Apple exists due to Steve Jobs. It’s not only because it is Steve Jobs whose idea was to start Apple but after over a decade when the company was going down and out and was close to bankruptcy, Steve Jobs again joined it in 1997 and turnaround it successfully. So, Apple came into prominence due to Steve Jobs’ ideas after its startup and then revolutionized again by Jobs after coming into power again in 1997. He introduced revolutionary products while reducing expenses back then to save Apple from bankruptcy and then made it one of the most successful companies. Right after rejoining Apple, “His first order of business: to drop costly projects and streamline the company’s focus. And he did just that with the release of the 1998 iMac. The product sold nearly 800,000 units in the first few months, signaling a major turning point for the company. (Umoh, 2017)” This immediate success changed Apple forever. Everyone in the company regained the confidence and the success gave Steve Jobs more power to take the bolder decisions in the coming months and years. (Johnson, Li, Phan, Singer, and Trinh, 2012)
Then, on the basis of the success of one product, several linked products are launched by the company successfully thanks to the leadership of Jobs. For example, on the basis of the success of the iPhone, the company launched its App Store and iTunes. These products provided the company more revenue streams why strengthening the main product, iPhone. Then the company also launched the iPad, a tablet that has a lot of features of the iPhone. iPhone was also provided strength with a similar IOS that runs on iMac and both become two of the hottest products in the world. Due to the leadership of Steve Jobs, Apple becomes one of the greatest technology companies and one of the highest valued companies ever within a span of few years. So it can be said that whatever Apple is now, it is due to Steve Jobs.(Umoh, 2017)
Critical Evaluation of the Exercise of Power and Influence
Steve Jobs is the leader of Apple right from its start. His influence was prominent in the early success of the company and it’s being a public company afterward. Apple’s early successes and failures all were attributed to Apple. That is why, when Apple’s new products were failed to perform according to the expectations, he was ousted from the company he setup with love, dedication and hard work. His leadership was deemed the reason forthe failure of the company. The board of Apple considered that he had too much power and they wanted to decrease his influence of the company. However, Steve Jobs refused it and as a result, got fired from the company in 1985. He was considered difficult to work with as he was not ready to listen to others and was a kind of authoritative leader at that time. (Weinberger, 2017)
However, he was well known for his creativity and innovative mind and being an able man. As a result, some of the members of Apple also went with him and he formed a new company, Next. The company was focused on developing a computer platform for the business market and education purposes. Next proved to be a successful company, such a successful company that in 1997, Apple decided to buy Next and take Jobs on board again. The company needed a leadership boost. He was made an interim CEO after he convinced the board. He revolutionized the company, introduced iMac, then iPhone, Ipad and many software products that quickly changed the fortune of the company that was once wanted to be bought by other companies like IBM, Sun microsystems etc. (Weinberger, 2017)
Apparently, Steve Jobs can be seen as an authoritative leader who was very forceful and wanted to do things in his own way. However, it is also a reality that he was successful more often than not. He used his power and influence for the betterment of the company and all others and that is apparent from Apple’s decision to buying the Next and making Steve Jobs interim CEO and then, after he got Apple out of trouble in 1998, making him full CEO. (Weinberger, 2017)
Main features and Requirements of Leadership Development for Competitive Advantage
The markets now days are more competitive than ever not only for products and services but also for skilled labor. As a result, the companies are looking for new advantages over the competitors and the new value sources in order to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. “Organizations depend upon capable, strategic and visionary leadership to guide them through unprecedented changes. Leadership competencies are a requirement for most organizations in Today’s competitive market place (Al-Zoubi, 2012).“The competitive advantages are also shifting rapidly as a matter of fact due to fast-paced technological changes. So the organizations are required to continuously look for the ways and means through which it can replace the competitive advantage. One of the best sources of generating a competitive advantage is the workers for an organization. They can help the company achieve the desired results through their competence, skills and leadership, just what Steve Jobs did for Apple. (Al-Zoubi, 2012)
Leadership is very important for any company. Without leadership, a company cannot be successful. It is the leadership that gives the direction to the company and help to build a winning strategy, a strategy that can work in all situations. Leadership encourages people to be proactive, empower them, drive them to become solution-oriented and increases their efficiency within the functional team. The leadership achieves this through inspiring, influencing and guiding them towards the achievement of common goals. These common goals are designed by the leadership through goal congruence. As a result, the employees understand that their personal success depends on the company’s and common success and thus they are more inspired to work for collective success. Al-Zoubi, 2012)
Inspiration motivates and invites employees to prove quality and excellence and quality in all the tasks they are assigned. It also makes them exhibiting self-management, responsibility, and commitment which are better gauges of their performance.
