It is hard to find a more charismatic, ambitious, and inspirational leader in IT industry than Steve Jobs. His work and career serve as guidance for many generations, and his contribution to facilitating human life is enormous. As a chairman and the CEO of Apple Computers Inc., he impacted millions of people and became an example of a successful businessman and a man who followed his dream despite the challenges. Dozens of books, movies, and articles are trying to explore his personality and understand the secret of his success. Despite the fact that he was an adopted child and a college dropout, Steve Jobs managed to become one of the most famous innovators in the world. This paper focuses on life and career of Steve Jobs, his style of leadership, and the lessons which he shared with the entire world.
Computing and telecommunication are spheres which made Steve Jobs a charismatic pioneer in his field as well as a famous and successful person. Undoubtedly, Steve Jobs initiated a real revolution in the world of Informational Technologies. He founded Apple in the 1970s, thus beginning the new era in the world of communication. Nowadays, millions of people all over the globe use iPhone, iPod, MacBook, and the other useful devices. These devices are extremely popular mainly because they are visually attractive and easy-to-use. “Steve Jobs was one of those people who could motivate other people better than anyone else, and he used this ability to make employees work harder and be more dedicated to the work they do”. The life of Steve Jobs serves as the example of a strong man ready to face any challenges and overcome any difficulties.
Steve Jobs was an inquisitive and determined child. From the early childhood, he demonstrated genuine interest in technologies that could facilitate the human life. Growing older, Steve Jobs was not a perfect man. He started his career after drug use and a long trip to India. Perhaps, these events determined some traits of his character making him stronger and more goal-oriented. His persistence and endless energy inspired not only all the workers of his company but also millions of people all over the world. Steve Jobs died of respiratory arrest on October, 2011. He knew that fortune loves the brave and he tried to maintain the reputation of a wise manager and an inspirational leader all the time. The late Steve Jobs was a self-made man: he was a man who acquired much experience and was ready to share it with the young generations. He realized that he was an example for many young boys and girls from all over the world and even despite the terrible pain because of the illness he initiated the meetings with young people and shared his wisdom gained for years.
Steve Jobs believed that to be a leader, one should first move forward every way without the breaks and days off. Second, he should work on the innovations because the successful development is virtually impossible without progress. Therefore, he highly encouraged the new ideas and initiatives of his workers. Although “Steve Jobs was a ‘high-maintenance co-worker’ who demanded excellence from his staff and was known for his blunt delivery of criticism”, he did not punish his workers when they made some mistakes because he believed that learning from mistakes could make the organization stronger. Learning from mistakes is the third, but equally important leadership skill which helped Steve Jobs to reach the enormous success. As a great leader, he believed in the success of the entire team. According to Jobs’ vision, a good leader should always be a part of the team. The result of his work has led to the fact that Apple produces are brand new and more sophisticated devices that cause huge excitement and hysteria every year.
Steve Jobs was a man who felt the new trends and tendencies and understood pretty well the needs of the contemporary world. Analyzing his professional growth, Stella McInerney stated that, “It was his sheer genius combined with his ability to articulate his vision and bring staff, investors and customers along on the journey.”
Jobs` career of a businessman started in 1976 when he saw the creation of his friend Stephen Wozniak and realized that this device would change the world. Wozniak would never show his invention to the audience, but Jobs demonstrated his exemplary entrepreneurial skills. In particular, four landmark computers were created with Steve Jobs’ participation. Being a wise man, Jobs recognized the communicational needs of the customers in the years to come. Obviously, this situation perfectly demonstrates his approach to work. Jobs believed in the ideas which other people considered as unrealizable. “He wasn’t the creator of the personal computer, but he was the voice and face of the revolution”. As a successful leader, Steve Jobs managed to combine professionalism and the ability to generate revolutionary ideas. Concentrating his attention on innovations, Steve Jobs believed that they are the key to the long-term success. He believed that it was particularly important for the company to find the right innovative strategy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Steve Jobs did not consider the innovation as a single category which should have been considered while developing the company. He believed that the organization`s development is a complex process that requires much time and efforts as well as clear focusing on the up-to-date tendencies. Many researchers believed that Steve Jobs became one of the great leaders because he could predict the future. Indeed, in the contemporary world, if a man wants to be a successful leader, he should not only be ready to adapt and assimilate to the realities but also be able to predict the future. Besides, this man needs to be creative since creativity is the key to producing the high-quality product. Steve Jobs believed that all people should have the favorite activity and adore it. To do the work well, the performer should love everything that he does, otherwise, his work is senseless. Steve Jobs was not an ordinary man and he taught the world to avoid labeling. He believed that only a man who thinks in a different way could become a genius and change the world. Possessing the enormous number of leadership qualities, Steve Jobs tried to reach success in every sphere because he believed that each action should be finished with the best possible result. Thus, apart from personal computing, he also has made a great contribution to the transformation of such spheres as animated movies, music, tablet computing, digital publishing, and retail stores. Along with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Walt Disney, Steve Jobs is considered to be one of the greatest American innovators. He took inspiration from the surrounding world, from traveling experience and from people he met. Each of his leadership rules was the result of his experience. Obviously, only such a talented and ambitious man could lead the Apple Company to progress.
