Knowing Steve Jobs
Write a reflective essay on a Person, Historical or Current, that you Consider to be a Leader.
Steven Paul Steve Jobs was an enigmatic personality, known for bringing radical transformation in the brand Apple. He served as the CEO of Apple, taking the brand to every corner of the world. Along with this, he was also an American entrepreneur, inventor of magnate and a designer. Being a member of The Walt Disney Company’s Board of directors makes him popular among the people from eight to eighty (Kriger & Zhovtobryukh, 2016). Apart from this, he was also served as the CEO of NeXT. This assignment peeks into Steve’s journey as a leader, concluding with the advice he left behind for the young and aspirant leaders.
Childhood of Steve
Adoption gave Steve a better chance to forget his disturbed childhood. Steve was a school dropout; however, he succeeded in getting the required higher education from the prestigious Reed College in 1972. This was a turning point in his life, when he decided to gain enlightenment on Zen Buddhism by travelling throughout India. During these years, there were accusations against him regarding the usage of LSD and marijuana. In response to this, he stated that intake of LSD was one of the major things, which transformed his life (Heracleous & Klaering, 2014).
1976 was the moment when Jobs along with Wozniak and Ronald Wayne formed Apple computers, now knows as Apple Inc. The major drive behind this formation was satisfying the need for a computer, which the humans can regulate according to their needs and requirements. As a matter of specification, through the production of various products like mobile, laptops and other electronic goods, Steve intended to empower the common people with the speed of high technology. This intention made him People’s Leader, as he re-invented technology for bringing the world into the fist of the people (Niebuhr, Voße & Brem, 2016).
Leadership of Steve
To highlight Steve’s leadership, the concept of “rags to riches” can be applied. This is because; he strived to alter his personality through intense hard work, dedication and determination. In this perspective, he can be considered as a round character. The major drive behind this alteration is strategic vision and clarity in the identified and the specified objectives. Herein lays the appropriateness of the name of the article, Business Insider- Lets Get One Thing Straight- Apple had no choice but to Oust Steve Jobs. “One thing straight” is the determination towards undertaking strategic vision towards the exposure of proper leadership skills by Steve (Barnes, 2015). “Ousting Steve” reflects the helpless of the Apple Board of Directors regarding the termination of Steve. However, instead of being dejected and worried, Steve utilized the opportunity to see what lies next for him. This evaluation is a direct agent in terms of making noticeable advances towards leadership.
Steve's journey as a leader
With the intentions of Steve, transformational, strategic and facilitative leadership styles can be correlated. Development of strategies before the initiation of the projects reflects Steve’s strategic leadership. Prioritizing customer’s wellbeing is an example of facilitative leadership. Altering the current personality for fulfilling the needs, demands and requirements of the customers reflects the transformational leadership adhered by Steve. Herein lays the appropriateness of reviewing the undertaken steps and adopting cognitive learning for upgradation of the standard and quality of the current performance. This review and evaluation was one of the main points of his leadership strategy (Kollenscher et al., 2016).
The attributes of simplification, control over the emotions, innovation, neglecting the reality, confidence are the important components of transformational leadership for Steve. Simplifying the aspects helped him to solve the hurdles tactfully. This tactfulness made him a silent leader, making the people wonder about the secret behind his leadership. Here, regulation over the emotions was the main element, which placed him on a higher pedestal than others. Herein, the concept of cognitive learning can be discussed. Here, all his designations seem meager in terms of his urge to learn more by ignoring his current position (Barnes, 2015). This proves appropriate when he was forcibly terminated from Apple. However, his confidence, determination and perseverance to emerge successful enabled Steve to join NeXT. This was possible because of his attribute of adaptability. This attribute helped him to accept the situation and move on in his life. Along with this, he also possessed a good sense of controlled urgency, which helped Steve to control his emotions and utilize the situation for moving ahead in his life.
He was in constant quest of presenting innovative designs to the customers. He exposed desperate attempts to bring innovation in the products of Apple. This desperation is also reflected in being the mastermind behind the creation of the game Breakout. Steve got the inspiration from the willpower of the aliens to provide new definitions to reality in the movie episode of Star Trek. He opined that innovation demarcates the leader and follower”. According to Steve, innovative, geniuses, determined are merely the masks of a person (Dobni et al., 2016). Affirming his statement, it can be said that these masks conceals the inner and natural personality of the person. This concealment can be positive in terms of silently working up to the achievement of the identified and the specified goals. On the other hand, this concealment creates a negative image in the minds of the people regarding the personality of the individual. Silently modifying the personality alters the image of the individual struggling towards travelling to the path of leadership. This proved true in case of Steve in terms of emerging a successful leader.
