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Transformational Leadership : Assignment

Added on - 30 Nov 2020

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Steve Jobs also known as the wonder kid of Silicon Valley and was considered as the ThomasEdison and Henry Ford of his time. He was a hero, a curious and a committed person with highdreams. At the same time it is said that he was impatient, stubborn, hypercritical and cruel aswell. He was genius and had a huge contribution in making Apple what it is today. Analyzing hisbehavior towards employees and the way he used his power, Jobs has be characterized in twoways; “transformational leader” and a “toxic leader”. In this essay, the professional life,behavior, attitude and leadership style of Steve Jobs will be discussed. This essay will examinecharacteristics of Steve Jobs whether he was a transformational or a toxic leader. This essay willonly talk about politics and leadership style.According to KK & Kumar (2004), “Transformational leadership is a leadership inwhich leaders develop themselves first and then they develop others”. Transformationalleadership environment can turn follower into leaders(Burns, 1978).According to Jean Lipman-Blumen, “Toxic leadership is a leadership style in whichthe leaders are engaged in various destructive behaviors that harms their followers andorganization.The great leaders are not the one who does the greatest things, great leader is the one who getsthe people to do the greatest things”(Ronald Reagan, A Former President of USA). In theconfusion between Steve Jobs being a transformational or a toxic leader, there are variouscharacteristics of Steve Jobs that support him as a transformational leader whereas there are othercharacters which supports him as a toxic leader also. A transformational leader are those whohave a vision which directs and provides meaning to their followers (Cogner, 1999,Kotter,1996). Steve Jobs was also a person with great vision. He always had high target and dreams.Still after his death he is being remembered as a visionary genius. His ground breakinginnovations such as iPod, iPhone, MacBook andiPad Tablet was because of his vision. He usedto take things as inspirational way. He was able to see how computers and other technologiescould drive the future. He had a vision and wanted to change the world. He directed hisemployees and the organization as per his vision. As a result, today Apple is the most leadingtechnological brand. Steve Jobs was avery committed, focused person. He always expected thebest result from his employees. To do the things with perfection was what he wanted.Transformational leader expects very high performance from their employees (Den Hortoy andBelshak, 2012). Steve Jobs was very demanding and had high expectations from his employees.Along with transformational leaderhe was also considered as charismatic leader. Charisma isknown as gift of grace. Charisma can be explained as a form of influence, based on theperception of followers, and of the leader’s extra ordinary qualities (Max Weber, 1940).Confidence, creativity, determination, vision are some of the features of charismatic leader.Steve Jobs was a very confident, creative leader with great vision and high technologicalknowledge. He always had the power to face the risk and try new innovation. He was so creativethat he knows how to transform technology into a magic(John Scully, A Former CEO of Apple).
Charismatic leaders and transformational leaders are considered same as they have multiplesimilarities. Steve had all the charismatic and transformational traits.Who hired him said, “I hired him because I saw a spark in him and found someenergy and attitude of getting it done. I saw a vision in him supported by external facts.”The spark in Steve was because he was very confident, visionary and the attitude of gettingthings done was because of transformational leadership behavior. Transformational leadershipgives freedom to followers, it allows followers to think and investigate about new ideas.Transformational leadership is about encouraging employees, enabling them to act andchallenging the process (Kouzes and Posner, 1995 and 2002). Steve Jobs always inspired hisemployees to think out of box, motivate them to take risk and think great. He always gave hisemployees the task that seems highly impossible at the beginning, but he always motivated themand as a result he and his employees used to come up with world-shaping changes andinnovations. He used to highly appreciate the employees who could standout and thinkdifferently. Encouragement and recognition to employees inspire them to perform better (Kouzesand Posner, 1995 and 2002).He encouraged employees to dare to face the challenges. He isconsidered as transformational leader because his leadership style worked for Apple. The role fortransformational leader is to uplift the organization and he did the same. His innovations changedthe life of his employees and other peoples too. Ipod released in 2011 changed college student’sdaily schedule and also changed the whole music industry (Jobs and Beahm, 2011). Steve Jobscreated a significant change (Isaacson 2011) because of which even today he is also called as avisionary leader. There was organizational politics in Apple. Organizational politics is theprocess of getting power by using other or through means of others (Durbin, 2011). After thesuccess of Apple I they brought Apple II which was also a great success. Steve Jobs requestsJohn Sculley to join Apple as the new CEO. Sculley was CEO of one of the most successfulcompany and did not agree to come but Steve Jobs convinced him. In 1983 “Lisa” wasintroduced and was expected to take over the industry by storm, however, it did not go well,hence to overcome it Steve Jobs started working on the Macintosh computer and OS. Now therewere three teams; Apple two upgraders, Lisa and Macintosh and there arise competition amongdifferent teams, Macintosh was highly successful at the beginning but could not go well asexpected later. Hence, unhappy with competitions and power battles Jobs planned to ask Sculleyto leave the company. When Sculley knew about it he used his power of CEO and talked to theboard and played politics to kick out Steve Jobs out of Apple. He talked about Job’s destructivebehavior and told the board that he was harm for the company. The board took Jobs as threat andfired him. Due to the power of Sculley and the organizational politics, Jobs whose entire life wasApple, was fired from Apple. “He never forgave me for that.” (John Sculley, Former CEO ofApple). However after eleven years of being fired he was again back in Apple in 1996. Evenafter being fired he had no ego and returned back. It was a greatest comeback in technologicalhistory. Apple was in its worst when Steve Jobs came back. He agreed to run it as interim CEO.When Michael Dell was asked that, what would he do if he was in Job’s position, his answer
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