A leader is a significant person in an organization who can impact other people’s behavior without being afraid to take responsibility, consistently achieve specific goals, and lead a team. Their role is directly related to effectively managing organizational and interpersonal communication, influencing its nature. The leadership finds expression in controlling the group members, encourages them to show their solid personal qualities, and restrain weak traits. Such process in a modern organization is the central core of the system, which contributes to the revival of all technical and organizational elements, ideas, concepts, rules, and principles. In this paper, the role of Steve Jobs, his influence at the company “Apple,” the importance of leaders, their competencies, and the recommendations to managers and organizations are the main topics that will be examined.
Leader’s Role, His Impact on Employee Motivation and Organizational Performance
First of all, a leader is an inspirer, a role model who motivates the team to realize dreams, goals, and plans into reality. This person knows what may be attractive to colleagues, shares their opinions, and consults and supports advice. Employees trust the “chief,” respect and appreciate his or her choice, understanding that the company’s success and future are behind management’s leadership style. A good leader is able to motivate their employees in several ways. He or she emphasize both the value of the organization and the benefits that they bring to the audience. Each person in the team influences the decision on how to implement the vision of the organization. An example of a bright and charismatic personality with these leadership traits is a well-known entrepreneur, founder of the world-famous company “Apple,” inventor and genius of his time – Steve Jobs.
The American inventor leadership model is characterized in different ways, from sharp objections and disagreements with his actions to universal recognition and respect. Most researchers call Jobs as charismatic and transformational leader, a role model and an inspiration (Howell & Wanasika, 2018). They note shortcomings and imperfections in Jobs’s character, but the man was “sick” of his business, knew precisely what he wanted, putting affairs to the best results. However, Steve acted passionately and emotionally and transferred his energy to his products, rejecting standard rules and frameworks (Iyer, 2019). Jobs had a unique and inimitable view of the things around him (Iyer, 2019). With burning eyes and strong motivation, he was able to push the boundaries of technology and business. The man’s sharpness and impatience stemmed from the desire for perfection.
Jobs looked at things with his unique view and interpreted things according to his inner beliefs. The entrepreneur created his own reality and the “distorted meaning” of certain phenomena, skillfully manipulating people and forcing them to believe in “the world” that he imagined ideal. In this case, this is how he was able to move the company forward, winning thousands of fans from all over the world.
The head of “Apple” has always spoken honestly and openly and was not afraid to express his true feelings and emotions. People bought into Jobs’ ideas because he always spoke sincerely. In addition, he talked for hours about things that interested him, charming people with his charisma and emotional pressure (Smith, 2019). Steve could be friendly to people he hated and as easily offend those he adored and loved. Thanks to this tactic of communicative communication, he achieved what he wanted from his employees and reached heights in implementing plans.
Moreover, Steve was a real workaholic and observed strict work discipline. He worked about 14 hours every day, tirelessly, motivating employees, consistently demonstrating, and pushing them to create better products, and they respected him for this (Smith, 2019). He looked forward to the future without looking back and mainly relying on intuition, made quick decisions without the profound study of unique literature and sources. Quickly adapting to new conditions helped the company stay afloat with competitors and present innovations to society (Smith, 2019). Jobs was quite picky about subtleties, details of the products’ design and demanded the same perfectionism from his colleagues (Iyer, 2019). Furthermore, Jobs hated anyone willing to compromise to get the product on time and meet the budget (Smith, 2019). The company had to make the most incredible product or even a little more. Technology and perfection are what creators need to give to the world in the first place, and money should be only a secondary factor.
Sometimes, Steve was very impatient, irritable, and cruel to the people around him. Every action of the man could be considered nitpicking, cruelty in dealing with others (Howell & Wanasika, 2018). Although it is not commendable, this attitude towards people came from his passion for excellence and desire to work only with the best. It is essential to understand that the man’s rudeness was accompanied by the ability to be inspiring. Steve Jobs once said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do” (Kassim, 2020). He infected Apple employees with an abiding passion for creating innovative products and believing that they could do what seemed impossible and the results speak for themselves.
The leadership pressure helped the world-famous company win worldwide recognition and create a cult among users, which no other company has. Customers and loyal fans felt that Apple put their interests first, and as a result, they are willing to pay a high price for these products. Nevertheless, autocratic leadership, strict strategies, a close attitude to the quality of work and details helped Jobs achieve significant results. Anyway, when Jobs was struggling with a deadly disease, genuinely loyal people were next to him. Also, in the conversation Walter Isaacson, Jobs designated his best creation, not “iPhone” or “iPad,” but a reliable team consisting of the best employees and colleagues with whom he had worked (Sapiens Editorial, 2018). Indeed, many business schools will be looking to answer this question for about another hundred years.
The Role of Leaders and Their Skills in Finding Solutions for Non-Routine Problems
A true leader applies a creative approach to the organization of people in practice, looks for non-standard approaches to solving managerial problems, generates ideas and strives for innovations, overcomes limitations and obstacles. In fact, Steve Jobs achieved what he wanted due to circumstances and did not hide from life’s difficulties in the comfort zone, because any mistake is an opportunity, not an obstacle. Courage, fortitude and perseverance in the face of problems helped the man to remain a leader.
