Leadership Comparison and Critique Essay

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Leader Comparison and Critique: Steve Jobs & Indra Nooyi

Lauren Murphy
GBA 500
Centenary College

In 1978, J.M. Burns defined successful leaders as being transformational rather than transactional. Burns described the transformational leader as having recognized the organization as a complex system in a chaotic environment. The leader has also responded to complexity by being aware of change. The transformational leader has established a shared vision and inspired the organization to learn and evolve in response to change. Transformational leaders have driven radical change, trading short-term stability for long-term survival. In 2007, Kouzes and Posner refined Burn’s work by breaking down the transformational leader’s
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“Leaders demonstrate their intense commitment to the values they espouse by setting an example. It’s how they earn and sustain credibility over time. Setting the Example is all about execution and action. It’s all about doing what you say. Leaders who are seen as practicing what they preach are more effective than those leaders who don’t.” (Kouzes & Posner, 94) As successful as Steve Jobs appears to be, there are some leadership qualities that need to be improved. One such behavior would be “model the way” (Kouzes & Posner, 45) Steve Jobs has not established principles concerning the way people should be treated, nor does Jobs create standards of excellence as a leadership example for others to follow. In fact, this leader has been known to “scream at employees to the point of hyperventilation.” (Pomiewozik, 2000) This leader has also been guilty of failing to follow through on promises and commitments. As an employer, Jobs was obligated to compensate employees for work as agreed upon in the job contract. That obligation to compensate employees was not followed through when Jobs fired a P.R. consultant and refused to pay the employee for completed work. (Pomiewozik, 2000) The demeaning attitude of this leader should not serve as an example for employees. On one occasion Steve Jobs played a cruel joke on an employee by pretending to offer the employee a position as Apple C.E.O. (Pomiewozik, 2000) “Values are empowering….Values motivate.” (Kouzes & Posner,
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