Select a person involved in a leadership role on a well-known public project. Conducting your own research from publicly available information about this leader, analyse the leadership approach taken. Write an academic report of approximately 1500 words and answer the following questions:
- What style of leadership did this leader deploy?
- What was the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the leadership behaviours displayed?
- What impact did these leadership behaviours have on the project across its lifecycle?
- How does your analysis compare to the concepts and literature examined in this subject?
Leadership in business is a subject to extensive research and focuses on the impact of the leadership on the business orientation of the company. Moreover, it can be argued that the role of the leaders is to make a better understanding of the organisational aims and in this regard influence and push the employees through his personality in order to achieve success and maximise profit for the company. Therefore, it is highly important for the leaders to imbibe such a character that can not only motivate the employees but also encourage them to do tasks more passionately. Henceforth, this report is trying to evaluate the leadership styles of Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple Inc. in addition to this, the effectiveness of the leadership quality of Jobs and its impact on project lifecycle are also incorporated into the discussion to establish a better understanding regarding the high influence of Steve jobs behind the success of Apple Inc.
Biography of the chosen person
Steve Paul Jobs, born in 1955 is famous for his ingenious creativity and foundation of Apple Inc. which is right now the most successful mobile phone company across the world. However, the initial phase was not so flawless for Jobs (Yu, 2013). Being a foster child and college dropout candidates Jobs faced severe challenges in his early phase of life. However, his creative mind-set drove to establish Apple in 1976 with the help of Steve Wozniak. However, he was forced out to Apple in the year 1985 but came back as the CEO again in 1997 (Steinwart & Ziegler, 2014). His comeback was also rejuvenating Apple and made it the most successful technology company with the production of epic iMac, iPod and iPhone.
Leadership style deployment
In course of the discussion, it can be stated that Steve Jobs was not a person resembled with a single leadership style rather he was a blend of series of leadership styles. For an instance, Jobs was a right example of charismatic leadership style. It can be argued that his charismatic presence confluence with the creative mind-set led him impregnable even ousted him from the Apple Inc. in 1985 (Heracleous & Klaering,, 2014). In addition to this, it can also be stated that the leadership quality of Steve Jobs was also related to the trait theory of leadership. According to Sharma and Jain (2013) the trait theory is a combination of different unpopular and unconventional features. His social manners are considered to be a matter of question. Nevertheless, he was always proactive in his professions. Conscientiousness caused vision and self-beliefs for Steve Jobs that elevated him to the pinnacle of success. Furthermore, he was truly a follower of transformational leadership. In his research, McCleskey (2014) opined that the basic facet of transformational leadership is to create a better framework beyond the existing one. In case of Steve Jobs also he always preferred innovation over stability. It can be seen in every products that were manufactured in his tenure.
Effectiveness of leadership behaviour
Biography of the chosen person
According to Niebuhr, Voße and Brem (2016) it can be argued that the leadership qualities of Steve Jobs are rightly exposed through his different activities. Simplicity is identified as one of the major qualities that Jobs leadership characteristics portrayed in case of producing new features for the iPods. In the previous iPods the power on and off buttons were installed for saving the power. However, Jobs made it simpler and user friendly. In the new iPods he eliminated the traditional use of power on off button and replaced with more technologically advanced software. The Apple iPods were the first devices that could be on or off with a single swipe in the screen.
On the other hand, Yukl (2013) showed that the leadership quality of Jobs was associated with a paradigm of proper guidance. He guided and assisted his employees through every possible steps and as a result of that the company was able to produce unique and reliable products. Furthermore, the leadership of Steve Jobs shaped the operational culture of Apple and the organisation took full responsibility for the product from end to end. The development team did a great deal of effort to ensure the quality and reliability of the products as Jobs always believed that developing trusts among the consumers was the most effective marketing strategy.
Furthermore, in his research Hurley-Hanson and Giannantonio (2013) imposed deep focus on the innovative ideas and creativity that Jobs leadership was resembled with. In this regard, Jobs was reluctant to maintaining the existing framework and always striving for new ideas and devices. It is also defined as a clear example of the transformational leadership. In this context, the Apple products were also focused on innovation rather than dealing with the maintenance of the products in future. As a result of that iTunes software was introduced that entitled to create an online music library for the customers. In fact, the revolutionary modifications in the operating system helped Apple to enhance its brand value. Moreover, the design and the materials that used in the Apple phones were unique and beyond any competition.
