Apple Company: Efficient Leadership in Business

Executive summary

Efficient leadership means working hand in hand with the manager of the organization to sustain efficient coordination in the organization. The leader should take the initiative to set up sub-committees in the organizations that address the success of the organization. A leader plays the role of assessing the performance of the followers in the organization and offers them rewards according to the efforts that they make in the organization.

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He motivates and inspires them so that they can work diligently and efficiently. It is also the duty of the leader to set up standards and objectives of the company that needs to be met by all the followers. The leader also mitigates risks in the organization by efficiently allocating resources in order to achieve the desired ends. The productivity of the organization is enhanced by constantly training the followers of the organization in order to enhance innovation in the organization.

Introduction

Leadership plays an important role in the success of any organization irrespective of its line of production. Excellent leadership helps individuals, groups, and the entire organization to adapt to the new changes and appreciate the prevailing conditions (Adetule, 2011). Change is a big challenge for many organizations; therefore, good leadership is required to ensure that people cope with the new work requirements.

In the modern organizations, leaders are required to be innovative and highly knowledgeable because this would help them survive in the highly competitive business environment (Annabelle, 2006). A case study of Apple Company was used to explore the concept of leadership in this study. In the technology industry, Apple Company is the leading in terms of service delivery and service quality.

The company was founded and run by Steve Jobs, who was considered to be a visionary leader with great leadership skills and managerial prowess. The company is associated with innovation as one of the core values. Steve Jobs’ leadership qualities were attributed to the success of the company, which has dominated the technology industry for several years. As a leader, he devised various strategies aimed at steering the company to the next frontier (Flint, 2012).

Biography of Steve Jobs

His full names are Steve Paul Jobs; he was born on February 24, 1955. He was born in San Francisco. His father’s name was Abdul Fattah Jandali, who hailed from Syria. His mother was Joanne Carole Schieble, who was half German, half American. There was a conflict between Joanne’s family and Jandali’s family as her parents were opposed to her marrying a Muslim, she, therefore, moved to San Francisco where she gave birth to Steve.

She gave up Steve for adoption to another family (Clara and Paul Jobs). The family moved to stay in Mountain View Estate, which was a suburb. The place was associated with many semiconductor companies; this made Steve have an interest in the field of technology at an early age (Clawson, 2011).

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When Steve was 13, he met Stephen Wozniak. Wozniak was an electronic guru who spent a lot of his time in electronic projects. Steve’s organization with Wozniak helped to catalyze his interest in electronics. He joined the college at the age of 18 and later dropped out to work in a video game manufacturing company.

After some time, Steve, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne formed the Apple Computer Company. Wozniak had the skills of making computers while Steve had the skills to market and sell the computers, thus, the two made a great pair. Steve found an investor who invested in the company with $92,000. They then hired a professional CEO (Mike Scott) to run the affairs of the company. Through hard work and visionary leadership, Steve continued to help build Apple Company and eventually became the CEO between 2005 and 2011. He won many awards as the CEO and the company continued to grow and expand greatly. Steve Jobs later resigned as the CEO in 2011 and died after a short illness.

Steve Jobs as a modern leader

Many scholars argue that the leadership skills of Steve Jobs started at an early age when he developed an interest in technology. Steve was so much obsessed with electronics and developed his management skills in line with his interest in technology. Steve had a winner’s mentality from a young age and performed the roles as a CEO with passion and dedication. These skills helped Steve to transform Apple to be a global icon in terms of making computers.

The company became huge both in size and value. Apple Company was the first company to create a Mac operating on a Windows platform. The mouse was also a creation of Steve Job; the use of the mouse has become popular globally among computer users. In addition, Steve contributed to the field of movies by producing many blockbusters. Steve Jobs had a fighting mentality, which enabled him to endure cancer for a longer time period. The fighting attitude was also demonstrated by his desire of not giving up, even when he had failed in the past (Clawson, 2011).

Steve Jobs is still regarded as a genius and an idealistic leader; this was enshrined in his personality. He had several outstanding personal traits that included: being open minded, being a perfectionist, being passionate, being flexible, being charismatic, and being highly persuasive. A huge company in the class of Apple needs the best leadership that is backed up by a strong organizational culture that created a sense of identity and uniformity in the organization.

Steve Jobs managed to inculcate a distinct organizational culture that made it possible to identify any Apple employee within first sight. The culture of the company was founded in the personal traits that were possessed by Steve Jobs. Many people, including the employees and the customers of Apple all across the world, were very inspired and motivated by the success stories that were told by Steve Jobs. It was part of his philosophy to inspire and motivate people to work hard; this pushed the company far above the other companies.

