Although Steve Jobs always micro-manages his followers, he is a leader who influences them to
have strong work desires as he possesses a high degree of passion in his work. Even though he
always yelled at his followers, they appreciated his strong passion where he always spend long
hours at work (Kahney 2008). Additionally, through this passion, he was able to capture the
spirit of his followers and work cohesively towards a common goal (Young & Simon 2005).
Jobs can be considered an extrovert because he enjoys human interactions, likes to meet new
people and spend time in social gatherings (Judge et al. 2002). He is always willing to accept
interviews about his creation of Apple and pose for front cover photographs, and thus built a
strong relationship with the world media (Kahney 2008).
Jobs is a leader with low emotional intelligence as he does not care about his followers' feelings
and only care about their ideas (Lee 1994). Additionally, his reputation in the organisation
further enhanced his deficiency in emotional intelligence as he screamed at his followers
frequently and randomly fired those unlucky ones (Young & Simon 2005).
Jobs displayed his farsightedness when he reduced the product lines by dropping its most popular
iPod Mini on the day Apple launched the iPod Nano and cut the wholesale cost within a year in
office (Morris & Levinstein 2008). As a result, he not only prevented Apple from further losses,
he also made Apple profitable (Kahney 2008).
Steve Jobs has the insight into his people and situation as he makes careful assessment of the
strengths and weaknesses of each staff (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller 2006). Throughout his stint in
Apple, he kept the talents to assist him with key assignments, such as the Mac project, and
influence them with different leadership styles (Kahney 2008).
Steve Jobs has strong self-confidence in his ability to make decisions. He confidently opposed to
the major accordance. He believed in his gut feeling that even without a floppy drive, iMac
would still be perceived as a revolutionary product. In fact, the decision to abandon the floppy
drive and use a USB as a replacement had put a forward-looking image on the iMac (Kahney
General personality traits are observable within and outside the context of work (Dubrin,
Dalglish & Miller 2006). These traits contribute to satisfaction and success in personal life
likewise in the working environment.
Self-confidence indicates whether an individual is self-assured in his judgements, decision
making, ideas and capabilities (Lussier & Achua 2007). It includes a sense of self-esteem and
self-assurance and the belief that one can make a difference.
Internal locus of control is applicable to Steve Jobs because people with internal locus of control
believe that their personal actions directly affect the outcome of an event. In this case, they are
most likely to seek the role of a leader due to the fact that they believe primarily in their capacity
to take charge (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller 2006). Leaders with an internal locus of control take
responsibility for events and are risk takers for the performance of their organizations (Yukl
2006). Prior to Jobs’ return to Apple, the organisation was in an off-hand environment with
employees reporting late and knocking off early. After taking over, he controlled all aspects in
the day-to-day operations of Apple (Kahney 2008).
Leaders can overcome obstacles better (Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller 2006). This is referred to
being tenacious. Even though there were vast numbers of mobile phone models catered to suit
the needs of the dynamic consumer market, Steve Jobs stood on his solid grounds to launch an
iPhone (Burrows 2009).
He always demonstrates great ambition to build a global media empire and has high drive and
work hard to achieve his goal. His strong work ethics can be seen from him working 90 hours a
week and still loving it. He displays high levels of enthusiasm and energy for his work. High
energy leaders always have stamina and tolerate stress well. They deal with and do not accept
setbacks (Lussier & Achua 2007).
After being thrown out from Apple, Steve Jobs tried to do it all over again with a new company,
NeXT and planned to build the next generation of personal computers that are superior to Apple.
On the contrary, he failed to do so. He persisted and dealt with his failure. He shut his hardware
division and turned his attention to the software development (Angelelli, 1994). This trait
appears to be consistently linked with leader emergence and effectiveness.
Recommendations and Suggestions
Steve has the dark side of his personality. His egoism often leads him to be ignorant to other
people’s ideas. He often rejects anyone’s work the first time it was shown to him. He should
develop his emotional intelligence which is relevant for leadership effectiveness. Most effective
leaders are alike in one essential way: they all have a high degree of emotional intelligence
(Goleman 1995). Jobs should have high self-regulation to control his impulsiveness and react
with appropriate anger to situations. Thus, it can prevent him from throwing temper tantrums to
his employees. Furthermore, showing empathy for employees is important to Jobs. He should
learn to understand the emotional makeup of other people and treat people according to their
emotional reactions. Hence, Jobs should be more sensitive to his employees’ feelings and
encourage them rather than unleash verbal attack to them.
An analysis of the Big Five Model identifies a list of different traits Jobs possesses that make his
business successful and his leadership unique. These traits include self-confident, extraversion,
high energy, intelligence and internal locus of control. It is quite evident that these traits are
important to his leadership success. His self-confidence gives him the ability to make hard
decisions and stand by them. Without extraversion, he is unlikely to confront with others and it is
hard for him to show his leadership abilities. With high energy, he is able to withstand setbacks
and persevere through hard times. His good intelligence helps him to quick response to many
tough situations, and finally, internal locus of control drives him to override challenges. On the
other hand, there is also dark side of Jobs’ personality egoism, lack of empathy and instability.
These traits can cause a leader to be derailed. Thus, Jobs must overcome these weaknesses to be
more effective. Nonetheless, Jobs is still considered as an effective leader due to his possession
of those leadership traits.
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