The aim of the work is to consider the leadership style of the Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs through the analysis of the articles and works connected with his business activity; it is also necessary to contemplate on the way his leadership style and ideas can be applied within hospitality industry. Introduction Leadership ideas at present acquire new meaning in the hospitality industry; leadership is subjected to close research from the theoretical and practical viewpoints, as well as from the viewpoint of its relevance and application to the hotel and hospitality business in general.
It has become evident, that hospitality industry needs talented leaders no less than other economic and business areas, but as far as hospitality sector possesses very peculiar features, and is concentrated on providing its customers with unique services, leadership in this sector is not universal, but is clear that leadership ideas taken from other prominent enterprises and personalities can be used, modified and applied to the sphere of hospitality business.
This paper is an attempt to analyze one of the prominent leaders of the present time through the key features, which make him that prominent, and to see, whether and how these features can be used for the improved performance in the hospitality sector. The key issues to be analyzed are what personal and business characteristics the leader possesses and should possess in hospitality business to make it stably profitable, recognizable and trusted through the application of the leadership style peculiar of Steve Jobs, the Appleis CEO and the person who has made Apple company one of the key players on the market of advanced technologies. 2
Steve Jobs: often called Silicon valley pioneer and the author of unique leadership ideas In order to understand the leadership style of Steve Jobs and the core ideas and steps which led his Apple company to this success through the period while he has been and stays its CEO, it will be appropriate to start the discussion with one of Job’s quotations, which may shed the light on his leadership characteristics and define the direction in which the discussion will go n ‘Innovation distinguishes between the leader and the follower’ (Deutschman, 2001) This quotation is the key to the leadership style of Steve Jobs; he has made innovations accessible to the customers so that they keep opening their wallets. (ICFAI, 2006) However, is it so easy to be a leader and to be noted among the most prominent America’s leaders as it may seem at first glance? Somebody may become surprised to know that Jobs has not graduated any college (he started his education but never finished it), devoting all his lifetime to new technologies and innovations in this sphere. Thus, it appears that leadership is the feature which is born, and not acquired? Probably this right, however, Jobs also proves that being a leader is a complex of various aspects and visions.
The fact that he founded his Apple computer in 1976 and by the year 2005 the company already had around 15,000 employers is the evidence of the successful leadership features which Jobs was able to use in his career making both him and his company successful. First of all, one of the articles found about Steve Jobs says that he may be supposed to be the central personality within the company, that he has become the icon and cult-like personality, and thus Apple may be seen as ‘personality-driven’. (Young, 2005) However, the question here is whether it is good or bad, is it really that Jobs is a cult, and how personality- driven companies may become profitable and successful. While Apple had six CEOs through the period of 1977-1985, it has become evident that it lacked both marketing and 3 echnological zeal and the CEO which the company needed had to combine the knowledge and vision of the future technology and marketing. Thus, one of the peculiarities of Jobs’ leadership style is that he sees the core company’s activity through the marketing prism. Jobs was able to restructure the company and return it to the normal performance through the development of new products and making them popular among consumers. ‘Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings’ (Young, 2005) This is the mission statement which Apple follows at present. Brand fanaticism and radical customer devotion
Steve Jobs has based the leadership culture of the Apple company on brand fanaticism and radical customer devotion. Though Jobs is highly criticized for his leadership style, but his achievements (introducing mouse and graphic user interface) cannot be neglected n they have become revolutionary. Jobs is perfectionist, and he has been described as being intimidating by several publications. (Harvey, 2001) Another important leadership feature peculiar of Jobs is that he does not see only computers, but far beyond. He is demanding both towards himself and towards his employees n his deadlines often seem impossible to meet, but is constantly moving, moving towards improvement in all spheres of his work. Erve, 2004) One more important characteristics of Jobs’ leadership style thus is his ability to combine zeal and fear for his employees, who often state that they are afraid of him, but for any business, especially for the large companies, it is essential that the employees have the same vision of reality with the head of the company; this often defines its success, no matter in what economic area this company works, in computer industry or in the hospitality sector. 4 Jobsi transformational leadership It is interesting to see, how Jobs’ contribution is described by Businessweek online, related to contemplating and considering Apple performing without Jobs: ‘Jobs’s contribution? More than anyone else, he brought digital technology to the masses.
As a visionary, he saw that computers could be much more than drab productivity tools. Instead, they could help unleash human creativity and sheer enjoyment. [O] From the time he was a kid Steve thought that his products could change the world’. (Anonymous, 2006) This is another feature of leadership within Steve’s character n not only he has always been perfectionist, but he always believed into the need of his performance for his company and for the consumers; and his self-confidence led him to success. Jobs is the example of the transformational leader, he is able to direct his people and make them do things which they have never done before, but these things are essential for the realization of Jobs’s vision and plans.