Steve Jobs is identified in the same class as the world’s successful modern leaders. The way Steve discharged his duties was influenced by his personality. He had a group of very loyal employees who did not care even if Steve became rough on them at some times. This was because Steve was an inspiration to many of the employees as well as being a role model. Steve never gave up no matter how hard the situation looked like, and in everything he did; there was an element of perfectionism in it.

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Steve is credited with creating an attitude of endurance in Apple Company through introducing the strategies of entrepreneurship, leadership and invention and innovation. Steve had simple ways of doing his work that produced great results and at the end; he took responsibility for either success or failure. Always, Steve could push his employees to go the extra mile and accomplish the unmanageable; he achieved this through constant motivation and inspirational talks (Clawson, 2011).

Steve Jobs did not have enough faith in conducting business through phone calls, but rather he was a strong proponent of face to face conversation because of the fact that face to face communication is direct, reliable and the feedback is instant. As a leader, Steve Jobs divided his team into small groups of top talents who were assigned challenging tasks, but still managed to produce the desired results. All in all, Steve Jobs proved himself as a successful leader in the highly competitive business environment of the modern world. He had all the abilities, character, and identity of a true leader who can command influence and administration.

Leadership is a concept that gives much attention to many people all across the world. All the aspects of any organization depend on good quality leadership. The example of Steve Jobs’ leadership exhibits how any organization can benefit from having a visionary and transformational leader. The success of Steve Jobs as a leader was constant; unlike other leaders who just succeed on a one-time basis.

In summation, the leadership style of Steve Jobs can be portrayed as versatile, centered, visionary, and creative. He was impractical for the reason that he never upheld for copying what was at that period in the business sector, as he generally accepted that the organization held the capacity present something fresh. Dissimilar to different leaders who assume that a standard thing could be possible in an unexpected way, Jobs had an alternate point of sight since he was sure that his representatives will dazzle the world with new things.

Case in point, he supervised the improvement of an iPad, which has changed the itinerary in which organizations operate. Steve was an amazing leader who took the time to comprehend the client needs and make up an item to fulfill them by using the accessible assets in the organization. Then again, Tim Cook is a soul who trusts in a coordinated effort. Tim Cook took over that item, change is guaranteed through consistent testing (Gallos, 2008).

Theories of leadership applied by Steve Jobs

Out of the many theories, there is one theory that really stands out, and that is the transformational-transactional theory. The two elements, for instance, transformation and transaction are considered to be the important elements of leadership. Transactional leadership represents ordinary leadership while transformational leadership represents extraordinary leadership. Transactional leadership involves a give and take situation, whereby the followers bring in their efforts, output, and allegiance and the leader, in turn, rewards them as per their contribution. On the other hand, transformational leadership is whereby the leader inculcates a sense of awareness and consciousness regarding the vision of the organization and offers a sense of motivation and inspiration to the followers to achieve them (Abbas & Asghar, 2010).

The process by which a leader persuades the supporters draws the line between transformational leadership and value-based leadership. A transformational leader uses his personal attributes such as his character and his values to inspire and motivate the followers. On the concept of the transformational leadership, the leader and the followers work together to elevate each other. Motivation from the leader will make the followers trust the leader and be loyal and respectful to him.

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Motivation also helps the followers prioritize by concentrating on the goals of the organization rather than their own personal goals for the sake of the development of the organization. Transformational leadership is aimed at providing the followers with a new mindset so that they change the ways and procedures of operations to achieve the desired results (Annabelle, 2006).

Transformational leaders have outstanding characters that set them apart. Steve Jobs was a transformational leader because he was charismatic, motivating, intelligent and concerned. Being charismatic helps the leader to have a clear vision and a strategy for the organization and plants the same in the minds of the followers so that they can have the same mission. In the same way, the charismatic leadership enables the followers to have confidence and pride in the organization and in the leader and, therefore, choose to serve the interest of the organization rather than their own personal interest.

The second character of the leader, which is being a motivator, normally comes together with being charismatic. The leader is capable of setting up higher standards in the organization which acts as a source of motivation or inspiration to the followers (Bell, 2005).

Steve Jobs offered inspiration to the followers by telling them success stories and also by being confident and hopeful about the future of the organization. He encourages the followers that the future is always bright and that with hard work and dedication, all things can be achieved. Motivation comes from assigning the challenging task to the followers. These challenging tasks are aimed at opening up the followers’ minds and strategically positioning their mindset to open up for new ways of operations.

The third attribute of a transformational leader is to be intelligent. The leader typically exhibits this by deliberately presenting and regulating new thoughts and ideas to the organization and in the meantime, moving gradually from the old methods for doing things. The followers will now be equipped with better ways of handling situations and examining the facts that had previously been overlooked (Blanchard & Cathy, 2002).

