Essay on Transformational Leadership: Steven Paul Jobs

Published: 2021-08-02
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Boston College
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Leadership takes various forms as dictated by the different leadership theories and leadership styles. Every leader adopts the best leadership style depending on the environment, the type of employees and the nature of the job that they are involved in. Steven Paul Jobs is my favorite leader who for a very long time inspired me in various ways ranging from his type of leadership to the influence that he had on the employees who had a positive impact on the output of the company. Of all the leadership styles, Steven Paul Jobs leadership style was mainly transformational leadership.

Traits of Leadership in Steven Paul Jobs

There are several leadership traits that Steven Paul Jobs portrayed that were unique hence making him a very successful leader of an international and multi-billion company. Apart from being known as a hardworking and demanding leader, Steven also showed some characteristics such as simplicity and Zen (Achive Iconic, 2016). These are considered unique characteristics which are hard to be mimicked by any other leader. The other leadership traits are as listed below confident, adaptability, and sense of urgency

Steve was a leader with confidence in his company and the products that they were producing. This is a very important trait since through it his team members were able to have self-assurance that they needed to break various barriers that led to the creation of the most innovative and outstanding technology that the world has never witnessed before (Achive Iconic, 2016).

Steven could adapt to different situations as they prevail in the business environment. When he lacked skills immediately he established the company; he had to spend about 12 years to adapt his skills and a special type of leadership style. The fact that the business did not go well for a few years did not deter him from adapting to the prevailing circumstances (Achive Iconic, 2016).

He always acted with the sense of urgency, and this made his drive to be incomparable. He did not have the procrastinating spirit but rather the spirit have an instant grab of an opportunity and act immediately. Through this, he was able to motivate his employees and move forward towards a prosperous future. This sense of urgency, however, was a controlled one that enabled him to have a great deal of thought (Achive Iconic, 2016).

Vision: Steve had a creative vision that challenged his employees and acted as a driving factor to do that which follows the same vision of their leader. Through the vision, Steve was able to pull his team together towards a common goal that they all achieved as a team (Achive Iconic, 2016).

Transformational leadership in Steve Jobs

According to Bass & Avolio (1994) transformational can be used to substitute transforming. Albritton (1998) describes Steve as an iconic leader who does not do things the way other leaders to it. This was characterized by the fact that when Apple announced the launching of iPad, he came back to the company to help in the launch of the product. According to Kotlyar & Karakowsky (2007), transformational leadership is defined as the leadership type that changes life. For instance, when Steve Jobs died, people received the information about his death not only from print media and televisions but also through their mobile devices that Steven Paul Jobs created.

Jobs started his perfectionism when he was asked by his father as a teenager to assist in the construction of the fence which he did with a lot of effort and perfectionism. While working at Apple, Steve was also able to ask his engineers to make the chips for the Macintosh in a way that they look nice. According to the engineers, this was beyond what they expected because they did not expect customers to look at the motherboard and see how the chips look like. His impoliteness and rudeness were considered key in contributing to the success of the company.

It was noted that Steve Jobs had a charisma that his employees found it hard to object to his suggestions since they knew how exact he was. When he suggested that they should change the design of a particular device, the engineers did it without opposing to it. For example, people who worked with Jobs regarded his Reality Distortion Field as a way that he was using to harass them. However, they still achieved the unusual feats through his character.

Regarding innovation, it was noted by Isaacson (2011) that Apple itself is an innovation. The most outstanding product that Jobs innovated with his team was an iPod which was launched in 2011 that transformed the lives of both the college student and that of the business people. The iPod is the real definition of Jobs real innovation approach (Isaacson, 2011).

When it came to motivation as stipulated by Maslows motivational theory in 1988 in level four, the employees who were working with Steve did attempt to secure both appreciation and esteem. To motivate his employees, Steve came up with an approach which he dubbed top 100 which was an approach of taking the top 100 employees on a vacation retreat (Isaacson, 2011).

Dimensions of transformational leadership in Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs came back to Apple to review particular products. He grabbed a whiteboard and drew grids and columns to explain to the employees the challenge that was following. The challenge was to focus on four products which he placed in each of the four quadrants. While doing this, he canceled the current products. While the followers were shocked, he saved Apple when they managed it (Albritton, 1998).

When it came to Intellectual Stimulation, Albritton (1998) described Steve Jobs as a person whose main aim was to motivate, create and make money. Jobs therefore wanted and wished to always remain with the people he had hired with whom they were able to discuss innovative ideas during their meeting (Albritton, 1998).


The paper has explained the transformational leadership of Steven Paul Jobs as well as the leadership traits that he showed during his work in Apple. Several ideas of theorists have been integrated into the illustrations as well as leadership traits such as innovation, motivation, and charisma.


Achive Iconic. (2016). Leadership qualities of Steve Jobs., Retrieved from

Albritton, R. (1998). Leadership and academic librarians. Greenwood: Westport.

Bass, B., & Avolio, B. (1994). Improving organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Kotlyar, I., & Karakowsky, L. (2007). Falling over ourselves to follow the leader. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 38-49.



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