In 1976, Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak after Jobs dropped out of college. Jobs was responsible for innovation and business while Wozniak was responsible for the engineering portion, and both had no experience in running a company. Apple needed an experienced CEO, so they brought in Michael Scott to run the company. He left in 1981, so Jobs brought in CEO of PepsiCo John Sculley in 1983. Issues began to arise because Jobs himself wanted to be CEO, but Apple did not believe he was the proper fit for the position. At this time, Jobs had created a poor reputation for being difficult to work with because he was too focused on details and at times, this affected his team's feelings and deadlines. (Weinberger)
In 1985, Jobs and his team released the Lisa, the first computer with a graphical user interface. Although, it was a great product, it did not sell well in the market. He later created the Macintosh, which resulted in better sales, but was not enough to compete with IBM's PC market. Sculley believed that Jobs needed to be watched over considering he was difficult to work with, so Jobs was reassigned away from the Macintosh project and put in charge of "New Product Development." Jobs being upset with this reassignment, went to Apple's board of directors, who sided with Sculley. Jobs feeling powerless in a company he created, decided to resign on September 17, 1985 and moved on to create NeXT.
Over the next couple of years, NeXT created good PCs but still had low sales. With Jobs gone and Scully in charge, Apple began to lose focus. Apple fired Sculley and eventually brought in Gil Amelio as CEO in 1996. In 1997, Amelio acquired NeXT, bringing back Jobs. By August, Jobs had taken over as CEO and brought in a new board, and made peace with Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. Finally, in 1998, Apple introduced their iMac, bring the company back to its glory.
I believe it was important for Apple to release Steve Jobs. After Jobs left, he started a new company and learned to manage his emotions that were affecting his team and learned to balance the desire and ability to create products on time and in budget. (Blodget). In our weekly assignments, we discussed the great comebacks of companies such as Harley Davidson and IBM. In the chapter discussing Harley Davidson, I learned about the importance of visionary leadership. Having a vision is someone who has a clear sense of the company's future environment and the actions need to thrive in it. (Hartley) A leader with vision will help their company take opportunities before competitors and raise itself up from any difficulties they are facing. Hartley states five ingredients of visionary leadership. The first is to challenge the process.
A leader should encourage innovation and anyone with new ideas. The second is to be enthusiastic. A great visionary leader will inspire their team to share their vision. When sharing the same vision, employees will be on the same page and have the same enthusiasm to reach their company's future goals. Another ingredient is to help other to act; to be supportive of their team's efforts and skills. A visionary leader should set the example of how others should act in the workplace. The final ingredient is to celebrate achievements. Employees should bring their hearts and their minds to the workplace. In celebrating their achievements, they will be happier to work every day and more loyal to the company's vison. Before Steve Jobs was let go from Apple, he had a vision for his company, but he did not use all these ingredients to achieve leadership.
Jobs worked with a team, but he allowed his emotions to interfere with his visions. The one ingredient he followed was to challenge the process. Jobs always had new ideas and was never afraid to share them. His issue was his immaturity stopped him from sharing his visions to the company in a way they can also envision it because he did not display model behavior, and he also did not encourage his team to share his vision. During this time, Jobs lost support from his teams along with the board of Apple. After Jobs left, he learned how to use these skills at his company NeXT. With Scully in charge and Jobs gone, Apple lost all their future vision, and struggled to innovate new products. Because of this, Scully was fired, and Apple searched for a new leader with great plans for their future. When Jobs returned to Apple, he displayed true visionary leadership. He had developed the skills to be leader and used these skills to bring Apple back from near bankruptcy.
Throughout this class, I have also learned the importance of leadership style. Since the beginning of Apple, Jobs had always wanted to be CEO of the company.
When the company was created Jobs could not take up that role because he had no experience in running a company. Although, at the time he was not labeled CEO, he attempted to act the role and failed miserably due to his leadership style. In Management Mistakes Successes by Robert F. Hartley, a chapter focused on the management mistakes made at Continental Airlines. Frank Lorenzo was CEO during Continental Airline's downfall. Lorenzo was failing the company by displaying poor corporate culture and had a poor management style. He was described as a Theory X manager, who has low opinions of subordinates. According to Hartley, a Theory X manager views their subordinates as, disliking work, lacking in ambition, irresponsible, resistant to change, preferring to be led rather than to lead. This management style brought fear into his employees.
They were not willing to work hard, they feared to discuss new ideas, and failed to communicate any issues. To the save company, Continental Airlines brought in CEO, Gordon Bethune, described as a Theory Y manager. Harley describes a Theory Y manager to see their subordinates as, willing to work, willing to accept responsibility, capable of self-direction, capable of self-control, and capable of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity. With this style, Bethune won back the hearts of his employees and shared his vision of the company. By displaying the management style, he gained the trust of his team, and salvaged the airline.
Before Jobs came back to save Apple, he could have been described as a Theory X manager. During the Macintosh project, jobs fired anyone who disagreed with the project and hired employees of his skill level. He was immature, stubborn and had no control over his emotions. He refused to listen to ideas other than his own and was described as mercurial and demanding. After returning to Apple, jobs could be better described as a Theory Y manager. He learned to encourage his employee's ideas and had faith that his subordinates can manage themselves. Using this management style, Jobs gained the trust of his employees and board, along with his employees and board gaining their trust in him and was able to resurrect Apple from the edge of bankruptcy.
Overall, I learned that Apple had to bring Steve Jobs back to regain the future vision of Apple. Although most say that Apple's biggest mistake was allowing Jobs to leave, I believe it was a necessary action. His behavior was unacceptable in a professional environment, and he was not acting as a team player. If Jobs had never left Apple, then he may have never developed the skills he needed to become the inspiration leader he is today. In my opinion, if he did not leave, he would have never realized the mistakes he had made. By leaving, he evaluated his faults and learned to become an inspirational leader. With his new developed skills, he gave his company a vision. Jobs focused on attracting skilled and creative people who wanted to change the world by making better tools. Throughout this process, Jobs managed to make a lot of money, but that was never his goal. His high profits were a result of his clear vision, his executions, and his willingness to lead, fail, and to try again. (Husick)
- Hartley, R. F. (2011). Management mistakes and successes. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- Husick, L. (2011, September 11). What Students Can Learn from Steve Jobs. Retrieved from https://www.fpri.org/article/2011/09/what-students-can-learn-from-steve-jobs/
- Blodget, H. (2013, September 23). Let's Get One Thing Straight - Apple Had No Choice But To Oust Steve Jobs. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-had-no-choice-with-steve-jobs-2013-9
- Weinberger, M. (2017, July 31). This is why Steve Jobs got fired from Apple - and how he came back to save the company. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-apple-fired-returned-2017-7
- Katzenbach, J. (2012, May 29). The Steve Jobs Way. Retrieved from https://www.strategy-business.com/article/00109?gko=d331b
- Steve Jobs: An Extraordinary Career. (2008, October 09). Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/197538
A professional writer will make a clear, mistake-free paper for you!Get help with your assignment
Please check your inbox
I'm Chatbot Amy :)
I can help you save hours on your homework. Let's start by finding a writer.Find Writer