Leadership is the whole concept of being in a position to leader others be it in an organization or any other kind of setting. It entails coming up with policies that people in the organization can use as guidelines to help them realize their maximum potentials and increase the organist ions productivity. A leader should ensure that both the welfare of the workers and their goals, as well as these of the organization, are achieved. In this particular essay, my choice leadership that I will talk about is that of Apple Inc. under the stewardship of Steve Jobs.
Background of the organization
Apple Inc. is one of the best internationally known computer companies that specialize in designing and creating iPads, iPods, iTunes, Macintosh desktops and laptop and operating systems like the OS X. The Company has embraced the revolutionary technology and has ventured in the manufacturing of iPhone. Apple is a brand that competes with others in the market. According to Linzmayer (2004) the brand is very competitive even in the very competitive markets, in the PC market it’s well represented by its highly reputed Macintosh computers and accompanying and related programs and software. According to Quirk and Fendt, M 2000)In the electronics industry and market, Apple is well covered and represented by state of the art and technology savvy products like the iPad, iPod, and distribute music in digital means by use of iTunes Store. In the mobile phone market, they remain competitive courtesy of their Apple iPhone. Recently the company ventured in publishing applications, in books, magazines, and in games using their Apps store particularly targeting their iPad and iPhone computing device. Lastly, in the world of marketing, the company is working on a product that will rival the popular search engine-Google, to help marketer in advertising.
According to O'Grady (2008) Apple Inc. is a company that within a very short period of time turned out as an icon of PC. It has risen steadily to great heights since its manager Steven Jobs came back to its helm and helped them diversify by venturing into other markets other than the desk top market. With most of its attractive gadgets, Apple managed to get the attention of the whole world particularly internet junkies and investors with an interest in the technology world. The iPhone and the iPod are the major attraction in the smart phones and the music markets, respectively. When scrutinized on the basis of company’s stock value, Apple went past the giant Microsoft, which is well known to be a market leader when it comes to computer software in mid 2010.Apple has become world’s valuable company in matters technology. This becomes the biggest highlight in the history of Apple Inc. and the main boss at the organization, Mr. Jobs greatly helped to raise the value attached to Apple by customers and investors through some of his innovative concepts and leadership style. This development some how brought about a cultural shift where by the tastes of consumers overtook the business needs. This is a perfect example of a company with good leadership that can be emulated by any other company that intends to make it internationally and double or even triple their annual turnover.
A brief biography of Steve jobs
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc. was born in 1955 in Green Bay. As a child, Jobs was withdrawn from other children and he preferred engaging in personal activities as opposed group activities. He showed an interest in electronics, machines like computers and related gadgetry at quite an early age. Jobs spent most of his time working at a neighbor’s garage workshop. He saw a computer for the very first time when he was twelve. Jobs immediately realized that he wanted to work in the computer industry. While he was still studying in high school, Jobs used to attended lessons at Hewlett-Packard plant. At some point he boldly asked the plants president, William Hewlett, for parts he needed to complete his academic project and in the process the president got impressed with him and offered him an internship which helped him gain more experience and passion for computers.
After his high school graduation in 1972, Jobs joined Reed College situated in Portland but unfortunately dropped out just after doing one semester and visited India to study middle east religions in 1974.After a while Jobs joined Homebrew Computer Club. While in the club, they attempted to make a small computer. Jobs and his friends became very fascinated with the potential of marketing such a computer. In 1976 Jobs and one of his colleagues started their own computer company. They called their company Apple Computer Company, and this naming was in memory of an enjoyable summer that Jobs had had which he basically spent doing nothing but picking apples (Bach, 2007). Jobs and his colleague Wozniak raised an amount of $1,300 to start up their business by Jobs selling his microbus and his partner Wozniak selling his calculator. Initially they ventured in selling computer circuit boards as they worked and studied how computers operate. Steve jobs as a leader has some amazing personal attributes that make him stand out. I booked an interview appointment with him and from it a number of attributes were observed.
The leader is approachable in the sense that it is quite easy to find and talk to him. During the interview, an appointment was booked and he did not miss out. This has made most of the employees in the organization to like him. In terms of communication, the Director was observed to be a good communicator in the way he addresses the employees, Directors and customers.
He is also a good listener. Through his good listening skills, he has been able to win the confidence of many people in the organization. He has all the time established good working relations with the employees in the organization. This has also been achieved through close interactions with all the employees.
