Leadership and Power

1) Steve Jobs is famously associated with innovation. Based on the article, how did Job’s approach relate to the guidelines for innovation in your textbook?
Steve Jobs enhanced innovation by following many of the guidelines outlined in our textbook. Steve Jobs and apple attracted talented, creative apple employees that were infused by Jobs with a “passion to create groundbreaking products and a belief that they could accomplish what seemed impossible.” (Isaacson, 2012). He was known for only tolerating “A” players, and he desired to work with the best. Jobs encouraged people to be flexible in their thinking about problems and solutions. As a result, he helped people improve their mental models and, in his words, “bend reality” (Isaacson, 2012). Steve Jobs rewarded innovation and entrepreneurial behavior by inviting his “top 100” people to retreat each year. He set innovation goals and encouraged sharing knowledge and ideas at his retreats. Steve Jobs followed many of the guidelines to enhance innovation, even with a heavy hand and rough demeanor. His expectations were for perfection from himself and everyone that worked with him.

2) Which sources of power did Steve Job use at Apple? ( e.g., referent? expert?) Which of these bases do you believe was most important to his ability to influence others? Explain your answer.
I believe Steve Jobs held both referent and expert power at apple. Employees worked hard for him because they wanted to be a part of the fantastic advances he made. Subordinates would go out of their way to impress Steve Jobs and hope their ideas would be considered. In addition, Steve Jobs had expert power as well. In the article, employees commented that Steve could look at a long-standing problem and immediately give a new approach for solving it. I believe Steve Jobs’s referent power was his basis for influencing others. His employee’s intense admiration for him guided their behavior even though he wasn’t necessarily the kindest and most compassionate.

3) What types of Proactive Influence Tactics did Steve Jobs appear to rely on in his leadership style? Explain and provide examples.
I believe Steve Jobs used several proactive influence tactics to achieve his goals. Steve Jobs used inspirational appeals when influencing Larry Kenyon to speed up the boot time of the Macintosh.
Jobs likened the extra time to boot up the computer to saving someone’s life. In the end, the engineer could make the Macintosh boot up 28 seconds faster than it previously had. Jobs also used integration when working with Corning to make enough of their gorilla glass to outfit the iPhone in six months. Steve encouraged the CEO of Corning, Wendell Weeks, that he could do it and told him, “Don’t be afraid” and “Get your mind around it. You can do it”. Collaboration was used when Steve would write a top 10 list on his whiteboard. He would take suggestions from his employees and scratch out the ones he did not like to arrive at only 10. Steve used consultation when he worked with Ive’s in perfecting each of their designs. Also, Steve Jobs used a fair amount of pressure to influence his employees with his demands for perfection.

4) In general, how would you describe the relative importance of position and personal power in leadership roles? Is one more important than another, or do you see both as necessary for leadership? Explain your answer.
The most effective leaders have both personal and positional power in their roles. Without positional power, leaders do not have the authority and flexibility to make decisions and manage their employees. If a manager only has positional power, they may not receive a genuine commitment from their employees. Subordinates may comply because they are required to do so. Personal power build relationships and leads to a commitment from employees. It provides better long-term outcomes, including increased productivity and employee satisfaction. Ultimately, I believe personal power is more critical in organizational success. A lower-level employee can have significant amounts of personal power. With this power, they influence other employees and shape attitudes in the organization (for good or bad).

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