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Steve Jobs' Management Style
Steve Jobs is considered by right one of the brightest figures of the XXI century business world. His legacy makes him hold a special place among the most creative business leaders. He managed not only to establish but also implement fundamentally new and innovative approaches in the information and telecommunication technologies field. Steve Jobs' name is associated with the vast information revolution induced by the presentation of new technologies and products, the introduction of a new culture of using personal computers and smartphones. His management style resulted in the creation of simple yet impressively functional products. Throughout time, it has become an acknowledged role model for numerous amounts of existing and appearing companies. Steve Jobs' management style had a significant influence on the development of the global electronics industry in general and the success of Apple Inc. in particular, converting it into one of the world's most expensive brand.
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Management Style Premises
Steve Jobs' name is the name of noticeable pioneer of the information technologies modern era. During his life, Jobs strived for perfection and power in products, management and product presentation patterns. Throughout his life until 2011, Steve Jobs managed to create an entirely new business reality and introduce an "autocratic" but successful leadership style (Landrum, 2007, p.73). His management style was based on the principles of aggressive actions against the competitors and on total control over the released products even after their purchase. Jobs went a long way towards achieving the unreal goal of making a personal computer accessible almost for everyone. Notwithstanding the fact that he was forced to leave Apple Inc. (the company that he founded in 1986), he devoted 11 years of his life to attain control over his creation (Isaacson, 2014). However, Steve Jobs regained Apple Inc. in 1997, which was on the brink of bankruptcy, and initiated a leadership style that reshaped Apple to become the world's leader of consumer electronics. The major peculiarity of Jobs' management style is the neglect of conservatism and traditions, loyalty to imbuing the industry with fundamentally new ideas and approaches.
Steve Jobs' Transfomational Character and Management Lessons
The main characteristic of Steve Job's management style is its innovative nature, which evolved in fundamentally new management solutions. Besides his commitment to new information and telecommunication technologies, Jobs integrated the principles of high technology to the field of management, which nowadays largely determine the success or failure of almost any business activity. The modern management and leadership concept defines Steve Job as a "transformational leader" (Toma & Marinescu, 2013, p. 267). The forenamed term implies the major impact of Jobs' personality on his management style and subsequent success.
The transformational component of Jobs' management style arouse from the application of the creative strategy, based on leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation, and organization (Toma & Marinescu, 2013). In accordance with this scheme, the products' quality were to be placed before company profits and to be expected to achieve ultimate customer satisfaction goal through lucid simplicity of the product. Steve Job's management style supported the notion of creating small teams of talented experts, who worked on a particular intellectual challenge. Jobs' uniqueness as a transformational leader resulted in numerous ideas and dreams, which were to be realized by the Apple crew. In other words, the transformational mechanism was simple: Jobs formulated his vision and shared it with the experts so they strived consequently to realize it in functional but simple-to-use products. Steve Jobs' creative strategy induced a new outlook on business and efficient management patterns. Thus, Steve Jobs managed to be a pioneer in the most innovative business existed at that time.
The management style of Steve Jobs illustrates the application of profound philosophical principles into business and the subsequent introduction of iPods, iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, and many other top-quality Apple products. Steve Jobs' major management lessons may be narrowed down to several principal rules. According to Jobs, a successful businessman has to simplify, take responsibility, focus, bend reality, impute, push for perfection, perform leapfrogging, and value products more than profits. Steve Jobs revealed the necessity of stopping being focus groups slaves, starting tolerating only the best players, and holding personal meetings. He focused on the leader's ability to see both the outcome and the details, to combine humanities and sciences, finally to stay hungry for innovation and success (Isaacson, 2012). This focus lesson highlights the need to filter out all the possible distractions. According to Jobs, simplicity was to be achieved by means of eliminating all the unnecessary components. Everything that Jobs considered a technological rudiment was removed from the product and substituted by other efficient tools. These innovative functions supported Jobs' belief that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" (Isaacson, 2012, p. 3). Jobs perceived leapfrogging as the best way to improve the company's market position once the company finds itself behind in industry. He converted the company's product into the primary motivational mechanism of its employees. Jobs also neglected the focus groups results in belief that the consumers cannot actually know what they need. In other words, Steve Jobs implemented a strong dictatorship in his management approach towards running Apple Inc. Another important lesson to mention is the impute doctrine which stressed that the future of the product strongly depends on the way it is presented to the audience and packaged.
Jay Elliot, the former Senior VP of Apple Inc., offers six major axioms of Jobs' management success (Elliot, 2012). The first axiom deals with the necessity to find one's calling notwithstanding the acquired education. The second axiom highlights the benefits of being opinionated and audacious. The third axiom analyzes the visibility and the entertainment characteristics of the products as the best "competitive advantages" (Elliot, 2012, p.6). The fourth Jobs' axiom is fearsome to the employees. Fear was a tool successfully used by Steve Jobs as a driving force for his management style. Jobs has proved that inspiration and fear reinforce the employees' potential and stimulate higher overall results. Steve Jobs' fifth management axiom is to "think different" from any possible role models, authorities, and corporate standards (Elliot, 2012, p.24). The sixth axiom stands for loving one's job and implies converting whatever one loves in his or her job into action. All the aforementioned management axioms were supplemented by Jobs' autocracy and led to Apple's major success and popularity in the consumer electronics industry.
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