Self-confidence and determination are part of his personality. These traits together with a long-range vision for the organization have made him one of the most influential leaders in the organization. The Director can be said to be self-driven because he has a passion for the job he does in the organization. Even during hard times, he often puts on a smile on his face. This depicts him as a well-motivated individual who overcomes all the challenges that come in his way towards success.
The Director is a team player based on his nature of involving the other directors and employees in decision-making. He makes sure that employees have a say in matters of organizational management. He also affirms and encourages the good work that is done by other people in the organization.
This leader is a mentor to many because of his abilities. His leadership has inspired so many people and this is something he is very much proud about in the course of working in the organization.
The success of Jobs as a leader
Jobs has unmatched and unrivalled entrepreneurial skills, motivation matched with visionary leadership skills. Most experts in matters concerning enterprise seem to agree that before starting up a firm, the most important characteristics that an entrepreneur ought to have included among many others, the will to be successful and having a sense of innovativeness (Ferrell et al, 2010). Jobs’ Apple Inc. is an internationally known computer company that specializes in designing and creating pads, iPods, iTunes, Macintosh desktops and laptop and operating systems like the OS X.The Company has embraced the revolutionary technology and has ventured in the manufacturing of iPhone.
According to Gitman et al (2008 ) Apple Inc. under the leadership of Steve Jobs, within a very short period of time turned out as an icon of PC. It has risen steadily to great heights since its manager Steven Jobs came back to its helm and helped them diversify by venturing into other markets other than the desk top market. With most of its attractive gadgets, Apple managed to get the attention of the whole world particularly internet junkies and investors with an interest in the technology world. The iPhone and the iPod are the major attraction in the smart phones and the music markets, respectively.
When scrutinized on the basis of company’s stock value, Apple went past the giant Microsoft, which is well known to be a market leader when it comes to computer software in mid 2010.Apple has become world’s valuable company in matters technology. This becomes the biggest highlight in the history of Apple Inc. and the main boss at the organization, Mr. Jobs greatly helped to raise the value attached to Apple by customers and investors through some of his innovative concepts (Ainsberg, 2010). This development some how brought about a cultural shift where by the tastes of consumers overtook the business needs. Under the stewardship of Mr. Job has made a lot of progress.
Mr. Job has been responsible for the daily operations and sales of Apple products worldwide (Gadman and Cooper, 2009). He was very instrumental in the development of innovative gadgets like the iPad and iPhone 4 which boost sales of Macintosh computers and helped to improve the financial performance of Apple Inc. This was clearly brought out when in 2010, customers around the world overwhelmingly bought IPads, iPhones and laptops. Apple considers itself as one company that is competing actively with both mobile phone and computer companies. Apple dominates in the mobile phone company markets and it is even believed to have bigger and more revenues some of its major competition like Samsung, Nokia and Sony. According to Jobs, Apple’s brand strategy basically entails coming up with innovative and technology savvy products and solutions which are compatible with any new technology or digital hub. The Apple Macintosh PC products work as a hub for their digital devices like the cellular mobile phones, the popular Apple iPod, cameras, and digital videos.
Jobs main strength is his approach to his competition ad market in general. Another strategy that Apple inc. uses to stay ahead of their competition in the market, and in fact with the biggest impact is their approach to customers’ needs and concern. Here they heavily focus on the experience of their customers. Apple’s main competence and strong point is in ensuring that they deliver an exceptional and excellent experience to their customers my ensuring that they have the best user interfaces and user-friendly screens. This is an area of that the company focuses on heavily in as far as their products are concerned. For instance, the iPhones can be used for playing iTunes with their touch screens attractive display. Apple has yet another branding strategy which basically focuses on customers’ emotions. This strategy is more concerned with different customers’ personalities which takes care of different aspects of their personalities, for instance, their lifestyles, their passion some of their aspirations, liberty and many other interests, tests and preferences. They focus on attempting to be simple and avoiding complexity by coming up with innovation and designs that appeal to the people.
Industry pundits allege that Apple has stayed ahead of their competition because of the reasonable and premium pricing. It is one of the companies with arguably some of the fair prices. Many are of the opinion that without the fair pricing they would not be still competitive in the PC business. Apple is so advanced and very efficient with all their manufacturing and distribution and supply chain. Apple is very efficient when it comes to logistics, reaching out to customers and related operations, the only serious competition that Apple has in the world of PCs and its solutions could be Dell. Their competition is seen in many aspects ranging from pricing and marketing. Apple's products come with an additional advantage in as far as cost is concerned. For instance, the company doesn’t pay other companies to get licenses for operating systems.
