According to Steve Job’s biographer, Walter Isaacson, what made the CEO unique from other executives at the company was his communication appeals skills. Jobs was a talented inspirational and motivational speakers who conducted talks globally to political, social, and economic leaders. Perhaps it is through this attribute that the company managed to reinvent itself and remain relevant despite the projected collapse from tech experts. Following the introduction of smart mobile, Apple Mac IOS was regarded as obsolete in the smartphone market. However, Jobs managed to convince the shareholders that their new IPhone product would remain profitable. Working with a team of engineers, marketers, and competing companies such as Microsoft, Jobs supervised the reinvention of Apple Inc. back to profit making. Given that the 21st century Telco market is highly competitive, companies have to develop unique products for them to remain relevance. Jobs promoted the culture of innovation and creativity within the company by promoting a flexible working environment for the innovators. Unlike the Liassez-faire type of leadership where all the duties are delegated to the employee, Jobs maintained some authority over the teams (Scandura, & Dorfman, 2014, p.214). In fact, the biographer asserts that Jobs was known to be rude, mean spirited, and dictatorial when teams did not meet the deadlines. Recent scholarly literature associate business success with level 5 leadership, but Jobs style contradicts those findings. The five attributes of level 5 leadership are niceness, humbleness, kindness, practice, and servant leadership. According to Fredrick Herzberg’s two-factor or motivation hygiene theory, “there are certain factors that can cause job satisfaction and another separate set of factors that causes dissatisfaction” (Dorfman, Hanges, and Brodbeck, 2014,p.670) Herzberg motivational theory resonates with Job’s type of leadership. The contradictions can be explained using two sets of factors. First, objective leadership is situational, which means the business environment varies according to circumstances. Thus, what works at a particular time fails in another situation. There are moment when a leader is required to give freedom to the working community while at other times, the workforce needs negative reinforcement for them to be motivated (Palanski, & Yammarino, 2016, p 410). Nevertheless, leaders must be mindful of human dignity as too much criticism could raise ethical concern. Ethics and business excellence is a controversial topic, which executives often avoid given the differences in cultures, race, ethnicities, religious, and political beliefs. Because of globalization, leaders must recognize and adapt to the different identities despite their personal biases and stereotypes. Secondly, although a leader might possess some inherent negative personal attribute such as arrogance, they may still have a clear vision, a passion for the company and its people, and an ability to inspire trust (Dimmock, and Walker, 2011, p.145). In Jobs case, he had a vision that he ensured everybody in the company was aligned to it. Thus, based on Jobs case study, it can be deduced that leadership character is of greater importance for business success than the individual attributes.
The major role and basis of leaders is to make tough decisions, which are aimed at meeting the organization’s objective. While decision making process is an impulsive condition in life, strategic leaders follow the best practices and plan, thus, making this a process rather than an event. The stages for strategic decision making are establishing the objectives, finding the alternatives, and assessing the risks. Since the aim of any decision is to effect some sort of change, strategic leaders use change indicators for the process. Some of change leadership indicators within Apple Inc. includes more employee involvement in most levels of decision making and increased accountability and responsibility for individual workers. Also, the organization focuses on having fewer mangers and increased participation in the form of self-managing teams, open communication channel between, greater diversity at the workplace. The managers encourages and motivates employees in order to have a better working teams through training and retaining. The company is always in search for workers with specialized skills (Briggs, Morrison, and Coleman, 2012,p.7). A good environment for decision making process is based on mutual respect, integrity, and trust. However as Jobs indicated, this must be along the organizations culture and traditions.