Steve Jobs – the autocratic leader of Apple

By: Islam Yusri

            In 1976, Apple was effectively introduced by Entrepreneurs Steve Jobs as well as Steve Wozniak, with Apple II and many other uniquely innovative computing devices beginning with a phenomenal growth rate. In September 1997, Apple Computers (Apple) has been named interim CEO of Apple’s leading IT (IT) group. Given that in 1983 Steve was forced out of office by the business itself, media and market analysts were interested in this growth. Steve’s return was regarded as the final effort by Apple to escape one of the toughest phases: losses of $1.6 billion for 1997. A visionary chief who could drive the organization back to prosperity and restore its fortunes would have required it. Such trends did not shock the citizens who have watched Steve’s job plots over the decades. Steve has been effective in developing PCs, which, unlike the bland versions popular in those days were not just user-friendly but also esthetically pleasing. Steve’s Macintosh work also contributed to the development of the windows and mouse application, which has become staples in the computer industry (Luce & Hadden, 1997).

            In 1989, Steve became named as Entrepreneur of that Decade. In fact, he was number 39 in the ‘Best 100 Advertisement Men’ advertisement era. Steve Jobs appears to be extremely influential personally, his choices have been made with no consulting, and his choices have been taken faster to adapt more effectively to shifts in the market climate. The technological shifts that take its rivals, including Microsoft, into account. However, he is deemed arrogant by a few of his staff owing to his “manipulative” behaviour. In meetings, for example, his conduct and autocratic style are characterized as gross and disgraceful. He has a powerful influence because of his desire for excellence, which frightens several of the staff. The Microsoft Company is indeed Apple’s biggest competitors. Although the leadership style of Bill Gates was inclusive and participatory, Steve Jobs seemed as autocratic and successful in a manner. His research demonstrates both imagination and ingenuity. He is accountable for the iPod as well as iPhones development and sale. Most people don’t realize it, so when Jobs suggested the iPod concept, Apple Inc. override a huge opposition. That’s an incredible 250 percent rise in sales for Apple. And thanks to Steve’s swift decisions, Apple will ratchet Microsoft with current growth levels in 2010 and 2011  (Becraft, 2016).

Currently, we can not talk of autocratic leaders like Steve Jobs there is anything positive to say. This kind of leadership is also incredibly challenging for employees and will not render the job experience so enjoyable. However, like other leadership types, there is an acceptable period and circumstance. Throughout the job world, some circumstances clearly involve decisive intervention and an autocratic leadership model should be followed in such situations. Ironically, most staff have worked under an autocratic dictator and have no trouble adjusting to this form (Donnet, Daft, & Samson, 2017).

            The success of Steve Jobs had been recognized to be resulting from the Coercive Power that had been witnessed by the employees and the entire member of Apple Company. This had been based on the autocratic leadership style adopted by Steve Jobs. From the point of view of Steve Jobs, the followers should be only effective within the following of the different strategies and tactics that had been formulated by the leader without negotiations or conflicts. Steve Jobs had been considering his way to be the only way. Despite of the major success that had been attained by the organization, Steve Jobs succeeded within the maximization of the organizational capabilities to maintain highest positioning within the market, throughout the continuous innovativeness and the change within the production and the managerial systems. Regarding the features of the Steve Jobs’ followers, they had been recognized to be highly conformist followers, which would be assuring that they will not be passionate about the usage of the critical thinking for the development of their tasks or the challenging of the system that had been formulated by Steve Jobs. This can be negatively affecting the organization and the minimization of the success of Steve Jobs within the development of the various approaches that would be leading to the success of the overall organization. The followers in the organization became one of the main problems or the competitive disadvantages in Apple Corporation, when compared to the highly competing and innovative organizations in the market. It is the decision of the leader to make his followers contributing in the success of the leadership process or contributing within its failure (Kapoor, Hughes, & Pride, 2009).

