Transformational Leadership


TransformationalLeadership and Paradox Thinking Apple Inc.

Oneof the organizations that have been able to use transformationalleadership and paradox thinking in its operations has been Apple Inc.Apple Inc is of the largest and most innovative companies in theworld of technology. It has been able to outsmart its competitorssuch as Samsung and Nokia due to its sound management and leadership.However, it would be futile to talk about the successful leadershipstrategies in apple without mentioning the former CEO and founder,Steve Jobs. Steve Job’s personality and leadership qualities arewhat have made Apple Inc a world class technology company. Hisleadership skills differ significantly from those of other businessleaders of his time. Although his leadership skills have beencriticized, he is considered to be one of the most successfulbusiness leaders in modern times. To achieve the organization goalsand objectives, Steve Jobs created an organization which is foundedon paradox thinking and transformational leadership (Gillam, 2012).

Thereare four main characters that make Steve Jobs an idealtransformational leader. They include “inspirational motivation,idealized influence, individualized consideration and intellectualstimulation”. A transformational leader is a leader who is able tostimulate his subordinates intellectually. This enables individual tothink critically and differently, make suggestions and initiatepositive changes in the organization. A transformational leader isalso charismatic and inspiriting with energetic presence, enthusiasmand excellent communication skills. An important aspect oftransformational leaders is their ability to give individualsattention and provide them with assistance towards personaldevelopment. Organizations that have adopted transformationalleadership through their top management derive several benefits fromit. Through their eloquent communication skills and enthusiasm,transformational leaders are able to initiate changes inorganizations by winning over key people. These leaders are also ableto promote a common organization vision through motivation andinspiration. Due to his ability to apply this leadership style, SteveJob was able to create one of the largest wireless phone andComputers Company in the world (Koontz and Weihrich, 2006).

Thereare evidences of Steve Jobs transformational leadership in Apple Inc.For example, when Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO and John Sculleytook over due to the demand for professionalism in the increasinglycompetitive market, the company was faced with numerous problemswhich necessitated the reappointment of Steve Jobs as the CEO. Afterthe reinstatement, Steve Jobs was able to transform the culture ofthe organization and create an atmosphere of success. This is animportant characteristic of a transformational leadership. Accordingto Steve Jobs, the success of an organization is as a result of goodleadership. Through his leadership, Apple Inc. has been able producesome of the best technological gargets in the world. Throughtransformational leadership, Apple Inc. has invested enormousresources in the development of individual performance among itsworkers and creating a perfect corporate culture. To reach it longterm goals in mobile telephony and personal computing, stimulatingintellectual development and motivation of all its employment is veryessential. Therefore, despite the untimely demise of Steve Jobs,Apple Inc. need to continue investing in its human capital. Althoughgetting a replacement of Steve Jobs at the helm of the organizationis not easy, there are important lessons that the current managementcan learn from Jobs leadership (Gillam, 2012).

Paradoxis one of the cornerstones of success in the modern businessenvironment. It involves approaching a problem from a differentperspective with an aim of obtaining the most suitable solution. Themodern business environment is very dynamic and challenging. However,some organizations such as Apple Inc. have been able to succeedthrough paradox thinking. One of the application areas where paradoxthinking has been successfully applied in apple Inc has been how theorganization deals with government regulations and relatedconstrains. Due to the nature of technology development industry,there are numerous government regulations. To cushion its keybusiness from these distractions, Apple Inc. employs a strategy wheregovernment regulations and patent related issues are handled behindthe scenes. This internal policy gives their engineers some sense offreedom and technological empowerment (Linzmayer, 2011). Apple also very careful when entering into business partnerships andagreements with other organization. While some organizations areexcited about new business deals and partnership, Apple Inc. willalways seek to have a say in business partnerships. Despite being atechnology company, Apple Inc. is not exited about very advancedtechnologies which are not likely to suit their customers. Thecompany is unlikely to jump into an advanced technology which willupset the consumers and affect their brand loyalty (Gillam, 2012). Itis important to note that there are several unexploited potentials inApple Inc. Through paradox thinking and sound management, theorganization can tap in some of these potentials. For example,Microsoft may have some of the solutions required by Apple Inc. Apartnership between the two companies may result into immensesuccess. Additionally, with the increased competition, more strategicthinking is required to aid the continuous success in Apple Inc.


Gillam,S. (2012) SteveJobs : Apple icon,Minneapolic, MN : ABDO Pub. Co.

Koontz,H., &amp Weihrich, H. (2006). Essentialsof Management(7thEd). Tata McGraw

Linzmayer,O. W. (2011). Appleconfidential 2.0. The definitive history of the world’s mostcolorful company (2ndEd). No Starch Press