Kevin Pashuk en Directors and Executives, IT - Information Technology, beBee in English AVP - Information Technology • Sheridan Polytechnic University 11/1/2017 · 2 min de lectura · 2,3K

Why you shouldn't lead like Steve Jobs did.

Why you shouldn't lead like Steve Jobs did.

There has been much written and said about the life and contribution of Steve Jobs.

The magical little iPhone was introduced 10 years ago, and many say it 'put a dent in the universe' (a famous Jobian quote). At the very least, the personal smart phone has forever changed society as we know it.

The anniversary has created a resurgence of articles and posts about the visionary leadership of Mr. Jobs. 

There is no doubt that he was a remarkable person and that he led the charge to redefine how everyday people interact with technology. He saw things that didn't exist and drove them to reality.

He was a great example of how intense fervor, focus and attention to detail can achieve phenomenal results.

There is a lot to admire about the man.

But should we seek to emulate him?

Steve Jobs' leadership style is well known.

It would serve no useful purpose to highlight it in detail, but let's just say that it flew in the face of much of the excellent material on Leadership available today from authors such as Patrick Lencioni, John Maxwell, Marcus Buckingham, Jim Collins and a host of others.

So who is right?

Both. Depending on the results you want to achieve. 

Steve Jobs was a "driver".  He pushed, cajoled, and micromanaged every detail of each new product in an industry where creating magic was necessary to keep ahead of the hoards who were working just as hard to catch up, if not overtake Apple.  To make it more interesting, the 'magic' infused in every product quickly faded as user expectations demanded the next big thing. 

It is not an easy industry to be in.  Steve's passion, innovation and intensity allowed him to turn Apple into a world leader.

But being on top in this space is a fleeting achievement.

The battle never stops.

It is measured by the results of the next quarter. And the one after that, and the one after that.

I would suggest that for the majority of us in leadership, "driving" is not the style of leadership we need to be successful.

Steve could drive others to follow his vision because Apple was his company.  He was the CEO and had both position and authority to be involved in every detail of Apple, no matter how small. He could make up the rules as he went.

Not many of us are in that position.

Not many of us are in an industry that lives or dies by current quarter results.

Instead, we need to take a longer term view of building our organization and look beyond the short term results.

We need to cast the vision, and draw people along.

From out in front instead of pushing them from behind.

Instead of "driving"people to achieve our objectives, we are "drawing" people along to achieve their best results.

We are building people and relationships, not just products.

We are building a legacy.

We are making a lasting difference.

We are creating long lasting value in our organizations, and the people we interact with.

So where do you start?

I've mentioned a few authors who have excellent material on this type of leadership.  John Maxwell's book - The Five Levels of Leadership is an excellent place to start.

There is much we can learn from the genius of Mr. Jobs.  He was a master presenter and I've adjusted much of my presentation style to adapt to his elegant simplicity. 

But I am not going to take on his leadership style with my team.

How about you?  What style of leadership works for you?


Note: A version of this post was previously published on my blog.

About the Author:

I’m the Chief Information Officer for Appleby College, in Oakville, Ontario Canada, where my team is transforming the delivery of education through innovative application of technology. I'm also a beBee Brand Ambassador.

I'm convinced that IT leadership needs to dramatically change how IT is delivered rather than being relegated to a costly overhead department.

In addition to transforming IT in my role as CIO, I look for every opportunity to talk about this... writing, speaking and now blogging on BeBee ( , LinkedIn, ITWorld Canada, or at

I also shoot things... with my camera. Check out my photostream at 

Kevin Pashuk 12/1/2017 · #16

#15 Thanks Zacharias for the kind words.


Another very insightful and applicable post by Kevin. I wouldn't adopt that style either. Thank you for bringing more value to this already valuable forum that is bebee.

+1 +1
Mohammed Sultan 12/1/2017 · #14

#11 Nowadays,The leader's style most needed is the entrepreneurial one .The leader who is able to integrate his entrepreneurial approach with the discipline,focus and team-work of an agile innovative company.In my opinion,@ Javier beBee is well matching these criteria.

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Kevin Pashuk 12/1/2017 · #13

#9 I fully agree KK.

Kevin Pashuk 12/1/2017 · #12

#8 Thanks Jim. I like Peter's style, especially when working with a bunch of creative types. Steve was indeed a visionary, but I think I would not have thrived (or survived) on his team.

Kevin Pashuk 12/1/2017 · #11

#7 Thanks Mohammed. Steve Jobs was a unique person, which is part of the point of this post. The real question is, "Is his leadership style appropriate for the teams we lead?" My experience is that it is not... but then, I'm not trying to break into the retail consumer device market.

+1 +1
Mohammed Sultan 12/1/2017 · #10

The reason why S.Jobs achieved unprecedented success is that he was moved by his core interests to reinvent the not invented.The thing we promote here on beBee platform.He reinvented the future of Apple by embracing some of the same virtues that gave the company life in 1980's .His entrepreneurial spirit made him look at his work not as a career,but as deep interests and thought about how to express them and connect them with core business functions -not the traditional functions of sales,finance ,marketing..etc but the basic activities that enabled him to integrate the creativity and rigorous analytic of the people in these function and created an innovative context for them to work effectively.At each time he was deeply engaged in a systematic way with this innovation process,he looked at his people -not as people in careers but as people on call.

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KK Aw 12/1/2017 · #9

Steve Jobs wanted an A-team. In fact, he needed one to do what he did. The rest of us are not in the same boat so we do not need to emulate him.

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