            In addition, certain superiors may favor autocratic style in times of tension or an emergency – they might like to know precisely what to do. In summary, when conditions are good yet very relaxed when the burden is placed on followers or subordinates, autocratic leadership styles are very successful. For starters, for fast decision-making as well as for the power on his decisions, it can be stated that Steve Jobs in Apple Corporation favored autocratic style. Steve Jobs needs both for himself and his colleagues. She still appears to be difficult to achieve, but she works constantly, in all places and fields of her life, for progress. Thanks to Steve Jobs’ high-level autocratic rule, Apple will perform well without Steve Jobs. Although, on a case-by-case basis I phones had very complicated and challenging applications to render fast judgments and innovations for IPods. Only an autocratic dictator such as Jobs can ever avoid the public backlash for such fundamental features. An autocratic leader generally defines the contact style as one direction. You say you what you intend to do precisely. You will usually get unplanned input from this sort of chief. You’d just say you where you make a failure. The ineffective communication skills of Steve Jobs had been one of the major downfalls of the leadership style or the leadership process applied by Steve Jobs. This may be recognized as an essential factor that led to the rapid decision-making process formulated by Steve Jobs. In other words, because of the lack of the communication between Steve Jobs and different members or followers in Apple, there had been very limited time for thinking and evaluating different decisions within the organization that would be deployed for solving the different problems (Moss, 2019).

            That decision-making method is generally subjective and aimed at individuals. Now it might not appear like the guy you’d obey. Although Steve Jobs’ autocratic leadership may allow quick decisions to be chosen in the short run, it will take away the opportunity for subordinates to gain expertise and begin to develop their own leadership (does not grow future leaders). The supervisor can not benefit from the mistakes and in fact, the manager disqualifies his employees, resulting in long-term weaker decision-making and profitability. Steve Jobs, at the other side, is an autocratic government, because he centralizes power, and because he has rarely allowed subordinates the opportunity to take decisions. He knows everything he does is correct. He does not have a successful partnership with his staff. He also doesn’t inspire them. Apple was challenged by his arrogant and self-confident personality and the absence of managerial skills. From this perspective, Steve Jobs himself can be recognized as one of the major drawbacks or the challenges that had been facing Apple Corporation, which not only suspended its growth, but also destroying the main pillars of the organization, which are recognized as the followers (Donnet, Daft, & Samson, 2017).

            That also guarantees corporate progress with an autocratic leadership style? No, the easy reaction. A leadership style will never guarantee results, but it can only support and push this cycle to achieve. Autocratic leadership models are becoming less common, but they still operate in certain ways. Entrepreneurial organizations rely on this style particularly in their young and college years. There is no commitment or successful decision-making without it. In bigger organisations, where workers have more authority and a more official atmosphere, it fails. Equality in decision-making as well as engagement is important to the morale of workers and is central to the company’s profitability. The autocratic approach that had been applied by Steve Jobs can be acknowledged as one of the major factors that led to the minimization of the employees’ abilities to maintain highly effective decisions solely within the organization, without the guidance and the directions of the leaders. In other words, followers of Steve Jobs had been showing minimum contribution in the decision making processes and different strategy activities. This had been minimizing their abilities on the long run for the handling of the problems effectively. In other words, in the absence of the leader or Steve Jobs, followers will not be able to handle different problems and critical situations, which would be negatively affecting the survivability of the firm. In other words, The absence of the competences and the capabilities of the followers, as well as the lack of the autonomy or the freedom for the employees to perform their tasks in the way that will be satisfying them the most, would be negatively affecting the satisfaction of the employees and their commitment. This may be assuring that the autocratic leadership would be only attracting the least effective employees and the followers with the worst qualifications and competences (Wibbeke, 2010).

            One of the negative consequences of the autocratic leadership style adopted by Steve Jobs is the inability of the successors to formulate effective and strategy, after passing away of Steve Jobs. In other words, due to the decentralization of the decision-making process, as well as the inability of the followers to identify the main reasons or the factors that had been deployed for the formulation of different strategies and approaches, the entire followers had been recognized to be lacking the basic skills for the sustaining of the operations and activities without guidance starting from the top management to the first line employees  (Donnet, Daft, & Samson, 2017).

