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The assignment mainly is associated with the various leadership attributes that a current leader is following. In that respect, the present leader of Apple Inc. has been taken into consideration. Tim Cook is the present CEO of the organisation and he is following a democratic style of leadership. This has brought certain changes in the company that has given rise to certain uncalled situations. The present scenario is depicting an adverse outlook. The company’s growth has come to a halt in North America. There has been a downfall of stocks by 7%. In future, the technology cost will be coming down. Apple, for trying to maintain its high margin of profit in respect of stock price is not having any discount phone play. Even though, Apple believes that the best gadgets are always winning but in reality the world might be moving towards the scenario of an affinity towards cheap-good-enough gadgets and this is a vital point the company is missing out on. The company has stumbled when it comes to the strategic aspect related with pricing. Therefore, the various leadership attributes are being considered in respect of a leader for the organisation and ways to improve the situation has also been discussed that will bring the organisation out of the present crisis scenario.
This assignment delves with the aspect of doing an evaluation of leadership of a 21st century leader in respect of a business, government or not-for-profit organisation. A leader is selected from a particular organisation. In this regard, the CEO of Apple Inc. has been considered and critical evaluation as well as study of the leadership of the leader is being done.
Write a report evaluating the leadership of a 21st century leader of an (business, government or not-for-profit) organisation.
The organisation that is being considered in this respect is Apple Inc. The leader who is being taken into consideration here is the CEO of the organisation, Tim Cook.
Clear description of the leader, the organisation and context
Tim Cook is the present CEO of Apple. He was promoted to the rank of Chief Executive on 24th August, 2011. In his term as the CEO he assisted in advocating the political restructuring of global as well as local surveillance, cyber-security, corporate taxation both internationally and nationally, American manufacturing as well as preservation of the environment. He is the man behind the most expensive organisation in the world that is having a brand value of 145.3 billion dollars. Apple’s best to date was the financial year 2015 that was boosted by huge sales of the iPhone 6 and 6s, of which the organization asserts to have sold 48 million in the 4th quarter. (Payne, 2012)
Tim Cook follows certain unique ways of leadership. When there occurred insensitive condemnation regarding the standards of Apple’s international staffs, Cook believing that transparency will be the answer, opened the doors and invited the world to see in what ways did the functioning of Apple really took place. Through this, he did the creation of goodwill for the organisation as well as setting standards in respect of other manufacturers. He also believes in the concept of leadership diversity which he considers to have huge significance. Tim Cooks believes that having a plurality of backgrounds between the staffs can in fact assist in the organisational profitability. The idea behind this viewpoint is that individuals are bringing huge number of varied experiences to the workplace, and organisations that are able to able to do the harnessing of major quantity of creative experiences will be more inventive in their business approach. This fact is very explicitly recognized by Cook and diversity plays a pivotal role in his philosophy for management. (Harrell, 2011)
Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology organisation that is designing, developing and selling consumer electronics, computer software as well as online services. The hardware products of the organisation are iPhone Smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, and so on. The consumer software for the organisation takes into consideration the OSX as well as iOS operating systems and so on. The company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne on 1st April, 1976 with the sole purpose of developing and selling personal computers. For reflecting its shift in focus toward consumer electronics, the company was renamed as Apple Inc. on 9th January, 2007. The company is considered to be the largest information technology company in the world in regard of profits as well as the largest technology company in the world in respect of total assets. It is also considered to be the second largest manufacturer of mobile phone in the world. (Kotler, 2014)
The strategic options that are being utilized by Apple Inc. most often in respect of international development of the market takes into consideration foreign outsourcing as well as importing and exporting. Apple Inc. is conducting its foreign operations in the US, Europe, Japan as well as Asia Pacific. Apple relied mostly on foreign outsourcing for launching the iPod. The major competitors of the organisation are Dell, Microsoft as well as Hewitt Packard. Apple Inc. has received huge success towards popularising their brand and is considered internationally as a premier organisation that is offering outstanding products and received success to provide a significant amount of value as well as satisfaction towards the customers. The company might experience socio-cultural differentiations when communicating with international markets particularly in the countries on which they are concentrating. Apple Inc. is seeking to attract its target market with the help of public relation events that are considered bold and also advertising imagery that does the borrowing from contemporary modern art. In recent years, the organisation did the expansion of its channels of distribution that includes the addition of WalMart. With the help of corporate emphasis on customer service, the organisation is converting its new customers as well as securing their loyalty. A differentiation business strategy is being used by the organisation, the meaning of which is that each and every staff as well as department is functioning collectively in creating products and as because the staff are functioning collectively the products of the company are considered to be very effective. (Furnham, 2012)
Despite all these, the current scenario is showcasing a different picture altogether. The company’s growth has stopped in North America. There has been a downfall of stocks by 7%. Negative reports are being written by the analysts to their investors. In due course of time, the technology cost will be coming down. Apple, for trying to maintain its high margin of profit in respect of stock price is not having any discount phone play. Even though, Apple believes that the best gadgets are always winning but in reality the world might be moving towards the scenario of an affinity towards cheap-good-enough gadgets and this is a vital point the company is missing out on. (Lussier, 2011) The company has stumbled when it comes to the strategic aspect related with pricing. Another important area of crisis for the company is that it is not being able to do the retention of talent.