The fourth attribute of the transformational leader is being concerned with the welfare of the followers. The followers need to be empowered through appropriate training and mentoring programs. The leader is in a better position to be the mentor by providing exceptional leadership to the followers. The leader should understand the followers fully so that he can determine what kind of empowerment is relevant to them. The leader should treat the followers with respect and dignity and guide them to follow the correct path in order to attain both their individual goals and the organizational goals (Daft, 2005).

Transactional leadership involves a give and take scenario whereby the leader offers rewards to the followers in respect to the value added to the organization. The followers are rewarded for their compliance and commitment to the goals and objectives of the organization. The leader directs and oversees the finish of undertakings in the organization by the devotees to guarantee that the objectives of the organization are met. The transactional leader clearly spells out the correct path to follow in order to achieve organizational excellence. In addition, the leader puts mechanisms in place to eradicate all barriers and hindrances that might limit the followers from achieving these goals (Hughes, et al., 2015).

Transactional leaders normally demonstrate both profitable and remedial actions. Profitable actions involve rewarding the organization’s members while remedial actions involve defining the code of conduct in the organization. The leader provides incentives that act as rewards to the followers because the followers expect to be recognized for exemplary performance. The setting and definition of the organizational goals clearly combined with the availability of proper incentives to recognize performance will motivate the followers to perform beyond the expectations. Remedial actions involve defining the principles of compliance and how to handle mediocre performance.

In addition, it entails the clear definition of what to do as a punishment for a job poorly done. Transactional leadership is a type of leadership that requires constant supervision to check for inefficiencies, mistakes, or faults and defining the remedial actions that are relevant to correct the errors. The excellent performers are adequately rewarded in proportion to their contributions (Hughes, et al., 2015).

How I would lead differently

I would apply the situational leadership style if I became a leader. In this case, I would try out various leadership styles so as to manage a situation at hand. My leadership style that will finally be adopted due to the fact that it is the one that is supported by the followers and also relevant to the situation at hand. The followers should have an appetite for development, and their level of development will determine the direction of the leadership style.

Steve Jobs had personal traits that influenced on the leadership style that is chosen in a contingency leadership. Therefore, in general, situational leadership is dependent on the relations between the leader, his followers, and the situation at hand. Some scholars have criticized situational leadership by arguing that it focuses much more on the production of the task at hand while giving less attention to the members of the organization (Hughes, et al., 2015).

This kind of leadership is associated with teamwork because it is considered to be a collective team effort. I will bring about innovation and introduction of new concepts and ideas of performing tasks. Organizational leadership first starts with the individual’s abilities and traits as a leader. This enables him to garner trust and confidence from the followers who support him in all the ways. The leadership style of Steve Jobs made it possible to formulate strong organizational culture and increases the level of commitment of the organization’s members so as to achieve the organization’s goals (Hughes, et al., 2015).

Conclusion

The main aim of the study was to point out how effective and efficient leadership can lead to the success of an organization. Effective leadership is the backbone of any organization, and it is a recipe for the success of the organization. A visionary leader is one who desires for the success and advancement of the organization. He does this by being both a leader and a manager at the same time (Ferch & Spears, 2011).

This study identified variables based on the explicit review of current literature regarding the concept of leadership. Efficient leadership means being all inclusive and allowing the followers to participate in the process of decision making of the organization. In addition, the leader is responsible for organizing for training programs to enable the followers to be at par with the constant changes in technology. An effective leader also champions for innovation in the organization and also rewards the followers for a job well done.

References

Abbas, W. & Asghar, I., 2010. The role of leadership in organizaional change: Relating the successful organizational change to visionary and innovative leadership. Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 41(2), pp. 1-49.

Adetule, J., 2011. Handbook on management theories. Bloomington: Author House.

Annabelle, M., 2006. Notes from a Small Island: Researching organizaional behaviour in healthcare from a UK perspective. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 27(7), pp. 851-867.

Bell, J., 2005. Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Blanchard, H. & Cathy, S., 2002. The generousity factor: Discover the joy of giving your time, talent and treasure. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Press.

Clawson, J., 2011. Level Three Leadeship: Getting Below the Surface. New York: Prentice Hall.

Daft, R., 2005. The leadership experience. Mason, OH: Thomson South-West.

Ferch, R. & Spears, L., 2011. The spirit of servant-leadership. New York: Paulist Press.

Flint, B., 2012. The journey to competitive advantage through servant leadership: Building the company every person dreams of working for and every president has a vision of leading. Bloomington: West Bow Press.

Gallos, J., 2008. Business leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hughes, R., Ginnet, R. & Curphy, G., 2015. Leadership: enhancing the lessons of experience. New York: McGraw Hill.

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