            Different approaches could be developed by Steve Jobs, for the maximization of opportunities for the corporation to survive within the toughest situations, which could be including the contribution of in an ongoing training and development processes, which would be enhancing the effectiveness of the employees, which can be depending on the enhancement of the employees involvement within the decision processes, as well as the competences as managers. One of the most effective approaches can be acknowledged as been focusing on the brand name, in which the leader would be encouraging the followers to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of the leader in different situations. However, this process would be implemented, under the supervision of the leader, for the minimization of the probability for the mistakes or the errors that may lead to the negatively affecting the entire organizational strategies and objectives (Scheer, 2009).

            One of the most effective theories for the improvement of the leadership process in any organization is the leader memorability change theory, in which the city had been assuring the need for the improvement of the qualifications and features of the leaders, as well as the followers, as well as ensuring that there would be high match between the leadership style adopted and the situation. In other words, autocratic leadership style can be effective, in specific situations, such as crisis, while other leadership styles, such as the transformational leadership and the charismatic leadership would be effective, based on their ability to enhance the sustainable development inside the organizations, as well as the empowerment of the organizations’ followers to engage in creative activities and empowered them to take leadership decisions. Effective leaders should be adopting high rate of credibility, which would be developed based on the awareness of the employees or the followers about the mutual that will be played by the leaders within the enhancement of their capabilities, which would be perceived to be assuring the focus of the leaders within the enhancement of the benefits and the interests received by the followers. Throughout the high rate of credibility, followers would be concentrating the efforts for the fulfillment of the overall organizational missions and visions, as well as ensuring that they would be contributing effectively within the success of the organization will be maximization of the position of the corporation within international markets (Bien, Jackson, Grint, Collinson, & Bryman, 2011).

            In conclusion, different mistakes had been witnessed by the leadership style adopted in Apple corporation, which can be recognized as a result of the inability of the Steve Jobs to consider the perspectives on the points of view of the different followers and the members of the organization. Based on the mistakenly acknowledgment of Steve Jobs to be the sole decision-maker and the center following the entire strategies and innovative ideas, different problems had been witnessed, which had been leading to the failure off Steve Jobs in front of the toughest competitors within the markets. The worst scenario had been witnessed after the death of Steve Jobs, as there had been massive stumbling blocks witnessed by the new management, as no one had been aware of the strategies or the long-term objectives that had been adopted by Steve Jobs. Finally, it can be stated that the centralized decision-making process and the highly autocratic leadership style can be negatively affecting the leader, himself or herself, which would be resulting from the negative perception or perspectives that would be formulated by the followers, regarding the leader, as well as the reduction of the commitment of the followers to the decisions formulated by the leader, solely. In other words, it can be stated that the followers would be highly committed to the decisions and the strategies, in which they had been contributing, as there would be consideration from the followers that they had been the decision-makers. This does not mean that the leader should be providing the employees with complete autonomy for the formulation of the entire decision-making processes within the organization, instead it is suggested that the employees would be contributing with ideas, opinions, and points of view, within the decision-making process, which may be positively enhancing the effectiveness of the final decision that would be adapted by the entire organization. This is learned from Steve Jobs leadership style, as the autocratic leader would be negatively affecting the organization on the long run, as there would be lack of the positive contributions from the followers within the management of the organization, as well as the inability of the followers to implement their tasks in a highly satisfying way, which would be leading to the failure of the entire leadership process, as well as the minimization of the positive impact that would be witnessed within the organization on the international markets.


Becraft, M. (2016). Steve Jobs: A Biography. ABC-CLIO.

Bien, Jackson, Grint, Collinson, & Bryman. (2011). The SAGE Handbook of Leadership. SAGE.

Donnet, Daft, & Samson. (2017). Management with Student Resource Access 12 Months. Cengage AU.

Kapoor, Hughes, & Pride. (2009). Business. Cengage Learning.

Luce, & Hadden. (1997). Time . Time Incorporated – Volume 150, Issues 1-8 – Page 53.

Moss, G. (2019). Inclusive Leadership. Routledge.

Scheer, S. (2009). The Entrepreneur as Business Leader: Cognitive Leadership in the Firm. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Wibbeke, E. (2010). Global Business Leadership. Routledge.

One thought on “Steve Jobs – the autocratic leader of Apple

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