Leadership of Steve
Critiques are full of praises regarding the review of the interviews, which Jobs had given to different magazines and channels. In these reviews, passion towards thinking out of the box gains prominence in Steve’s journey towards leadership (Lussier & Achua, 2015). One of an interesting points about him is the strategy behind being rude to people. Here, his motherly attitude is reflected from his philosophy behind being rude to the people. According to him, the answer lies in the results, which are in front of the people. This is very much similar to the aspect of mother being rude towards her children for their betterment in terms of development.
Considering the colleagues as “smart” is Steves’ tactics towards modifying his personality. Working with the smart people has made him realize that brutal treatment would help them in achieving better employment prospects (Howard, 2013). This can be considered as his broad-mindedness in terms of providing chances to the colleagues. This reflects that he had full control over his emotions. Being firm even in the phases of challenges reflects his confidence over restoration of the normalcy. This is one of the qualities, which directly relates with his confidence towards making the impossible possible. Crossing the things he found dumb is also his confidence regarding his weakness. Strong determination and willpower invoked him to gain victory over his weakness (Dobni et al., 2016).
Overall, it can be said that Steve had envisioned his being an effective leader. Herein, the Great Man Theory can be brought into the discussion. After being terminated from Apple, his determination, confidence and adjustability skills helped him to fulfill the identified and specified goals. Effective and judicious utilization of the preconceived skills, expertise and knowledge in a simplistic manner made him a “great man”. Countering this, the uniqueness of Steve played a major role in exposure of a dynamic personality to be remembered (Heracleous & Klaering, 2014).
Message of Steve to the young and aspiring leaders
It is very unfortunate that such a dynamic and charismatic personality had to encounter tragic death due to pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. However, his perseverance, dedication and commitment towards work will always be an inspiration for the young leaders in terms of enhancing their professional development. Evaluation of own work is the lesson, which Steve gives to the young leaders, so that they can bring noticeable changes within their performance. Along with this, he encouraged the young leaders not to stop until the goal is achieved. Herein lays the appropriateness of the saying that, “Knowledge has no age”. He was of the view that evaluation of the identified goals would help in identifying self-strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (Howard, 2013).
This assignment makes the personality of Steve Jobs clear to the readers. Brief insight about his personal life enhances the struggles, which he did for the reaching to the path of leadership. In-depth insight into his professional life acts as an inspiration for the businesspersons striving to achieve a better placement for their companies and organizations. Within this, strategic leadership gains prominence in the present context of competitive market for achieving large-scale customer satisfaction through the provision of innovative products. According to Steve’s philosophy, evaluation possesses flexibility in upgrading the current performance and earning kudos from the customers. This would definitely alter the personality in terms of gaining personal and professional development.
Barnes, B. (2015). Blending Art with Commerce to Expand Aesthetic Leadership: Insights from Steve Jobs and Jerry Garcia. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 20(3), 92.
Dobni, C. B., Dobni, C. B., Klassen, M., Klassen, M., Sands, D., & Sands, D. (2016). Getting to clarity: new ways to think about strategy. Journal of Business Strategy, 37(5), 12-21.
Heracleous, L., & Klaering, L. A. (2014). Charismatic leadership and rhetorical competence: An analysis of Steve Jobs’s rhetoric. Group & Organization Management , 39(2), 131-161.
Howard, H. Y. (2013). Decoding leadership: How Steve Jobs transformed Apple to spearhead a technological informal economy. Journal of Business and Management, 19(1), 33.
Kollenscher, E., Popper, M., & Ronen, B. (2016). Value-creating organizational leadership. Journal of Management & Organization, 1-21.
Kriger, M. and Zhovtobryukh, Y., 2016. Generic Approaches to Strategic Leadership: Stars, Teams, Clans, and Networks. In Strategic Leadership for Turbulent Times (pp. 17-29). Palgrave Macmillan US.
Lussier, R. N., & Achua, C. F. (2015). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Nelson Education.
Niebuhr, O., Voße, J., & Brem, A. (2016). What makes a charismatic speaker? A computer-based acoustic-prosodic analysis of Steve Jobs tone of voice. Computers in Human Behavior, 64, 366-382
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