Steve Jobs Leadership Analysis

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Introduction

Great leadership is a crucial factor in driving a company to success. Steve Jobs was predominantly a visionary innovator and an autocratic leader. In 1985, John Sculley, Apple’s ‘failed’ former CEO, excluded Jobs from his own company. During the ‘Sculley years’ Apple went from being an 800$ million dollar company to an 8$ billion. Apple gradually declined and was very close from bankruptcy until Jobs arrived in 1996 and ‘saved’ the company.

Many accredit Steve Jobs as the one who changed Apple’s direction from an ailing company to a consumer giant; he had the ability to inspire people into his defining qualities of perfectionism, passion for what he did and vision. However, it would be unfair to say that John Sculley did a
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2’Autocratic leaders hold on to as much power and decision making they possibly can. There is likely to be minimal consultation and employee input into decision-making.’ Steve Jobs autocratic leadership style stemmed from his passion and obsession of his perfectionism as well as his desire to be in control of everything.
This autocratic leadership style helped Apple to make quick decisions and have an organized flow of activities. Moreover, it allowed Jobs to have a close oversight on the activities of the workers, thus allowing him to have total control over an operation. There was less need for layers of management or bureaucracy.

He was really rough with people; his orders had to be obeyed and employees had to welcome the structured environments and rewards they received. “He would shout at meetings,3’ “You asshole, you never do anything right,” Debi Coleman recalls, a member of the original Mac team who won an award one year for being the employee who best stood up to Jobs’. Walter Isaacson (2012) asked Jobs about his tendency to be rough to people and he replied: 2“These are all smart people I work with and any of them could get a job at any other place if they were truly feeling brutalized. But they don’t. And we got some amazing things done.” Jobs knew that his team members were motivated by the results, as he had the ability to push people to perfection or even bend reality. He was arrogant, dictatorial and mean spirited, nevertheless, it is very important to understand that his impoliteness and roughness were also accompanied by an ability to be

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