As a matter of fact, it can be stated by Sonnenfeld (2013) that the leadership quality of Steve Jobs was direct and energetic. The high sense of effectiveness and the introduction of creativity made it more appreciable and acceptable to the employees. As a matter of fact, a strong bond and relationship between the employees and Steve Jobs made it more effective to build up a creative and winning team where each and every players mutually understood others’ perception. It helped to set up a strategic advantage for Apple to expand its market more aggressively.
Impacts of leadership behaviours on project lifecycle
It can be argued that the leadership quality of Steve Jobs helped Apple Inc. to develop a better marketization in the international competitive market. There are some exquisite characteristic features imbibed in the leadership quality of Steve Jobs that enabled the company to reach the pinnacle of its business (Hackman & Johnson, 2013). Started his innovations through the Mac operating system the last innovative idea of Steve Jobs was the Apple iPhone. It can be stated that the advent of the iPhone in the international market changed the equation of the market extensively and as a result of that it became an important revolution in the global market.
Leadership style deployment
It can be ascribed that the role of the leadership in Apple was quiet effective enough in order to establish a better market globally. As a matter of fact, after regaining the control of Apple, Steve Jobs increased the sales of the Apple products by incorporating innovation (Odumeru & Ogbonna, 2013). As per the statistics it can be argued that in the third quarter of the 2007 the global sales of Apple iPhone was 0.27 million (Files.shareholder.com, 2017). However, at the end of the first quarter of 2018 it was escalated up to 77.32 million. This rigorous improvement in sales was due to the leadership and creative mind-set of Steve Jobs.
On the other hand, the annual revenue of Apple was also increased evidently. With the growth in the market and the farsighted vision of Steve Jobs was the most crucial factor in this regard. As far the annual revenue of Apple is concerned, the company had achieved a revenue turnover of 8.2 million in the fiscal year of 2004. In 2010 it reached the level of 65.2 million whereas the annual year of 2017 the growth reached atop with an annual revenue turnover of 229.23 million USD (Files.shareholder.com, 2017). It was obviously the charismatic leadership of Steve Jobs that fostered a huge brand image and enhanced the brand value as well. It cannot be exaggerate by stating that the effort and leadership maintained by Steve Jobs was succeeded to retain the brand image outstandingly. The annual revenue and the annual sales growth can prove it.
Besides this, the progress can also be identified in the case of the annual employee retention rate of Apple. In this context, the annual report of Apple stated that the annual employee of Apple was 14.8 thousands. In course of time it increases up to 60.4 thousands in 2011. However, in 2017 the number of employees heightened almost double rate. In 2017 the employee number could be accounted 123 thousands approximately (Files.shareholder.com, 2017). It proves that the there was a good workplace culture in Apple Inc. that was created undoubtedly by Steve Jobs. His direct communication with the employees and a feature of trait leadership theory helped to shape the organisational culture more relaxed and in return the production and innovation increased rapidly.
The report tries to point out the role of leadership in delivering an advantage to the organisational activities such as increase in innovation and productivity. In this context, the report rightly derived inferences from the leadership quality of Steve Jobs in order to establish a better market capitalisation. Therefore, it can be concluded that the report is highly valuable and perfectly connoted the importance of effective leadership in a business organisation.
Files.shareholder.com. (2017). Apple Annual Report 2017. Retrieved from https://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AAPL/5927980435x0x970347/D2D0AE69-856A-48FA-BE39-38C6D6D50256/10-Q_Q1_2018_As-Filed_.pdf
Hackman, M. Z., & Johnson, C. E. (2013). Leadership: A communication perspective. Waveland Press.
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.
Hurley-Hanson, A. E., & Giannantonio, C. M. (2013). Staying hungry, staying foolish: Academic reflections on the life and career of Steve Jobs.
McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 117.
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.
Odumeru, J. A., & Ogbonna, I. G. (2013). Transformational vs. transactional leadership theories: Evidence in literature. International Review of Management and Business Research, 2(2), 355.
Sharma, M. K., & Jain, S. (2013). Leadership management: Principles, models and theories. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, 3(3), 309-318.
Sonnenfeld, J. A. (2013). Steve Jobs’ Immortal Quest and the Heroic Persona. Journal of Business and Management, 19(1), 59-68.
Steinwart, M. C., & Ziegler, J. A. (2014). Remembering Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a" Transformational Leader": Implications for Pedagogy. Journal of Leadership Education, 13(2).
Yu, H. H. (2013). Decoding Leadership: How Steve Jobs Transformed Apple to Spearhead a Technological Informal Economy. Journal of Business & Management, 19(1).
Yukl, G. A. (2013). Leadership in organizations. Pearson Education India.
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