Explain the role of a leader in giving strategic direction to a company and in initiating change.
Leaders make decisions that help to achieve vision, so the most important role of leadership is to make decisions. Leaders are responsible for proper functioning of the organization. Whole strategic management process depends upon the decision making of leader. Leadership has to have the evaluation process to ensure the effectiveness of the whole process, and this aspect will facilitate to identify the drawbacks and to make fresh the strategies in line with the change as well.
Leaders are the face and the voice of change. They communicate often to share information, keep people updated and offer encouragement. Leaders provide the motivation to change and get people involved. They create a sense of urgency and importance about the change, and show commitment and passion about getting things done. With their authority, leaders hold people in the organization accountable for the change. They uphold agreements and make sure others do the same. They don’t let people get away with not changing, and work to understand the underlying reasons so they can remove obstacles. Effective leaders recognize that change cannot happen unless they fulfil the roles that only those in authority can. (Bandy, 2020)
"There are so many people who confuse innovation with change," Apple CEO Tim Cook said, explaining that these individuals become convinced that innovation is just pure and simple change. But Apple doesn't see it that way. For Apple, it’s secret is to realise that innovation is about making things better. Cook who took on the role of CEO shortly before Steve Jobs passed on has been advancing innovations across the company. That, he said, was one of the two things Apple needed to do to move forward as advised by Jobs. The other thing is to stay true to the company's values. (Writer, 2019)
Tim Cook changed Apple Inc. by few simple steps. He showed the employees that he trusts them and listens to them, and that’s where everything started. Tim Cook gave opportunity for employees to share their ideas about improvements that need to be done. Cook did the opposite of what Steve Jobs was doing and that was what Jobs wanted. He wanted Cook to lead his own way and not try to repeat him.
What is the leadership and management style of Tim Cook and compare and contrast it with that of his illustrious predecessor, Steve Job’s.
As the CEO of the technology giant Apple, Tim Cook chose a democratic management approach. Instead of being a complete contrast to Jobs, Cook adopted some of the legendary founder’s existing practices and created a unique leadership style. Tim Cook follows his own leadership style for the betterment of his own company’s success. He is democratic leader and he follows democracy by giving the opportunities to the employees to share more ideas for the betterment of the company. He also follows Laissez-faire leadership style. He motivates his followers, inspires them and encourages them. (Bandy, 2020)
Tim Cook deeply respects the legacy of his friend Steve Jobs, and yet he has taken Apple Inc. into a new level with his passion, integrity, and accountability. He transformed the company with his transformation management skill. While Steve Jobs was famous for sharing with costumers what he wanted in device, Tim Cook did the opposite. He listens to costumers and gives them what they want. (Sattar, 2020)
Tim Cook proved his worth to the company with his strategic planning skills. His strategic plan was to focus on existing products and building strong employee relations to reach the success.
Tim Cook used his situational leadership skills when the US government addressed Apple to take an unprepared step which threatens the customer’s security. Then Mr. Cook opposed the government’s demand and did not fulfil the FBI’s requests to create a new phone and bypass the security measures that put the users at risk. He addressed this issue and provided legislation that supports his proposed stance. (Wolverton, 2016)
One of the biggest changes people saw when Tim Cook stepped up as CEO was that he shifted a lot of Apple’s focus from being the biggest tech innovator to showing care for the environment, factory working conditions, the advancement of health measurements, and more. While this has seemed to bring stress to shareholders at times, with one columnist summing up many of the views, writing that it “isn't necessarily inappropriate for shareholders from an ROI point of view,” it has helped set an example for many other major companies. (Writer, 2019)
To sum up everything, I believe that Steve Jobs was unpredictable, his own ideas-oriented leader, who was ready to risk for his ideas, however Tim Cook is quite the opposite. He respects Job’s legacy, however he is leading his own way.
What are the personal characteristics and traits of Tim Cook that made him different from Jobs and also contributed to his success.
As a Stabilizer (SC) personality, Tim Cook had a very different approach to leading than Steve Jobs, who had a more assertive Initiator (DI) personality. Rather than rousing people with inspiring speeches or giving direct, assertive orders, Cook tended to sit back, listen, and process before offering advice. Jobs was full-force, dominant, and fast-moving, while Cook tends to take his time and invite others into the conversation. While Jobs led with fast-paced, fiery enthusiasm, Cook often leads with patience and practicality. (Bandy, 2020)
Cook comes off as having a far more relaxed and approachable personality, and he is less inclined to be the center of attention. His product announcements are not one-man shows, but presentations shared with other Apple executives. He is still discovering his own style - a tricky undertaking given the abnormal amounts of scrutiny that follow Apple's every move.
