Steve Jobs is an innovation revolutionary. He turned upside down the lifestyle of each contemporary person producing the iPod, the iPad, the IPhone, ITunes and leading powerful Apple and Pixar corporations. He co-founded the Apple to be kicked out of it later. And he was kicked out to return as its greatest CEO.
A multimillionaire, who wore nothing but black mock turtleneck, Levi jeans and New Balance sneakers and lived in the unfenced house with unlocked front door. He was almost indifferent in his political and religious views, but invincible in his vegetarian eating habits. Two loves, family and job, mattered for him in his life and he stayed devoted to each till its end. The Apple’s leader was not a kind of sociable person. All key people in his destiny are his idols, closest family members and co-workers. He continued working hard even knowing about his severe disease, because as he said “I (he) never did it for the money”. He really did not spend much in his life even for charity. Who Steve Jobs really was? Was he an uneducated genius or a harsh businessman? What was he looking for? Did he have some scheme of the success? Did he learn to manipulate the masses? What did he give for future generations?
Steve Jobs’ Life
Steven Jobs was born to be adopted in San Francisco in 24 February 1955. His biological parents were not married, so Paul and Clara Jobs brought up the boy. Later in 1986 after his mother’s death he would discover his biological mum and would have close relationship with his blood sister Mona Simpson. Steve would never search for his biological father, because he had left his wife with infant Mona.
His childhood and teenage years the 21st century world leader spent in lower-middle class family. Neither his father nor mother had higher education, but they earned some money for the son’s enrolling to Reed College, which he dropped out after the first semester for ‘ enlightenment’ seek and doing what he was interesting in. In 1969 the most influential acquaintance of Steve’s life happened, he had met 5 years older Steve Wozniak, who, as Jobs, was crazy about electronics, Bob Dylan and pranks. Two years later they both illegally would sell ‘blue boxes’ made by themselves to allow people make free phone calls. In his famous Stanford Speech he explains that “ We (Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak) worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees”. Apple Computer Inc., which would be later renamed by Jobs to Apple Inc. was incorporated by S. Jobs, S. Wozniak and R.Wayne in 1976. After the Apple I, Apple II and Apple III production Steve resigned from the Apple. He commented that nonsense event of being kicked out of the company he founded as “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life”. That time he invested in NeXT and Pixar. The last one’s new short Tin Toy won Academy Award on Best Animated Short Film in 1988. In 1996 Apple bought Jobs NeXT for $400 million and invited Steve again. He would execute CEO duties a little bit later making company more prosperous.
Besides his business success his private life happily rolled on too. In 1978 Steve’s college ex-girl-friend gave a birth to his daughter. Lisa was 7 when father accepted her, but he called his business computer project the same name. They “had a tumultuous relationship with until the last years of Steve’s life”. Jobs liked to establish rues for himself. Two of them were to do job perfectly and share each spare minute with his family. The 21-st century innovator’s first and last marriage took place in Yosemite and his wife Laurene Powell would give the birth to Steve’s three children in their common future.
New Jobs’ family provided an ordinary family life. Both, Steve and Laurene, were convinced vegetarians. They used to live in ‘spare’, “if that’s the term for lacking furniture” house without TV, eating one kind of simply prepared vegetable from they own garden for dinner. The children were the parents’ treasure. Steve Jobs’ dreamed to watch his only son Reed’s graduating and his biographer Isaacson describes Reed “as an intense young man like his father, but who inherited the sweetness of his mother” (AASJ). Jobs’ middle daughter Erin was “quiet, introspective, and [who] seemed not to know exactly how to handle [her father], especially when he was emitting wounding barbs. She was a poised and attractive young woman, with a personal sensitivity more mature than her father’s”, writes Walter Isaacson (AASJ 2012). The youngest daughter Eve was the one “who turned into a strong-willed, funny firecracker who, neither needy nor intimidated, knew how to handle me, negotiate with me (and sometimes win), and even make fun of me. I joke that she’s the one, who will run Apple someday, if she doesn’t become president of the United States” (AASJ).
“I was worth about over a million dollars when I was 23 and, over ten million dollars when I was 24, and over a hundred million dollars when I was 25 and it wasn’t that important — because I never did it for the money”(AASJ) ,once said Steven Jobs . He did do that for love and passion and he continued doing that even after the cancer diagnosis. The main rule of his life was simple, “He has looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself: “If today were the last day of his life, would he want to do what he was about to do today” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, he knows he needs to change something.”, he declared in his Stanford speech (Jobs 2005). That is why he did not change much on his lifestyle after the illness examining. Few years he tried to overcome it himself and just then allowed the surgery intrusion. Jobs cancer was not conquered but stepped back. 5 October 2011 Steve Jobs died surrounded by his family. Even before his death he cared about the Apple future designing its legacy building and employing the dean of the Yale School of Management to create ‘AppleUniversity’.
