal in ensuring that Apple did not mimic other firms, such as Microsoft, but made unique products that were adored by many people (Weihrich et al., 2010). His vision did not only inspired the employees of Apple Inc., but also empowered and challenged the normal way of doing things. He offered employees an overarching guidance and left enough room for their initiative and innovation. Jobs had a vision of creating a computer for the average person. This focus was important in stimulating change and consequently bringing success to Apple Inc. (Lussier, 2009).
Inspire a Shared Vision
Jobs has been described as a rough and insolent leader, but he had the capability of inspiring others by making them believe in their abilities and skills. Jobs imparted Apple's workforce with steadfast zeal to create revolutionary products and the belief that if they maintained their focus and stamina, they could accomplish any project in the world, even the one which would seem impossible in the eyes of the people. Jobs offered an environment, where every individual was accorded enough space and opportunity for change and transformation (Lussier, 2009). His vision and unraveled focus encouraged a sense of direction.
As the Chief Executive Officer at Apple Inc., Jobs commanded the confidence and trust of his employees, for his commitment to make Apple a successful company and his expertise and competence, most remarkably in marketing and product design. His impact was immediately felt when he moved to Apple as the Chief Executive Officer. He rallied all available resources to save Apple Inc., from falling into bankruptcy (Schermerhorn, 2010).
Enable Others to Act
At the helm of Apple Inc., Jobs recruited only the best and most talented individuals to work for the company (Lussier, 2009). He created a conducive environment, where employees, mostly engineers, felt motivated to perform their work. Jobs worked together with the workforce at the company to bring a number of creative products such as iPhone, iPod, Pixar Film, and iMac. He encouraged a culture of high performance and brilliance. Steve was open to criticism and was never blown off balance by frustration or failure (Schermerhorn, 2010).
Apple's successful story began with Steve Jobs, when he made the first computer (Macintosh) and rallied a very competent and motivated team. To make this computer, Jobs formed a group of talented and skilled individuals, who were enthusiastic to undertake the challenging task. He eliminated the bureaucracy that hitherto existed at Apple Inc., to give his team autonomy and enable it to work all hours to make the first Apple computer. He realized the importance of ejecting youthful blood into his project. His team combined both youthful and older experienced and motivated workforce that worked together to achieve a common goal, Apple's success. Through this process, he placed a new benchmark for creativity and innovation (Weihrich et al., 2010).
Challenge the Process
Steve Jobs' leadership style defied the widely accepted techniques and approaches to leadership. He himself picked the product to be made from a myriad of products proposed by the engineers at Apple. Jobs was autocratic, rarely sought advice from the colleagues, and strongly believed in his capabilities (Lussier & Achua, 2010). Jobs believed that for an organization to remain competitive and survive in the global economy, it must embrace innovation as the key cutting edge. Unlike many leaders, who gave a lot of value to sound management and strategic realignment, Jobs held that innovation was the most crucial aspect that would help to meet the changing consumers' demands. Jobs suggested that organizations had to change in order to respond successfully to the challenges posed by the increasing competition, especially in the technological sector (Schermerhorn, 2010).
He recommended that in an environment, where it is hard to predict what the world will be like, conventional knowledge was not appropriate. He believed in his own leadership style and ignored the responses from conventional management principles. He had also developed his own apt strategy and even went on to restructure Apple to make it successful (Lussier & Achua, 2010). Jobs developed a vision that made it possible to design and make some of the most exceptional products in the world.
Encourage the Heart
Steve Jobs was able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his employees, whom he had single handedly picked to carry out various projects at the company. He always encouraged his workforce to channel their efforts on their strong points. Jobs aptly and constructively resolved problems and conflicts at Apple Inc. He accorded everyone an opportunity to exploit their full potential at Apple Inc., and quickly got rid of underachievers (Schermerhorn, 2010).
Leaders have a role to offer guidance and steer their organization in the desired direction. The strategies and styles applied establish whether the leader shall be successful or not. Steve Jobs' leadership style disregarded the conventional leadership and management practices. Though he is described as an autocratic, callous, and arrogant leader, his vision, focus, and enthusiasm to create a successful company made Apple what it is today. At times, his actions and rudeness debilitated some sections of his workforce, but being a strong believer in his policies and strategies, there was no room for mistakes. Sometimes, his nasty personality and arrogance impeded his effective application of policies, but his focus never wavered. He wanted to put Apple at the top and he achieved his goal before his death.
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