Evaluation of the leader
The leadership style that is being followed by Tim Cook is democratic leadership. The role of the CEO’s hands-on participation towards the development of the products for Apple has reduced significantly from the time Cook took control in 2011. He chose to have less involvement in the product’s engineering details and in its place delegating those duties to the executive cabinet members.
Tim Cook followed this leadership style by taking into consideration the below mentioned aspects,
Seeking first to understand – First and foremost, Tim Cooks tries to understand another individual.
Putting first things first – For achieving results quickly, Cook is giving an all-out effort. He is prioritizing his tasks in an efficient manner.
Being proactive – At the time, when a crisis situation was reported to Cook in respect of one of the suppliers of Apple in China, he immediately analysed that there should be someone in China for taking control of the situation and someone was sent off immediately. This shows that Cook chooses to do the fixing of the situation in a very quick manner rather than allowing it to slip.
Avoiding analysis paralysis – Even though, Cook is having a very effective analytical skill, at times he was relying on gut feeling or intuition particularly when there occurs a complex situation and choices good be equally better or worse.
Being honest and learning from mistakes – At the time, when Apple Map failed to meet the expectation of the customers, Tim Cook asked for an apology in respect of the mistake and did the recruitment of various GIS specialists for improving the app. (Freeman, 2010)
The leadership power that Tim Cook is following can be considered as legitimate. The legitimate power comes from possessing a position of organisational power that is mainly done by a boss or a significant member of a team of leadership. This power takes place at the time when organisational staffs are recognizing Tim Cook’s authority. For instance, Tim Cook, being the CEO of Apple Inc. will be determining the complete organisational direction as well as the resources that are required by the organisation.
The leadership attitude that is followed by Tim Cook is emphasizing on the scope of selling to enterprises, trumpeting philanthropy as well as encouraging employee giving and sharing the glare of publicity with the senior-most executives. His leadership attitude mainly constitutes of the five essential attributes of positivity, purpose, empathy and compassion, humility as well as love. (Lancaster, 2010)
The leadership traits that are being followed by Tim Cook are as under,
Inspiring action – Tim Cook is trying to paint an image of the future for inspiring the staffs to take actions for getting there. He also tries to clear away the organisational impediments that are constraining the natural creativity as well as endeavours of the staffs that will as a result, unleash a huge amount of energy.
Being optimistic – Tim Cook is always trying to search for the positive characteristics in the staffs, supporting them in overcoming their individual feelings regarding self-doubt and also tries to spread optimism throughout the company.
Having integrity – As the staffs of an organisation wants the leaders to have integrity, therefore, Tim Cook leaves no stone unturned for showcasing the qualities of integrity by being honest, reasonable, truthful as well as straightforward and treating all the staffs in the same manner that he himself would want to get treated. (Fernando, 2011)
Supporting and facilitating the team – In respect of the staffs to give their optimum, they require an organisational environment that is supporting them by making it safe for taking risks, telling the truth and speaking up without the fear of receiving punishment for doing such a thing. Tim Cook exactly does this by supporting the staffs through the creation of this type of environment as well as facilitating their growth in respect of the actualisation of the goals of the organisation.
Having confidence – Leaders that are highly efficient such as Tim Cook, have a strong understanding that they along with their team are having the potentiality for accomplishing anything they are setting their minds to. For them failure is not considered to be an alternative. The confidence of the leader will definitely reflect upon the staffs who are working under him.
