Level 5 Leadership Communication Essay

Pages: 4 (1362 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Leadership

"Jobs had a fickle commitment construct -- he fell in and out of love with people much too easily" (Kazenbach 2012:2). He was not willing to listen to others and he "missed the potential contribution of many people who were not yet (and perhaps never would be) so-called A players" (Kazenbach 2012:2). But such was his charisma that "many of the people Jobs abandoned along the way retained a grudging respect for his positive qualities -- and a few even came back for more of his particular brand of abuse" (Kazenbach 2012:).

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Jobs was able to cross boundaries as a leader, blending knowledge of human psychology and perception with design -- and fusing it into his sense of technological creativity. Every single product that emerged from Apple had Jobs' recognizable 'stamp' upon it and not simply because of the Apple logo (Kazenbach 2012:3). Towards the end of his life, Jobs was more self-critical of his leadership at Apple and admitted that the company could have been better at partnering with other companies to generate new opportunities for itself in the future. This could have laid the foundation for a more clear succession and direction after Jobs' death. At present, although his successor has presided over an equally successful company in financial terms, it is difficult to see if the succession will be successful, given the extent to which that Apple is still producing items that were given birth to under Jobs' leadership. However, it is hard to call Jobs anything but a successful leader. The market value of Apple's shares grew from $5 billion in 2000 to $351 billion upon Jobs' death, making it one the "biggest publicly listed companies in the U.S., up there with the likes of Exxon Mobil" (McInerney 2011).

Essay on Level 5 Leadership Communication and Assignment

Jobs' success seems to confirm the idea that strong leadership is a critical component of organizational performance. Without Jobs, there would be no Apple, and Apple 'was' Steve Jobs. Of course, not all companies are synonymous to their creator to such a great degree, and Jobs' micromanagement may mean that in the future Apple may not be as successful as it was under his guidance. Only time will tell. But Jobs' ability to use his charisma, intelligence and vision to 'break all the rules' of conventional leadership (such as being sensitive and listening to one's followers) shows that leadership is still a very important ingredient in terms of creating a high-quality organization. Without Jobs, the workers at Apple would have still been very talented engineers but Jobs was able to integrate design, technology and an ethos about how human beings should relate to technology in a very unusual and specific way.

While Steve Jobs is an inspiring success story, his model of leadership is not necessarily one which would be advisable to follow for most CEOs. Furthermore, it remains unlikely whether Jobs fulfills the requirements of being a 'Level 5 leader' given his determination to 'go it alone' and not allow for the input of others. However, as difficult as Jobs was, his example shows that when a leader is truly focused on product quality rather than upon bolstering an unjustified and over-inflated ego, his followers are willing to forgive him many excesses, in terms of his behavior.

Jobs had clear goals, and he was able to communicate those goals to the public and to Apple's employees, even though his vision was radical and challenging at times. This type of clarity is essential to good communication, and is something that all aspiring leaders must hone. Leaders and managers must always ask themselves: what is the purpose of this action? Why is it so critical that I am asking others to do this? If a leader does not have a clear intention, it is difficult for his or her followers to feel the same.


Collins, Jim. (2005). Level 5 leadership. The Best of the Harvard Business Review 2001, 1-10.

Kazenbach, Jon. (2012). The Steve Jobs way. Strategy-Business, 67. Retrieved:


McInerney,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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