Steve Jobs

Published: 2021-06-29 07:12:02
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Category: Technology

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Power and PoliticsTypes of Power: How has Jobs done it? Jobs draws on all six types of power. His vision and sheer force of will helped him succeed as a young unknown. But the same determination that helps him succeed has a darker side—an autocracy and drive for perfection that can make him tyrannical. Let’s take each of these in turn.Legitimate power. As CEO of Apple, Jobs enjoys unquestioned legitimate power.Expert power. His success has built a tremendous amount of expert power. Jobs is renowned for being able to think of markets and products for needs that people didn’t even know they had.Reward power. As one of the richest individuals in the United States, Jobs has reward power both within and outside Apple. He also can reward individuals with his time and attention.Information power. Jobs has been able to leverage information in each industry he has transformed.Coercive power. Forcefulness is helpful when tackling large, intractable problems, says Stanford social psychologist Roderick Kramer, who calls Jobs one of the “great intimidators.” Robert Sutton notes that “the degree to which people in Silicon Valley are afraid of Jobs is unbelievable.” Jobs is known to berate people to the point of tears.Referent power. But at the same time, “He inspires astounding effort and creativity from his people.” Employee Andy Herzfeld, the lead designer of the original Mac operating system, says Jobs imbues employees with a “messianic zeal” and can make them feel that they’re working on the greatest product in the world.Jobs’s ability to persuade and influence has come to be called a “reality distortion field.” As Bud Tribble put it, “In his presence, reality is malleable. He can convince anyone of practically anything.” Jobs’s power is not infallible—he was ousted from his own company in 1987 by the man he hired to help him run it. But he returned in 1997 and brought the company back from the brink of failure. Power can result from sheer drive, persistence, resilience, and the ability to tolerate conflict. Power can come through the projection of an image of strength that may not yet be the reality. Jobs’ ability to create a sense of inevitability about Apple’s products is legendary. Even those who accuse him of having a “reality distortion field” manage to find themselves talking about his devices. Influence tactics: The lesson recognizes those influence tactics by leaders as rational persuasion, inspirational and personal appeals, consultation, ingratiation, exchange, coalition tactics, pressure tactics, and legitimizing tactics. Although many of these tactics will fit Steve Job’s profile, his inspirational appeal stands out as his best tactic along with his socialized power. It focus on values, emotions, and beliefs to gain support for a request or course of action. “Stay hungry, stay foolish” (Steve Jobs) is a good example of this tactic. Inspirational appeals are effective when they are authentic, personal, big-thinking, and enthusiastic.

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