Having communication – For any company including Apple Inc., knowledge is having control and great leaders such as Tim Cook are ensuring that all the staffs that are working for Apple Inc., from the senior-most level to the junior level is given overall and updated information in respect of the goals of the company, performances, accomplishments as well as collapses. For achieving this connection level, Tim Cook should be providing abundant channels in respect of two-way communication amongst the staffs as well as managers, doing active solicitation of their ideas to improve as well as reward staffs to submit them. (Payne, 2012)
Being decisive – A major trait of a leader is making decisions. Highly efficient leaders such as Tim Cook are always ready to take tough decisions when the scenario is requiring it. When he is having every information that he requires for making a knowledgeable decision, then without hesitating he is making it.
The leadership behaviours that Tim Cook is having are mentioned as under,
Embodying the organisational vision – The vision statement of an organisation is doing more than just informing. Personifying this vision is the means for having an engagement with the staffs. Therefore, Tim Cook is leading by example and serving as a steady reminder of what the organisation is functioning toward and in what ways it can be actualised.
Getting involved in the organisational culture – A leader who is always present and setting aside time for getting involved with different organisational cultures is a leader who is inspiring as well as engaging the staffs. Tim Cook is considered to be one of them. This assists in creating a workforce that is more connected as well as stimulated. It also assists the leaders in further embodying the organisational visions as well as values.
Using transparency for inspiring – Staffs wants to know and have an understanding of what is happening in the company so that they channelize their own objectives related with work consequently. Tim Cook assists in allowing the staffs to find out clearly the role which they will be playing in the overall success of the organisation, which in turn assists in creating an improved sense of possession. (Clay, 2013)
Ways to lead differently as a leader
In respect of the situation that has been discussed earlier, certain ways can be followed for leading differently as a leader that are mentioned as under,
Apple is recommended for moving from power culture to task culture – The previously prevailing power culture in the organisation needs to get discarded since it is having certain flaws. In its place, task culture can get implemented that can be considered to be the best choice in respect of Apple since this kind of cultural aspect is offering the beneficial aspect of a higher standard of freedom as well as staff flexibility, making decisions with an increasing level of speed, as well as creating scope in respect of staff creativity as well as improvement.
The new leader should be playing an essential role in promoting a task culture – Since, the leader of a company is playing an active role in determining the company culture in different manners. As a new leader, a proactive approach should be adopted for the promotion of task culture in the organisation by the communication of appropriate values in respect of different stakeholders in the company in an effective way.
There should be the preservation of innovativeness and creative cultural aspect at Apple at all costs – There is a significance in understanding that innovativeness as well as creativity are serving as the mainstay of business strategy in respect of Apple in the earlier times and these significant components regarding the corporate culture of Apple should be maintained in the later period as well. (Frydman, 2013)
Therefore, these aforementioned leadership ways should be followed by a new leader who is put in the similar circumstance so that positive outcomes can be found out.
This case study is delving with the aspect of leadership that is showcasing a clear explanation of the leader, the company as well as a situation associated with it. An assessment of the leader is done by referring to the aspects of leadership styles, leadership behaviour, leadership traits, leadership attitudes as well as leadership power. Also, a discussion is done to find out in what ways the situation can be dealt with in a different manner for making a stronger influence on the staffs of the company as well as the situation in hand.
Clay, M. (2013). Sales Strategies for Business Growth. Thorogood Publishing
Fernando, A (2011). Business Environment. Pearson Education India.
Freeman, R (2010). Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art. Cambridge University Press.
Frydman, R (2013). Rethinking Expectations: The Way forward for Macroeconomics. Princeton University Press.
Furnham, A (2012). The Psychology of Behaviour at Work: The Individual in the Organization. Psychology Press
Harrell D., G. (2011). Marketing Management. Simon and Schuster Pub.
Kotler., P and Keller L., K. (2014). Marketing Management: Global Edition. Pearson education.
Lancaster., G and Massingham., L. (2010). Essentials of Marketing management. Routledge.
Lussier, R (2011). Management Fundamentals: Concepts, Applications, Skill Development. CENGAGE Learning
Payne, A. (2012). Marketing Plan for Services. Routledge.