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Steve Jobs' leadership style

Discuss about the Leadership Skills Of The Steve Jobs And The Management Skills Of The Tim Cook.

Leaders (Steve Jobs)

Managers (Tim Cook)

·         Steve Jobs was an active and curious person and he was quite good at planning and organizing the activities.

·         As Tim Cook has overtaken the position of the founder of Apple INC., he has shown his skills and talent in order to support the existing employees of the organization so that Apple INC.[1] could attain outstanding growth in the business environment.

·         Steve Jobs was a personality with various solutions for a single issue. When Apple INC. was at the diminishing stage, he was the person who showed his unique skills to manufacture ultimate electronic consumer goods and gadgets.[2] Due to this Apple INC. is enjoying huge success today.

·         While evaluating the qualities of Tim Cook and Steve Jobs, they both are exceptional for their places. Today, Apple INC. is at the peak place but still, it suffers from various issues but Tim Cook has the ability to resolve those issues quickly so that organization’s performance does not get affected.

·         Steve Jobs was so motivating and it gets proved with his abilities which could be seen from the Apple Inc.’s performance. He was a college dropout and at a very less age, he started building computers with the help of his two friends. 

·         Tim Cook has taken the responsibility of Apple Inc. on his shoulders to maintain the company’s worth and position in the market. 

Under this scenario, a number of power bases being used by the Steve Jobs in his career in order to take the Apple INC. on the next level.

  • Coercive Power: This is the technique which is used to turn someone’s decision in the same direction in which leader wants to. Threatening and punishment techniques are also being used in order to change the existing employee’s decision in manner leader wants.[3]
  • Legitimate Power: These are the powers which are available to the leader at a certain stage only. As Steve Jobs was the founder, CEO as well as the leader of Apple Inc., he was available with these powers and these powers are also used to influence the employees of the organization to work in the same direction which is shown to them. [4]
  • Reward Power: This technique is quite common in these days as some type of incentives; bonus or extra income is being provided to the employees for performing in an appropriate manner.
  • Expert Power: This influences the employees to follow the path shown by the expert with great knowledge and skills. As the expert of Apple Inc. was Steve Jobs, hence; he was the person for showing adequate way to its employees in order to attain the desired goal and the objectives.

While evaluating the characteristics of Mr. Steve Jobs, the following are some of the primary points which make him as an effective leader:

  • Steve Jobs was the person with very bright and positive vision and he was having the great power to influence the people towards his ideas and thoughts. As a result, today Apple INC. is ranked on the peak position in consumer electronic goods. [5]
  • As per the person based theories of leadership, trait theory, behavioural theory, contingency theory, etc. are being included. As per the trait theory, an effective leader should be filled with self-confidence, honesty towards his work, intelligence, energy, etc. Reviewing the qualities of Steve Jobs, all these qualities were present in his nature. Due to this, they are known as an effective and efficient leader.
  • While behavioural theory’s components describe that an effective leader should have the behaviour of a leader as this helps him to lead the team efficiently. Apart from this, leader gets more effective with experiences. Steve Jobs does this too, as he was not the part of his own company but afterward, he was given the command to run the company and with his innovation skills and talent, he introduces various electronic goods continuously and this helps the organization to attain the peak position in the global market.
  • He was the founder of Apple INC. and he made the first pc-computer with his extraordinary skills. He was the person with adequate qualities and amongst them, selling his own ideas in the market was the most effective one which proves him as the effective leader.
  • Along with the visions, ideas, and skills, Steve Jobs was known for implementing those in the correct manner in order to attain the adequate results. [6]

There are number of limitations available under person-based theories of leadership, some are:

  • Relationship between the leader and his subordinates is the biggest limitation because it directly affects the performance of the whole team.
  • Not taking the advice of subordinates in decision making and this does not build efficient interaction between the teammates which does not extract adequate results for the organization. [7]

Leadership qualities should be unique in order to attend the unique types of situations. As per the situational theories of leadership, style of leading the team should be relevant as per the situation and the task. Below are the leadership styles as per the situations:

  • In early 1975, Wozniak was the co-founder of Apple INC. and he was capable enough to manufacture effective computers. Being an effective leader, Steve Jobs recognised his marketing potential and he influenced Wozniak to perform the same functionalities with him. As the result, it was the first achievement of Apple and they raised $1,350 in the same year. Afterwards, the second PC was launched in 1977 and it was the biggest revolutionary era of PC. This helps the organization to generate $200 million within 2 years. This shows the self-confidence of the Steve Jobs and the quality of supporting and influencing his friend, shows his leadership qualities related to situation. [8]
  • Another situation shows his self-confinement and the unique leadership style. In 1983, conflicts occurred between the Steve Jobs and the board of directors of Apple INC. It was the current CEO of Apple at that time John Sculley and he was the CEO of PepsiCo prior to this. Steve Jobs asked him to join the Apple saying “Do you want to produce and sell sugared water in rest of your life or you want a chance to change the world?” Ironically, he was the primary reason for Job’s removal from his own company and he quitted Apple INC. in 1985. Outside of Apple, Jobs diverted his attention towards the Pixar Animations Studios and he also founded a rival firm as NeXT which is a computer manufacturing firm.[9] On the other hand, Apple’s market share was rapidly decreasing and due to this, they took over the NeXT computers and hired Jobs as an advisor consultant of the company. After his appointment, he resurrected Apple with his unique leadership styles and innovations and Apple got its lost position in the global market again. This shows the quality of self-confidence of Jobs and his style of his leadership which helped the company to regain its lost position.

