There are many business leaders in the world, who contributed a lot to the world scientific, business, political, and economic spheres. They make a great impact into their companies due to their special abilities, skills, knowledge, and philosophy. Among them, it is worth mentioning Steve Jobs, who was an American businessman, inventor, and designer. This paper tends to review his way to success and methods that he used to achieve success through his vision, business operations, and many other areas of life. Individuals, like Steve Jobs, create history, develop the economy and different spheres of business, help people through philanthropy and environmentalism: other words, they provide an active social position and contribute a lot to future generations. Steve Jobs` life was not easy, but it was full of ideas and thoughts, which he implemented in life.
Business Leadership Challenges
Steve Jobs has come into history as a pioneer and designer of the personal computer revolution and the co-founder, chief executive officer, and chairman of Apple Inc., which is hardware making company. He started his career in 1974, and in 2006 Jobs became a member of the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company, where he was working till his death in October 2011. Steve Jobs was known as an aggressive and demanding person, what, obviously, helped him achieve a lot in his life. His personality was rather controversial (McCracken, 2011). As for his management style, Steve Jobs was a demanding perfectionist. His charisma effects on his successful career and inventions he made in the field of the computer industry.
After finishing high school, Jobs started his education at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but after six months he was dropped out from it because of lacking directions. Later he continued his studies in creative classes. At the age of 19, he became a video game designer with Atari. Jobs stayed there for several months and decided to travel to India searching spiritual enlightenment. In 1976, Jobs started Apple Computers with Wozniak. They have contributed a lot to development of the computer industry. The first model of the personal computer designed by Steve Jobs was the Apple I. In 1980, the market value of Apple Computer Co. was $1.2 billion (McCracken, 2011). Later, because of the competition in the market, the success was not so significant. In 1985, Steve Jobs established a new company NeXT, Inc., which was producing hardware and software products. In 1996, Jobs returned to Apple Inc., after it acquired NeXT.
The research reported that Steve Jobs was the most celebrated person in business and technology of the computer industry in the world, because he contributed a lot to the development of personal computers, hardware, and software (Hill, 2012). Though, there were many challenges in his life, he was able to face them with courage. He overcame all obstacles fast and always got what he wanted. Throughout his career, Jobs realized his strength, what helped him in achieving his objectives in a fearless manner. The research asserts that he had hard times, when he was away from Apple. All challenges that he faced in his life taught Jobs patience and discipline.
Jobs` Leadership Qualities
According to the research, Steve Jobs was an extremely talented, determined, aggressive, and visionary person. These features of his personality made him what he was. He developed his leadership qualities from his young age. He began to realize his supernatural understanding of technology, when he began to work in his family garage.
He learned how to adapt to cultural differences during his trip to India. It was important for his personality that he could discover his talent, abilities, and potential in the early age. Despite of his aggressive character, most people respected him. The heritage, which he left to the mankind, is enormously important. According to the available information, Jobs was an unconventional leader with his own unique style, which was not taken from books. He cultivated his leadership qualities and management style from his own life experience and his brain. Being a talented person with super ordinary abilities and demands, he knew how to hire an appropriate staff and was very demanding to them (Holson, 2006). He was also demanding to himself. It is known that Jobs was very critical to his co-workers and demanded excellence in work. All these features of his character made him an outstanding and effective leader. It is worth mentioning that Steve Jobs had been operating business in global markets, and knew how to adapt to cultural differences. Communicating with people he understood their philosophy, views, objectives, and demands.
According to the available information, Steve Jobs had an autocratic leadership style. Therefore, he never let subordinates be involved into decision making. His relationship with his staff was not good, because he did not take into consideration their opinions, and considered that whatever he has done was right. Such attitude oftentimes was a threat of company`s success. On the other hand, Steve Jobs gave his heart and soul to developing personal computers and computer industry. He kept under his personal control every aspect of the business operation. The research reports that he threw out two iPhones before accepting the third one. He also reviewed every single product that was produced by the company, even company`s buses, and food at the cafeteria.
The research reported that Jobs was a passionate advocate communicating with shareholders, staff, and customers. He always intended to recruit the company`s staff according to their skills and abilities, giving them positions according to their specific abilities and strengths.
Some Glimpses of Jobs` Personality
Being a self-proclaimed Buddhist, Steve Jobs was not a philanthropist. It is known that he opened his charitable foundation only once in 1986 and closed it after 15 months. After that he never re-opened it or gave any public, charitable donations. Furthermore, when he returned to Apple in 1997, he cancelled the company`s philanthropic programs. The research reported that being an outstanding computer inventor and designer, Steve Jobs had a complicated personality (Allen, 2011). Due to his authoritarian leadership style and perfectionist attitude, he did not treat people well. Employees were scared of him, because he often made people feel terrible. He could make people cry or fired employees, when he was in a bad mood. He was feared by people, who stayed close to him. Many people considered that he was not a nice man. His unique abilities and talent may excuse his tyrannical behavior. The sweep of what he achieved was due to the power of his personality (Elkind, 2008). Even his disappointed staff realized that and had taken that for granted.
Steve Jobs did not care much about the environment. Apple computers ranked last out of 29 international corporations as the less clean energy computer devices. Many company`s workers were working in poor and unsafe conditions overseas, mostly in China, for little salaries. Many researchers consider that Jobs cared more about profit than humanity. According to Forbes, his wealth was estimated at $8.3 billion, what made him be the 42nd richest American. According to the available information, Jobs considered that it was more important to invest money into Apple than donating money to charity. On the other hand, Apple is one of the largest contributors to the Global Fund to fight Tuberculosis, AIDS, and Malaria (Allen, 2011). These negative facts of Jobs` life have been disputed among journalists, philanthropists, and environmentalists, but they could not diminish Jobs` huge contribution to the development of personal computers. In October 2003, he has got to know that he had a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. He received a proper treatment but, unfortunately, died in October 2011. The world has lost the brilliant entrepreneur, computer designer, and inventor of the modern generation. Some information reported that Steve Jobs was the second inventor after Thomas Edison.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that Steve Jobs was an outstanding personality of the modern era, who contributed a lot to the computer industry. His charisma, innovative genius, revolutionary vision, relentless temper and drive let him achieve unordinary success. After his death, the world has lost one of the most genius persons in the globe. He was living and working according to his own rules, methods and principles, not according to the usual ones. Of course, there were people who might not like him, but there would hardly be a person, who will not admit the importance of his contribution to the humankind.