Steve Jobs' Personality & Attitudes Drove His Success
Evaluating Steve Jobs in terms of the Big Five personality dimensions is a relatively simple exercise due to the fact that his personality was bigger than most. He was the personification of an extrovert, there are numerous examples in the Management in Actioni, however, the one that exemplifies this trait was how he handled a situation in which a beta IPhone was left by a salesman at a bar. Apple, known for its unrelenting secrecy surrounding its products under development, wanted the phone back quickly. A blogger paid to obtain the phone and wrote about the new features on its website. Jobs personally called the head of the company in possession of the phone, told the CEO he was not mad at him, and understood he was just doing his job, although, he was mad at the salesman that lost it. Jobs assured the CEO if the phone was not voluntarily returned and he had to use other means to obtain the phone, someone at the bloggers company was going to end up in jailii. This was an excellent example of all the traits of an extrovert, outgoing, talkative, sociable, and assertive all on display in that situation.
Jobs ability to honestly deal with people by telling people directly how he felt showed his agreeableness, indeed he felt people would rather know the facts as he saw them rather than leave things vague and have them think it was acceptable. He demanded and expected perfection and made sure people knew it.
Conscientiousness can best be judged by the seven industries he help transformiii;
Digital publishing. It was not that he just developed excellent products that transformed the different industries, it was the way he had to overcome different obstacles in order for the product to be accepted by both the consumer and the related industry. One example is the iPod and the creation of iTunes; to overcome the objection of pirated songs being loaded onto iPods he oversaw the creation of iTunes so the music industry could sell their music to the consumer while the consumer could upload their personal music collection to the iPod. As a result, both the consumer and the industry quickly accepted the iPod.
Emotional stability for Jobs came from his Zen trainingiv. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughtsv according to the urban dictionary. It was this training that helped him deal with his illness and ultimately he felt contributed to his death because of his belief in alternative therapies rather than more conventional medicinevi
For his openness to experience one just has to look again at the industries he transformed, his Zen training and the willingness to take on new tasks. Even as he was dying he continued working with his yacht designer to build a new yacht, even going so far as having the glass designer from Apple’s retail stores design glass suitable for his yachtvii.
In terms of the five traits important to organizational behavior Steve Jobs epitomized what most organizations desire. His career path, Atari, Apple, Next and Pixar, evidenced his locus of control or the belief that one controls one’s own fate. After being ousted from Apple in 1985 some people may have felt they lost control, but not Jobs, he pursued other avenues of interest with Next and Pixar.
Apple and Pixar are household names today because Jobs pushed himself and others around him knowing they were all capable of achieving what they set out to do. His self-efficacy was demonstrated by accomplishing what he set out to do with each company.
As far as self-monitoring is concerned, it could be argued that he was ousted from Apple because of his unwillingness to lower his standards and move products to market faster. Like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos it is evident that Jobs was a long term strategist, his…