Substitute Leadership: Under this technique, leader reduces or enhances his efforts as per the workplace’s characteristics. It helps the leader to neutralize his efforts in the workplace.

Self-Leadership: This theory explains the influencing capability of a leader. Leader needs to assign the task to his subordinates in order to get the work done in an effective manner.[10]

Both these skills were present in the Steve Jobs as he was capable enough to get the work done from others in the same manner as per his requirements.

Transactional Leadership: These are the leaders who use power bases to influence its subordinates as well as the other employees of the organization to get the work done. Steve Jobs was one of them and now Tim Cook is also following the same path in order to maintain the Apple INC.’s market position across the global market.[11] Jobs used to execute all the strategies of rewards and punishment for influencing the employees to perform. [12]

Transformational Leadership: This theory describes the relevant changes needed in the workplace in order to obtain the adequate results. Steve Jobs was the biggest example of practising this type of leadership style as he used to take all his teammates and employees along with him to analyse the requirement of the consumers and the organization. After analysing the demand, necessary changes were also implemented in order to gain the adequate results. [13]

Authentic Leadership: Authentic leaders believe in self-concepts and they are quite positive in nature. Steve Jobs and the Tim Cook, both these personalities are quite positive in their work fields. Apart from this, adaptation of the authentic leadership style helps the leader to build effective relationship between the subordinates in order to gain the subsequent outcomes. [14]

Application of authentic leadership style will result in positive manner for every organization as, under this style, leaders are quite positive as well as they are capable enough in building and maintaining appropriate relationship between the followers, subordinates with the employers. Team performance and the individual performance can also be enhanced with the implementation of authentic leadership style within the workplace. [15]

From the above discussion with regards to the leadership skills used by the Steve Jobs co-founder of Apple Inc., it can be concluded that he was the person with appropriate knowledge and skills which enough commence business operations and taking the organization to the next level. His self-confidence, qualities, talent and visions are the primary objectives of Steve Jobs and these should be present in an effective leader. After Steve Jobs, Tim Cook has managed all the functionalities of the organization in an appropriate manner which proves him as an effective manager. Hence, it is quite fair to say that, Steve Jobs was a great leader and Tim Cook is a great manager.

  1. Aaker, D.A. & Joachimsthaler, E., 2012, “Simon and Schuster”, Brand leadership.
  2. Akana, J., Andre, B.K., Bataillou, J., Coster, D.J., De Iuliis, D., Hankey, E., Howarth, R.P., Ive, J.P., Jobs, S., Kerr, D.R. & Nishibori, S., 2011, “Patent D642”, Electronic device. U.S., pp. 563.
  3. Allio, R.J., 2012, “Leaders and leadership–many theories, but what advice is reliable”, Strategy & Leadership, vol. 41 (1), pp.4-14.
  4. Bel, R., 2010, “Leadership and innovation: Learning from the best”, Global business and organizational excellence, vol. 29 (2), pp.47-60.
  5. Berg, H.P., 2010, “Risk management: procedures, methods and experiences”,Risk Management, 1 (17), pp.79-95.
  6. Bolman, L. & Deal, T., 2014, “ Leadership and management”,Christian Youth Work in Theory and Practice: A Handbook, pp.245.
  7. Drori, I. & Honig, B., 2013, “A process model of internal and external legitimacy”,Organization Studies, 34 (3), pp.345-376.
  8. Gladewell, M., 2011, “The real genius of Steve Jobs”, The New Yorker.
  9. Heath, R.L. & O'Hair, H.D. eds., 2010, “Routledge”, Handbook of risk and crisis communication.
  10. Shah, T. & Mulla, Z.R., 2013, “Leader Motives, Impression Management, and Charisma: A Comparison of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates”, Management and Labour Studies, vol. 38 (3), pp.155-184.
  11. Shah, T. & Mulla, Z.R., 2013, “Leader Motives, Impression Management, and Charisma: A Comparison of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates”, Management and Labour Studies, vol. 38 (3), pp.155-184.
  12. Isaacson, W., 2012, “The real leadership lessons of Steve Jobs”, Harvard business review, vol. 90 (4), pp.92-102.
  13. Northouse, P.G., 2015, “Sage publications”, Leadership: Theory and practice.
  14. Northouse, P.G., 2017, “Sage Publications”, Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice.
  15. Purdy, G., 2010, “ISO 31000: 2009—setting a new standard for risk management”,Risk analysis, 30 (6), pp.881-886.
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My Assignment Help. Steve Jobs And Tim Cook: A Comparison Of Leadership Styles - An Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 21 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/leadership-of-steve-jobs-and-tim-cook.

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