Influence is also very important for the success of the company. A leader influences the team through empowerment and motivation to be outstanding and excellent in their work and achieve new levels of competence or improves their competence. He seeks to improve teamwork and make people understand that success depends on the compromise and collective work of the whole team.
Guidance is also a very important leadership function important for competitive advantage and success. The leader motivates and guides team members or employees towards the achievement of common goals. He makes them accomplish a challenging and ambitious goal by guiding and leading from the front. This is evident from how Steve Jobs turnaround Apple in 1997. Using the same resources, he makes the company introduce successful projects immediately while cutting down the non-productive expenses and leading and guiding the company towards success. He makes employees work in the desired direction where they develop such a competitive advantage and then continuously upgraded it in order to sustain it. (Johnson, Li, Phan, Singer, and Trinh, 2012)
Criteria for Measuring for Assessing An Organization’s Strategic Effectiveness
The main criteria that can help to assessthe effectiveness of any organization are its success. If an organization is a success in the market place, then obviously its strategy is successful. It can be defined as the efficiency with which a company meets its objectives. For measuring the effectiveness of the strategy of an organization, it is imperative to evaluate how it is linked to the organizational objectives. A strategy would be effective if it utilizes the organizational resources as per plan and provides the desired result.
In order for a strategy to be measured, it needs to be measurable in the first place in terms of objectives and performance. Therefore, the strategy needs to be specified linked to the specific objectives.
Then, in order to measure the effectiveness of the strategy, one needs to set up base values or measure the base values before the implementation of the strategy. For example, if the new strategical initiative is to increase sales by 20%, the level of sales should be recorded. Or if the new strategy is to introduce new products, there should be a timeline for the introduction or the target time period so that performance or success or failure of that strategy can be measured.
Then the performance should be measured and track regularly in order to ensure the strategy is working and if there is any issue, it can be altered accordingly. For that matter, the specific strategical targets should consist of measurable variables.
Then, the strategy should also be measured and assessed in terms of objectives. Once the strategy is fully implemented, it should be evaluated that to what extent it has achieved the organizational goals with the resources allocated to it. If the strategy is failed to achieve the goals or additional resources are used, the strategy is failed and now it is required to determine why and where it failed. (Markgraf, 2020)
Johnson, K., Li, Y., Phan, H., Singer, J., and Trinh, H. (2012). The Innovative Success that is Apple, Inc. [Online]. Marshal Digital Scholar. Theses, Dissertations, and Capstones. Paper 418. Available at: https://mds.marshall.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1420&context=etd/>(January 31, 2020)
Umoh,R.(2017). How Apple’s success can be traced to Steve Jobs. CNBC. [Online]. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/13/how-apples-success-can-be-traced-to-steve-jobs.html (January 31, 2020)
Weinberger, M. (2017). This is why Steve Jobs got fired from Apple — and how he came back to save the company. [Online]. Businessinsider.com. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-apple-fired-returned-2017-7(January 31, 2020)
Al-Zoubi, M. R. (2012). Leadership Competencies and Competitive Advantage”Empirical Study on Jordan Telecommunications”. European Journal of Business and Management www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1905 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2839 (Online) Vol 4, No.7, 2012. Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/766e/7c4ad5f74c0aaa81f1756690d0068c3ee1b2.pdf(January 31, 2020)
Mahdi, O., Almsafir, M. (2014). The Role of Strategic Leadership in Building Sustainable Competitive Advantage in the Academic Environment. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences.[Online] 129. 289-296. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.679. . Available at:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273850107_The_Role_of_Strategic_Leadership_in_Building_Sustainable_Competitive_Advantage_in_the_Academic_Environment(January 31, 2020)
Markgraf, B. (2020). Strategy Effectiveness. [Online]. smallbusiness.chron.com. Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/(January 31, 2020)