Steve Jobs Leadership Essay

Eventually I will get to writing something new content here, but for now here is an essay I wrote about former Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs leadership qualities. NOTE: I wrote this for a class project during in 2011 which was when he was still alive.

Below is the original essay.

Steve Jobs is an extraordinary American CEO and great leader. In this paper, I am going to illustrate six of his most significant leadership qualities. These qualities include his: ability to inspire others, ability to personally connect with customers, strong sense of responsibility, sense of determination, immense creativity, and clear brilliance. The collective result of these qualities is what has led Steve Jobs to be the successful and influential person he is today.

The first quality that Jobs possesses as a leader is his ability to inspire others. He has accomplished many things that have made him an extraordinary leader in his life; many things that people can admire. His life is already filled with many great accomplishments that reflect his leadership qualities. He is CEO of Apple Computers; which he co-founded. He was also the CEO of Pixar. Many people who aspire to work in or design aspects of the world of technology look to him as an inspiration. They see his success as something to strive for.

The second quality that Steve Jobs possesses as a leader is his ability to connect with customers. Throughout the founding phases of both Apple and Pixar, people reported that customers always found Jobs very personable. In fact, they believed in him and his company so much that he has become the 136th richest person in the world! This clearly illustrates his sense of leadership and his ability to connect with customers.

The next quality that Steve Jobs possesses as a leader is his strong sense of responsibility. This quality is apparent when looking at his dedication to the companies that he is involved with. In an article about the 25 most fascinating entrepreneurs the author said that Jobs is different than most other business owners in that he takes personal responsibility for what Apple makes and how the products affect the user. Jobs is involved in the design process from beginning to end and helps to choose each and every aspect of the products that he creates. This really depicts leadership because he is setting an example for the employees he works with and sets a standard for other companies as well.

Another quality that Jobs possesses as an effective leader is his sense of determination. This quality led him to help found Apple computers and pull it through times of despair along with becoming one of the greatest entrepreneurs in our country’s history. It all began with his upbringing. Apple computer’s co-founder was born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California. After he was born he was put up for adoption by his biological parents. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Santa Clara California. The Jobs lives in Mountain View California, which is in what is known as the Silicon Valley. Steve worked with electronics with his father in their garage. His father, Paul, show him how to take apart and reconstruct electronics, a hobby which fascinated and inspired young Steve. After this, Steve was determined to find a way to incorporate technology into his daily life.

The fifth quality that contributes to Steve Jobs’ ability as a leader is his immense creativity. In 1974 Jobs became a video game designer with Atari. At the age of 21, in 1976 he founded Apple Computer with his friend Wozniak. They both had to sacrifice things that they valued very much to help fund there new venture. Job’s sold his VW bus and Wozniak sold his scientific calculator. That showed his determination and commitment to pursue his dreams. The events that have followed, especially in regard to apple, show the extent of his creative abilities. In fact Jobs is so creative that simple trips to an apple orchard inspired him to create the multi-billion dollar company. Jobs says that “Creativity is just connecting things.” This statement shows what a great leader he is because his entire company connects people with products that make their lives easier and better.

Finally, Steve Jobs’ clear brilliance is a quality that people see in him as a component of his effective leadership. Jobs did not like formal schooling. During his elementary school years he was quite a troublemaker. His fourth grade teacher had to bribe him to study. Even though he did not think school was that important, he was extremely brilliant. The administrators at Steve’s elementary school wanted to push him up to high school because he tested extremely well, but his parents declined. During high school, Steve Jobs spent a lot of time at Hewitt Packard (HP) where he became friends with Steve Wozniak, a brilliant computer engineer. After graduating from high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lacking direction, he dropped out after six months. For the next eighteen months, he dropped in on a variety of creative classes. By testing so well that his school administrators offered to push him up to high school, and by surrounding himself with other brilliant people, Steve clearly showed that he was a brilliant man.

Collectively, these are the characteristics that contribute to Jobs’ effectiveness as a leader. His accomplishments have inspired others. He connects with customers. He takes all of the responsibility for the company. He shows determination in everything he does. Jobs is an extremely creative and brilliant person. With these great leadership qualities he has made himself, Apple Computer, and Pixar extremely successful.


Taking Care of Fellow Team Members

Throughout my educational career, I have gone above and beyond to provide my team members with the best resources I could acquire. I have done so to make group projects quite enjoyable.

One thing  I provided to multiple groups I have worked with was a Gobby / Infinoted server to enable Google Docs like pair programming.  At first I hosted the server on an old desktop machine I had laying around, then I started hosting it on Digital Ocean, followed by AWS for a brief period of time. Everyone who used the Gobby client and server  really liked it. If you would like to set up an Infinoted server, you can now use Docker to get on up and running in just a few minutes.

I also set up git repositories for version control which made collaboration even easier. In order to get my team members familiar with git, I recommended they use GitHub’s easy to use GitHub Desktop client. One reference I recommended was this simple to follow guide which covers the basics of git.

Now unfortunately, not everyone has the best, or even adequate resources to complete a task. There was one group member I had for advanced databases who was still running Windows Vista in the Fall of 2016. With Vista’s end of support date being in the following spring, most developers had already abandoned support for the aged operating system and as a result, my partner was not able to run many modern applications like Visio or Office. In order to help him, I first had him use TeamViewer to remotely access my laptop while we worked on documents together. After that I had him try to download Windows 7 from MSDNAA / DreamSpark / Microsoft Imagine, but low and behold, the client you had to use to download Windows 7 from  Microsoft Imagine would not run on Vista. In order to work around that, I downloaded Windows 7 on my machine and then uploaded the ISO file to a shared SkyDrive / OneDrive folder.

Considering the fact that the computer he was working on was from 2006, I asked him if he had a spare machine he could use in case his PC failed. Unfortunately he did not, so I had him take an old desktop that I had available home. Now ironically, his old PC ended up failing a few days later. I spend quite a bit of time helping my partner with technical problems, however since I was able to understand the situation he was in, I did my best to help him and did not complain to the professor teaching the class.