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Steve Jobs Leadership

Essay by   •  August 12, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,215 Words (5 Pages)  •  3,181 Views

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1. Influencing:

Influence is the essence of leadership; the ability to "force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior and opinions of others." Steve Jobs communicates his ideas, gains acceptance of them, and motivates his staff to support and implement them through change. In leading Apple, he has developed a brand that is the best in class in technology and innovation. Initially with the PC and the Mac lines, he positioned Apple at the forefront of the trend and set the path for future category competitors. His reputation as a technological and innovative leader remained constant with his emergence in NeXT as well as Pixar. Today, the iPod, iPad, and iPhone have created their own product category. His staff developed the technology and joined Jobs in realizing the need for the product line while integrating new products in their original PC concept.

Organizational Objectives:

The rebirth of the Apple brand was a shared vision by Jobs that was communicated to the entire company. The company worked together, under Jobs' leadership and motivation, to accomplish a corporate goal of being best in class. Former employees have stated his "(Steve) Jobs was demanding, and the work was difficult, but it was the best work I had ever done." He rewards employees who work hard for him and disciplines those whose performance is unsatisfactory. Obviously Jobs expectations of his staff are extraordinary but through his aggressive leadership style, the results are exceptional job performance.

Leaders - Followers:

A follower is a person who is being influenced by a leader. Jobs has achieved organizational influence by his relationship with his followers. He has a trusted circle of influence that he depends on in assisting in his decision making. Additionally, exemplified from Jobs' past track record, his followers trust his decision making will lead Apple toward success and achievement in obtaining company goals. He recruits individuals that have passion and wants what is best for Apple, not what is best for them.


Companies need to continue to change in order to be relevant. There needs to be a lack of comfort. Apple is a clear example of change. They have less than thirty core products, yet through innovation those products are constantly adapting. "The future of Apple depends of frequent product introductions and transitions." The need for company change assists in performance enhancement. Jobs takes on innovative risk, is not afraid to fail, and is not always successful.


Leadership is about leading people. "Effective leaders and followers enjoy working with people and helping their success." Bill Gates notes that Jobs, "makes decisions based on a sense of people and products." He inspires people. Jobs said, "People with passion find a way to get things done and to make things happen, in spite of obstacles and challenges that get in the way."

2. As CEO of Apple, Jobs played a multitude of leadership roles. As the Apple figurehead, he is viewed as the face of Apple. Speaking about the products, being interviewed by publications, and addressing business reporters about the future of the company is all a part of being the figurehead.. As the Leader, he influences how his management team performs and gives direction on company progression and innovation. As a Liaison, he has entered Apple in partnerships with companies such as Nike and



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