Steve Jobs’ career and achievements
Steve Jobs coped to change the whole world by his innovative electronic ideas. He did it without any education. Just following his intuition and doing what he really liked and believed in. He tried to create absolute new, easy in use, innovative products with unbelievable capacities. His teenage best friend Woz’s aim was to construct personal computer for himself and by himself. The knowledge that he gathered at the Homebrew meeting and his exceptional talent allowed him to do this. Jobs constantly participated in his investigations. It was the start of the Apple corporation creation. All Apple’s computers had beautiful package, ease of use, and nifty features. Further VisiCalc program, which helped millions of people to make calculations at home, invention stroke the world’s accountancy and finance systems.
Jobs possessed irresistible feeling of the customers’ needs, but was not an easy person to work with. He was confident in his believes and obsessed with details. He could not stand imperfect work and often abused his workers. He fell in and out of love with people much too easily, both personally and professionally. His flatness and onerous pretentions caused that one day the Apple refused his participation.
Jobs was disappointed but not survived. At that time he invested in Pixar and in short time made it animation industry leader, which cooperated with Disney and gave the world Toy Story, Searching the Nemo and other unforgettable animated cartoons. Creating NeXT program and selling it to Apple Jobs returned to the company staff as its CEO informal adviser. His ideas of the new technique creations renewed the company previous fame and soon he became its CEO, owning 80% of the Pixar at the same time.
Time made him wiser and less arguing, but his demand to the worker stayed strict. He gained no official education but huge amount of practice knowledge, which made him unique and incomparable, but intuition, imagination and astonishing aesthetic sense remained the main his trumps.
Jobs’ Leadership Type and Manner
Without Steve Jobs Apple Inc. would not achieve even the half of its earnings. Being its CEO he was not taught to be a ‘servant leader’ and he followed his heart being the demanded one. His employees described him as arrogant, mean-sprinted and dictatorial. To organize the company he used the old school ‘carrot and stick’ approach. He feared to abuse and criticize the workers till they provide a perfect work. Steven was a result-oriented perfectionist and nothing more mattered for him in his job. “He always considered simplicity, functionality, and consumer appeal before cost efficiency, sales volume, or even profit. Jobs famously said that “customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.”. To be successful in his deal Jobs surrounded himself with like-minded people.
One of his hiring strategies was: “A players hire A players, B players hire C players. Our job is to find the best possible people, to have them hire excellent people to” (AASJ 2012). Another hint was ‘Top 100 retreat’ meeting to which he invited 100 Apple employees he felt were the smartest but not always highest-ranked to present his strategy for the next year. This maneuver inspired staff a lot. And not only by their elected status, but also by Steve’s incredibly effective, convincing and inspiring communication, which he used not only to staff workers but to shareholders and customers. He was talented for marketing in general and advertising in particular. Steve Jobs possessed three great executive leader qualities (clear vision, passion for the company and its people, and an ability to inspire). Dr Brent Coker from the University of Melbourne’s management and marketing faculty describes him as “one of the greatest business strategists of all times”.
Even being autocratic leader he attracted the workers admiration by his magnetic charisma and incredible showmanship, which he demonstrated at every Apple event. His meticulous eye for detail and constant employees’ work control made the impression of his constant presence in the each corner of the company. Working at home he liked to send task massages to his stuff, which had to be immediately done or suddenly appeared at their working place pointing at what was done badly. Thanks to this “Apple was demonstrably full of talented employees in an array of disciplines, but Jobs’ reputation for sweeping micromanagement was so legendary that nobody who admired the company and its products wanted to contemplate what it might be like without him” (McCracken 2011). When he was asked by his biographer, why was he so rude at his workers he just answered: “I just am as I am”.
The one may admire or dispraise Steven Jobs, but no one would harder even in 50 % repeat his career. Being strict to his workers he did not allow laziness to himself either. Whole his life he was known as workaholic, who earned millions being at his 20-ties, but rarely used his richness benefits. Money did not spoil him and his family life. He was the leader of his branch and presented technique miracles to the world. He had some strategies and hits but just his mind and intuition helped him to become who he was. Few of his work habits may be followed by others, but would not give such result without Jobs charisma and convincing communication.