Clint C. Wansa
The article gives a brief description of how Steve Jobs, founder of the Apple Inc., grew the company into the world’s leading computer company. Starting from literally the ground up by forming the company out of his parents’ garage, Jobs was able to use his leadership qualities to form one of the world’s most desirable companies. Apple has grown exponentially in the last several years due in large part to Job’s personality and effectiveness to lead others. As stated in the article, “he helped to transform seven industries: personal computing, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, retail stores, and digital publishing.” (Isaacson 2012) Due to this transformation, consumers now have the desired products such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Even though the company has changed these industries, it was Jobs’ leadership traits and qualities that made Jobs one of the world’s leading inventors. The trait approach to leadership according to Zaccaro et al (Northouse 2010), states that Zaccaro found support for finding leaders to have higher intelligence than non-leaders. To work for a company such as Apple, especially in a department such as research and development, one would have to possess great intellectual skills. Steve Jobs was obviously intelligent. He used his intelligence to step away from the company and see that he needed to narrow the focus of only a select few projects. By doing this, Jobs was able to take Apple to new profitable extremes and popularity. Companies typically consider growth as having more. Steve Jobs was more focused on having Apple specialize in only a few select products instead of having a vast array of different products. In the article, Jobs is asked about why he has a tendency to be “tough on people”. His response was simply “look at the results”. Jobs went on to explain that the people he works with are all smart and that any of them could get a job at another place, but they don’t. (Isaacson 2012) This is crucial for a good leader to recognize. Jobs recognized that he was not any better of a person than his co-workers, especially intellectually. This was a large part of Apple’s success.
The article then highlights Jobs’ focus. Apple “… was producing a random array of computers and peripherals…” (Isaacson 2012) and Jobs knew he needed to narrow the focus of the company. He had seen the mistakes other technology and computer companies had made. He possessed the patience and confidence to take a step back and look at the direction the company could have potentially gone. Instead of attempting to mass-produce different products like many other similar companies would have