Steve Jobs’ Leadership Style

Subject: Management
Pages: 4
Words: 853
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


The main functions of leadership are establishing a vision, communicating the vision, motivating, and being an agent of change. Leaders should be charismatic in whatever they do. They ought to be visionary in whatever they undertake to do. Some other theories that can be used to foster effective leadership include transitional and transactional theories. The Newsweek named Steve Jobs as the best of the 10 Best Leaders of 2005.

This essay seeks to answer why Steve Jobs was considered to be the best leader of the decade by Fortune Magazine. Job’s leadership styles will be interrogated and analysis of how he fulfils the functions of leadership will also be done. Proper arguments will be put forward as to whether Job’s leadership qualities conform to the current theories of leadership.

Using what you have learned in this module on the functions of leadership, define Job’s leadership style and analyze how he fulfills the functions of leadership

Jobs is referred to in business circles as a benevolent benefactor. Despite the fact that he is a micromanager at Apple, he plays a very different role at Pixar. On the creative side, he is a hands-off leader. Despite the fact that he is very rich, work ethics has been his number one priority. When it comes to issues pertaining to mergers or takeovers, Steve labors to look at the finer details about the partnership agreements.

He is a leader who is ready to let go of certain things as exhibited by his reluctance to honor Wall Street analyst conferences. Steve is one person who leads by example as he states that he is happy to have grown within the industry. He once told business week that he has done sales, shipping, and sweeping floors. Jobs apart from being charismatic, plays equal part of industry knowledge and intensity. Steve is said to be both a left and right brain man (Burrows, Grover, & Green, 2006).

No product can be released into the market without endorsement from Steve. New products in his organization remains a secret until when he decides to role them out as characterized in the launch of Apple. Jobs is a leader who knows really well that controlling a product is less important as compared to the control of desire. This was exhibited when iPhone 4 was being exhibited for the first time in San Francisco when his Wi-Fi went down.

This never seemed to bother him as he instead continued to do his presentation (Collins, 1994). Jobs is a visionary leader, but this quality is firmly grounded on reality as he undertakes to closely monitor his enterprise’s operational and market metrics. That money motivates him is an overstatement because he is one person who is passionate about seeing Apple scale unfathomable heights. He sees Apple as a tool with which he can transform the world (Drucker, 1992).

Jobs has managed to transform Apple from oblivion to a profit raking organization that is innovative. He introduced iMac and iBook that strictly targeted consumers and students. He candidly refers to these latest innovations as a rocket ship. The quality of his products has endeared him to many clients and has made Apple have competitive edge over its potential competitors who deal in similar products.

Jobs return at Apple has been characterized by a marked increase in profit margin. Jobs is a charismatic leader, a leadership quality that many have mistaken to be the source of internal problems that any other company goes through. He is brilliant, idealistic, and visionary thus the Apple’s vision of providing computers that can transform the world. This vision made him tap a pool of talented people to him. His critics have said that he has bad temper; he berates, and humiliates his employees who disagree with his opinions.

Some people define him as somebody who is difficult to work with because he suddenly changes his minds. Jobs has managed to put in place Apple’s organizational renewal. He has regained market share in traditional desktop strongholds like graphic arts and introduced iMac and iBook that targets consumers and technological savvy students. The naming of Steve Jobs as the CEO of the decade can be attributed to his ability to listen to different opinions, make a connection, and empathize (Sundaram and Inkpen, 2004).

Jobs is a transformational leader. He felt that there was disruption in telephony sector, music distribution, and how consumers relate with technology. He believes that Apple’s products like iPhone, iMac, and iBook can play a greater role in transforming the world. This has fuelled his fascination with ‘what’s next’ mindset. He pays much attention to the nitty gritty of design (Philip, 1992).


The main reason why Fortune Magazine decided to name the CEO of Apple Steve Jobs as the best of the ten Best Leaders of 2005 was because Jobs is a visionary leader who communicates his vision for the company to employees and other management staff, motivates his staff, and is an agent of change. He is a charismatic and a transformational leader. These traits have made people to think of him as being brutish to his employees.

Reference List

Burrows, P., Grover, R., & Green, H. (2006). Steve Job’s Magic Kingdom. New York.

Business Week, 2006, Issue 3970, page 62. Web.

Collins, J. W. (1994). Is Business Ethic and Oxymoron? Business Horizons.

Drucker, P. (1992). Managing the Non-Profit Organisation: Principles and Practices,  New York: Harper Collins.

Philip, J. (1992). Business Ethics Is an Inside Job. Journal of Management, 2(4), 44-48.

Sundaram, A. K. and Inkpen, A. C. (2004). The Corporate Objective Revisited. Organization Science,15, 350 -63.