At certain moments, Apple has undergone a series of failures and disappointments; it lost the former “magic” after the departure of the founder. The American businessman regained control of Apple again, becoming the head of the corporation (O’Kelley, O’Brien, & Clarke, 2019). Under his leadership, the company was saved from bankruptcy and began to make a profit a year later (O’Kelley et al., 2019). As the man claimed, he was just an adviser before and offered plans, strategies for doing business, directed in the right way. However, everyone perfectly understood and knew about his expanded powers and a higher position in the team.
First of all, Steve used his influence and called a meeting of the director’s council. Jobs strongly demanded that Apple should reconsider its options and lower the sale costs to increase stock prices. Outraged by such statements, the directors rejected the idea, saying that the study would take at least two months. The man responded negatively and threatened to quit again if his proposals were rejected by the end of the week. Soon, the “commission” complied with Jobs’ request, but the man did not stop there and said that all board members, except Ed Woolard, should leave, and so it happened (Smith,2019). Being able to choose the members at his discretion and act independently of them, Steve was able to take control of subsequent Apple projects. After finishing the “mass purge”, Jobs got to work – the appearance of such gadgets as new iMacs, iPod and iPhone became possible.
When Steve returned to Apple, it produced a disorderly assortment of computers and peripherals, including a dozen different versions of the Macintosh. After several weeks of product reviews, he could not stand the flow of madness happening around him. Jobs preferred a reasonably straightforward, but at the same time, effective solution. He drew a table depicting two graphs and a similar number of columns with a marker in his hands. The table indicated the classification of buyers, as well as the type of computers. Steve focused on four excellent products, one for each category, and he proposed to cancel the production of all other products. Hence, he saved the company from bankruptcy by focusing Apple on just four computers (LaunchTomorrow, 2019). Jobs ruthlessly filtered out everything he considered a distraction, refusing to transfer his attention until he was ready. Even colleagues and family members were annoyed by such thoughts when they tried to get Steve to deal with important issues, in their opinion. The man’s foremost thing was focusing on specific products and getting rid of the others that pulled down.
Thus, based on Jobs’s vision of the situation, courage, and unconventional thinking, Apple regained success, high results in demand, and sales of products. The inventor’s will and intelligence allowed him to act confidently and responsibly for the company in such a non-standard position. Personal visions, intelligence, knowledge, abilities, values, and culture have practically created the crisis’s basis. The company existed in the manual control mode, and it turned out to be the “accident” when such management turned out to be helpful.
Recommendation to Leaders and Organizations
Few executives, entrepreneurs, and businessmen will say that they absolutely would not like to resemble Steve Jobs in anything – a man who has become a legend. Steve became an entrepreneur with a capital letter, made Apple one of the most expensive companies in the world, transformed and improved the seven largest areas – the results speak for themselves. The following paragraphs provide recommendations and advice to managers and organizations for the successful management of enterprises, their further development and well-being.
Based on the model of the Apple founder, leaders in organizations must have a passion for their work, a desire to cooperate with the best team and produce the most excellent products. Undoubtedly, each person is endowed with their character and temperament. Imitating Jobs’s rudeness and impatience, not understanding his ability to generate loyalty, managers risk making a dangerous mistake. Additionally, Steve advises focusing on the main thing and dismiss everything less critical, simplifying things, aiming at their essence, and eliminating unnecessary components. Apple’s first marketing brochure proclaims that simplicity is the pinnacle of complexity.
An authentic leader is distinguished by taking responsibility for customers and actions – absolutely few companies operate on this principle. He or she aims for the best product, listens to clients, and meets their needs. This requires intuition and instinct to guess the desires that have not yet been formed – one of the main competitive advantages among other companies. The services and products provided to people are innovations, breakthroughs, the very first, and new ideas. In addition, the products themselves should be more important than the profit, because the profit will come later if you focus on creating a great product. A solid firm is primarily motivated to develop excellent products, and everything else does not matter much. It is excellent to profit because it allows companies to create these products, but the motivation should be products, not profit.
Summing up, Steve Jobs went down in history not only as an American entrepreneur, innovator, designer, and founder of world-famous companies and brands but also as a successful leader and manager. Fortunately, the man had several qualities that made him an excellent specialist in his field and the business that interested him. As a leader, the man had bright, creative, and non-standard thinking, the ability to bypass any obstacles and restrictions. His ability to make a breakthrough and revolution, introduce innovations within the framework of an integrated approach, helped create a successful business and acquire millions of fans from all over the world. Indeed, many heads of organizations and contemporaries interested in entrepreneurship will learn a lot of important and valuable tips and leadership lessons from Steve Jobs.
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Iyer, M. (2019). Steve Jobs – the man I look-up to. Notion Press.
Kassim, M. (2020). Steve Jobs’s revolutionary leadership style and what we can learn from it. Idea Drop.
LaunchTomorrow. (2019). The one thing Steve Jobs did that turned around Apple. LaunchTomorrow.
O’Kelley, C., O’Brien, J., & Clarke, T. (Eds.). (2019). The Oxford handbook of the corporation. OUP Oxford.
Sapiens Editorial. (2018). Summary of “Steve Jobs – by Walter Isaacson”. Sapiens Editorial.
Smith, D. (2019). The Steve Jobs guide to manipulating people and getting what you want. Insider.