Jobs seems to be successful in his endeavors through competitive positioning, value creation, and excellent customer care, Apple has managed to stay ahead of the park. The huge image and excellence of the Apple brand leave the organization with a very big challenge and the task of living up to it. Their innovativeness together with technology savvy and beautiful designs of their products matches and meets the company’s promise. Apple as a company that is concerned about customers, fully understand virtually all aspects of the needs of their customers and deem them all important and that in many ways help to reinforce the brand. Apple Inc. as an organization has improved and expanded their distribution ability and capabilities by coming up with their own retail shops in major cities all over the world particularly in places with bigger populations.
Personality characteristics of an entrepreneur are formed basically by the interplay between him and his environment (Bussing-Burks, 2009). In this case Jobs’ vast experience play a big role in the success of Apple. Some theories on entrepreneurship that can be used to describe Jobs’ success include McClelland’s theory of desire to achieve and succeed. According to this theory, someone who has a strong desire to realize business success he should be ready to tackle and solve problems by himself and have achievable targets. Mr. Jobs has always been keen with his competition and handling competition is one of his strongest points. At some point Corporations like Google, Adobe and many others have on several occasions accused Apple of using its popularity and clout to fight their technologies in the market. One of the loudest accusations came following Apple’s barring third party software and programming solution from the iPad, for instance, Adobe's Flash, widely and commonly used for creating online videos and other internet applications. This led to public verbal war between Apple and Adobe. In 2010 Apple made things difficult for Google when they came up with a new mobile advertisement market policy which barred Google from selling adverts on iPhone 4.
Apple maintains a tight and strict control over what kind of programs can appear or can be compatible with the iPhone. This idea got hit a little harder in mid-2010, when the US authorities declared it illegal for an organization or corporation to bypass a mobile phone's controls on which software or programs it can run. These become a topic of debate and heated discussions between the authorities at Apple, who believe that they have the right to control the kind of software that operates on their devices (Richard 2007). Apple’s authorities also argued that by altering the gadget, it encouraged crooks to pirate applications, and that also exposed iPhones dangerous security risks.
Jobs like any other entrepreneur is passionate about the progress of his business and he keeps on coming up with innovative ideas and products to cater for the ever changing and dynamic customers’ needs. By so doing jobs has ensured that the company attracts new and retains the old customers. Apple is unique and has a loyal and devoted following. Sometimes back, Apple had a relatively strong market share in bigger organizations and companies. For instance, in the 1970's the very first spreadsheet data program called VisiCalc was launched and came together with the Apple II. To remain relevant, Apple still relates to other corporations like Microsoft who still a team that is dedicated to developing applications and coming up with business software mainly for the Apple Mac (Robert, 2009).
A new version of Microsoft Office program for Apple Mac was released two years before same functionality was placed in the following version of Microsoft Office for Windows operating system. In the next few years, Apple seems to be interested in re-focusing on the corporate market. In 2009, Apple came up with what they called snow leopard which was basically the new version of operating system meant for Apple Mac, it entailed features that allowed Mac computers to basically support the Microsoft Exchange. This improvement was essentially aimed at enabling corporate information and technology departments to help in supporting business users that had an interest in using Apple Mac for their email clients.
Jobs has to look at the future of his company to ensure that they stay ahead of their competition. Apple Inc. has promised their clients that the next version, which is Mac OSX Lion, will have all the functionalities that are needed by those who intend to use Mac as a server. Microsoft is still coming up with more advanced and complicated versions of their Microsoft Office meant for Apple Mac. In 2008 Apple made a public announced concerning a software upgrade meant for the iPhone, the software makes it possible for iPhones to be easily supported by the Microsoft Exchange program for email servers. This now makes it possible for corporate information and technology departments to include appliances like iPhones as their email clients.
Apple's future strategy should be to penetrate the international market is to simply use the popularity of the iPad and iPhone to basically get into large corporations, manage to sell them those gadgets and get Apple Mac on the desks of big organizations and businesses. The Mac-book Air, iPad and related gadgets are designed mainly for business communities and markets, and through all this Apple Inc. continues to show its mastery in attending to and satisfying customers’ needs in regard to tastes and preferences from one range of products to another. Through all this, Apple continues to fulfill its ambitions and the aspirations of their customers, and in the process expanding their branding strategy to capture the both the corporate and business markets.