- How to Deal with Client Unresponsiveness
- How my love affair with Buzzards will help you generate more referrals
- Every Coin Has Two Sides: Ernst & Young’s Joe Steger Talks With Big4.com About Q1 Global technology M&A update
- Can you have too many relationships with introducers? (part 2)
- Can you have too many relationships with introducers? (part 1)
- How To Integrate Continuous Improvement Into Your Organization’s Culture And Daily Activities
- Identify The Strengths Of Your Services And Where Improvements Can Be Leveraged
- How To Succeed In A Continually Changing And Unstructured Workplace
- 6 tips to get back in touch with an old colleague
- Paving the Last Mile of Big Data Analytics
Leading like Steve Jobs?
August 14, 2012
To continue the discussion of directive leaders from the last leadership blog posting, I reference an article by Ben Austen in this month’s Wired magazine. The author outlines the leadership style of Steve Jobs, as well as the perspectives of those who supported and rejected him. We all know about Jobs – he claimed to be a Buddhist, but behaved with little respect for anyone. He was considered a technology design genius with a clear vision, yet unskilled in human relations. He created beautiful products, financial success, passionate customers, and at the same time, an organization ruled by fear and a family who never saw him.
When scanning the business world, it is hard to find many visible leaders who have created what Jobs’ finally did in his second round with Apple, especially the exuberant customers, but this could lead to the wrong conclusion. It would be a pity to think that such success can only come with an aggressive, directive leadership style. That style is the most commonly used because it requires the least skill, not because it produces the best results.
Many of Jobs’ supporters say that his clarity of vision and directive leadership style were the main reasons he could command respect and achieve excellence in all its detail. In fact, there is a distinction between vision, leadership style and outcomes. Most of the research coming out of top business schools says that all leaders need vision and those who can inspire people and create healthy, human work environments bring about the best results. The long-time leaders of companies such as Southwest Airlines, IKEA, Mary Kay and Best Buy use leadership styles that integrate sophisticated levels of emotional intelligence, while also building large financial empires and loyal customers. Their products are not as sexy as Apple’s and so, we forget to take their example…
Eleni Pallas was a management consultant with Deloitte, now an Executive Coach working with global leaders and teams.