Steve Jobs was a very tough and demanding leader, who sought a high degree of compliance with his ideas in business as well as high quality of work performed in his corporation from his subordinates. Apparently, such rigidity of Steve Jobs as a manager, has led to the fact that in May 1985 the board of directors fired him from his own private corporation Apple. However, when Steve Jobs left Apple, the organization experienced hard times. The volume of sales of its products and its stock price steadily declined, the corporation risked becoming unprofitable and not interesting to investors. Soon, the investors understood that it was only Steve Jobs who could improve the situation. In September 1997, Steve Jobs accepted an offer to become the head of the corporation Apple again. His return marked a new era in the history of Apple creating a true triumph for Steve Jobs. The Apple became the synonym of Jobs. It was even more evident when Jobs got ill, and the success of the company`s sales depended directly on his medical condition.
Blumenthal considered the main principle of Jobs` life as “do it good or do not do anything at all.” One cannot judge whether this approach was perfect, but it was definitely effective in everything he did. Steve Jobs was a master of the art of persuasive speaking. He employed various communication strategies to adapt to different situations delivering the messages which are topical even nowadays. I believe that persistence and the strength to face any challenge with dignity are the leadership qualities that allowed this exceptional man to reach the unbelievable success. Besides, I opine that the personality of Steve Jobs cannot be referred to one leadership style because it combined various features of all of them. However, first and foremost, Steve Jobs can be considered a charismatic leader who inspired and motivated millions of people. Indeed, he was not a perfect man and he was a controversial figure who made unpopular decisions. Even the fact that he was famously fired from his company is the evidence that sometimes people failed to recognize his genius paying attention only to his hot temper. Some researchers even consider his leadership style as belligerent. However, one should remember that the leaders are the complex figures, much more complex than ordinary people. Sometimes, they may have a non-standard way of thinking, but their approach definitely leads to excellent results. It is truly astonishing of how one person can be the root of so many high-quality products. Jobs` i-products became the real icons in the IT world. Not surprisingly, introduction of a new Apple product makes the whole market work in a conceptually new direction. Nowadays almost all the smart-phones and tablets have the roots of the little black phone presented by Jobs in 2007. Jobs` iPhone has become a new standard for all smart-phones turning them into miniaturized computers. He considered innovation to be the key to success in every sphere. Jobs believed that innovators are the people who change the rules for the entire world. Steve Jobs possessed a wonderful ability to push the impossible. A great number of books, movies, articles try to understand the secret of this man. Every researcher of his life and career pays attention to the professional qualities which helped Jobs to become a genuine iconic leader in the IT industry. Even when people from all over the world fell in love with his top-notch quality products, Steve Jobs was not going to stop. It is one of the most important lessons of the leader- the continuing growth is the key to success. His brain generated new ideas one by one, and his imagination drew new horizons all the time. Looking at the example of Steve Jobs one can realize that the leaders are not the people without flaws, but they are the individuals who can cope with the emotions and prove their competency in difficult situations. One of the most important lessons that one can learn from the professional career of Steve Jobs is that one should strive to get the product excellence. For Jobs, deciding what not to do was equally important to deciding what to do. His strengths prevailed over his imperfections. Working on a project, Jobs could be unreasonable, rude, arrogant and fickle, but his remarkable personality impressed even his opponents.
Indeed, Steve Jobs was not a saint, but after all his personal traits are forgotten, the history will remember him as a great innovator and a real genius. I believe that the secret of his success was in his personality that was integral to the contemporary reality. The real image of Steve Jobs can be drawn looking at what he has accomplished. The unique set of qualities allowed him to reach the heights that no one even dared to imagine. Besides of being a talented manager and engineer, Jobs always tried to learn from his previous experience. Thus, throughout his life Jobs was trying to get knowledge and acquire new skills from every possible source. I believe that this quality can be particularly important for everyone who wants to achieve success in the working place.
In conclusion, the leadership style of Steve Jobs was unique and special. The success of Apple, Pixar, and other organizations depend on Steve Jobs` dedication to work, his orientation on the company`s goals, and his strong personal qualities. Apple guru realized his power all over the world because he used various persuasive strategies. Moreover, he provided business leaders from different spheres with an excellent rhetoric template. He did not concentrate his attention on general things, and his speeches were always meaningful and specific. The iconic leader impressed the entire planet with his devices of stunning design, which were technically complex but easy to use. For people interested in the IT industry, the name of Steve Jobs symbolizes both financial and professional success.