Tim Cook tends to be very open to hearing other people’s thoughts and ideas. His ability to set aside his own bias and hear someone out has helped lead Apple to become a more well-rounded, inclusive company. Rather than only pushing for his own ideas, Cook often listens to and relies on people in the company who know more than him about certain topics. He tends to be more of a trusting delegator than Jobs was, and is generally less involved in product development. Rather than just taking things at face value, Cook’s Stabilizer personality helps him dig deeper in an attempt to get to the bottom of a problem or push teammates to learn more about a situation. Cook’s ability to ask questions has helped ensure the credibility and knowledge of those working in the most important positions at the company, which can, in turn, improve the overall reliability and success of their products. (Holberton, 2014)
Here are some of Tim Cook’s strengths as a Stabilizer (SC), that have impacted the way in which he leads Apple:
- He steps back to listen and let others share.
- He shows great care for the values and philanthropy of the company.
- He asks questions to draw out important information.
- He takes his time to process information before making a decision.
- He expanded on what Apple was already good at.
But below the surface, Cook has indeed followed Jobs' advice, and he has changed the company to fit his idea of what is right. One of Tim Cook’s first acts as CEO was to implement matching charitable donations from employees by Apple up to $10,000. In 2012, Cook said Apple gave $50 million to Stanford hospitals, and $50 million to Project Red. This never happened under Jobs, who was regularly criticized for his lack of public philanthropy.
In my opinion these two leaders have absolutely different personalities, however they both have always worked for Apple’s Inc. best interests and both of their ways have done it very successful.
- Discuss and debate whether with Cook’s leadership, Apple would continue to remain at the helm of tech innovation.
When Cook succeeded Jobs in 2011, many people expected that in order for Apple to stay on top, the company would need to regularly come out with completely world-changing products, like the original iPhone - likely, many of them underestimated just how much the iPhone could be leveraged to grow the company. (Wolverton, 2016)
Though Apple has come out with Airpods and the Apple Watch in Cook’s time as CEO, there hasn’t been a major, market-shifting creation like the first iPhone. But despite this, Apple has seen unprecedented growth and expansion thanks to Cook’s ability to push for the improvement of and investment in Apple’s primary products. (Bandy, 2020)
Since Cook made his statements, Apple has navigated fair winds and foul. It has introduced the netbook-industry-devouring iPad; created the category-defining Apple Watch; managed multiple OS iterations; pushed hard on mobile; and entered new service industries.
Tim Cook’s form of leadership is one that has helped build Apple into the tech empire it is today. His focus on knowledge, reliability, and long-term stability has made the company more trustworthy and valuable in the public’s eyes, and will likely carry Apple through until it’s someone else’s turn to assume the reins. (Sattar, 2020)
Apple has gone on to become the most valuable company in history. However, Cook has raised some concerns that he may lack the imagination and the bold ability to conjure up mind-blowing new products, which was Jobs' hallmark. Cook's last major responsibility was decidedly left-brained: streamlining Apple's supply chain. (Sattar, 2020)
Under Cook, the iPhone has become the linchpin for the entire Apple ecosystem. Even though unit sales have fallen over the last couple years, the company has built a compelling system of accessories and services around it. Apple’s stock is up about 480% since Cook took over in August 2011. It became the first publicly traded company to reach a $1 trillion market cap in 2018. And even after a rough start to 2019 when Apple shocked investors by revising its holiday quarter guidance down, the stock completely recovered by the end of the year, blowing past a $1 trillion market cap once again. It’s up about 45% since the unveiling of the iPhone 11 last September, adding about $400 billion in market value. To put that in perspective, Apple added the value of more than four Teslas in just four months. (Writer, 2019)
In my opinion, it is hard to say whether Tim Cook is on the right way to lead Apple Inc. to the helm of tech innovation, because on one hand Apple costumers trusts the company, are satisfied with Apple’s devices and stability, that company offers, however, on the other hand, Tim Cook does not have such a thrill for innovating as Steve Jobs had. He lead the company and innovated products without fear of risk and failure.
To sum up everything, I believe that Tim Cook is a very successful leader and his ideas are thoughtful and leads to innovations that costumers want. His strategy – listening to costumers is safe. It might not be as revolutionar as Steve Job’s, however it keeps Apple Inc. to it’s costumers trustworthy and requested.
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