Wednesday, October 5, 2011

STEVE JOBS (1955 – 2011): Creating a New World at Apple after a Legend?

Keywords or Terms: Obituary; Steve Jobs; Apple; Strategic Leadership; iMac; iPad; iPad2; iPod, iphone; iPhone4; Macbook air; iTune; and, more

As the dust settles over the news of the demise of one of the most influential CEOs in Silicon Valley and probably the best genius and resourceful inventor since Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the topmost question on everyone’s mind at Apple is: how are we going to replace our charismatic and visionary leader? Steve Jobs changed the way so many of us live right now and probably led a tight shift at Apple that resulted in over 300 patents, iMac; iPad; iPad2; iPod, iPhone; iPhone4; Macbook air; iTune music store and more. Like Steve Jobs once said, death is probably the greatest invention of nature, because it ensures renewal, renewal of life and beginning anew of a future that is yet unknown, but one that is out there to be found by a persistent and creative mind. The compelling message of the man, who believes that the world made it easier for Apple to create a better technology experience for everyone, simply would be: All will be well at Apple, even after me! 

The urgency to look at who is to step into the shoes of an innovative and creative mind, especially when that individual is synonymous with the organization and products churned out from its mill, is very evident. Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO probably will tell you that Steve’s shoes cannot be filled; but, will also like to reassure investors that he is up to the task. It is believed that executives at Apple were already preparing for this day since their boss stepped down as Apple’s CEO around a month ago because of health issues. However, nothing can really prepare them to replace the man, who has made a difference in their organization’s bottom line, impacted close to every employee’s way of life, changed the way people receive and use information technologies, impacted lives across the world and probably, set the pace for what products those unborn, would buy in the future. Steve excited so many of us that a few techies are asking: can we really clone a result oriented leader, who always came back, again and again? He made profound impact in the world of computer and information technologies that are now being translated to other consumer goods; that is what it takes to be a genius! Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-founder, was short for words when being interviewed on CNN today, said he hopes Apple would have a great leader and innovative leadership after his great and beloved friend, who made many people happy.

The inventions and products Steve Jobs brought us have made life a lot better for many. The results of his leadership and innovation are ubiquitous and made life much flexible both at home and in the business world. For his family, if this will be a consolation, the world is ever grateful for the work of your husband, father, friend, uncle and confidant. Not only did your shinning star made information sharing much fun, he showed the market and world, what greater things are possible if we only put our heart into something. Now, how does Apple transition from the operation of a man who made the right decisions that has transformed computer and information technology? The extraordinary beauty of the products he brought is undoubtedly, revolutionary. Between a lap top and a phone, the ipad, that allow us to have the best browsing experience and bring amazingly smiles to all faces with a torch, is an innovation that can be topped; however, who is going to bring that product to the market after Steve Jobs?

Traditionally, when an out-going CEO is about to exit, there is an advertisement for a replacement, there is an interview and an appointment. Vuala, you have him replaced! But in a high energy, inventive and creative environment, where the last CEO has often striven to bring to market, products yet unthought-of by consumers, products that revolutionaries lifestyles and living, products that says, only Apple and Steve Jobs could have thought of that, there comes a challenge. Executives with a combination of relentless communication and innovative leadership practically and often up the stake. That is why the death of Steve Jobs is not only a loss to Apple, it is also a loss to every members of the computer and information technology industry, who have thought of bringing to market, the next great product that consumers love to have and willing to open their wallet for. Steve challenged not only the workers at Apple, he also challenged others in the information and computer industry to do better; and there lies the challenge!

Throughout the challenging times of Steve Jobs later life, Tim Cook was probably being groomed to step into Steve’s shoe. When he stepped down about a month ago, he probably anticipates that Tim will match his creative leadership; and where there was need to shore the slack, Steve was still going to remain as the Chairman of the Board. However, with the event of nature, will CEO Cook, match the creativity, innovation and genius of CEO Jobs? Time will tell. The leverage to the expectation of everyone at Apple may probably be found in the number of product lines in Apple’s pipeline, which Steve Jobs had been part of, before his deteriorating health. Those products represent the power of his genius and the persistence of a revolutionary leader, who saw that he probably would not be here for very long, but prepared capable men and women to challenge themselves to make products that are representative of his genius and leadership.

By rethinking what’s next after the inevitable, Apple’s Chairman, Steve Jobs, would have provided a blue-print of what to expect or what must now be, with his absence. Organizations with tremendous success like Apple sometimes disintegrate or stumble after a charismatic and great leader exits. Apple may or may not suffer this misfortune; however, to avoid the huge gap left from the absence of Steve Jobs, Apple’s executives under their new leadership, must be able to continue to expand the product lines and do just as great a job of communicating the products benefits to the consumer just the way the former Chairman did, when he was with the company. In tough times, when the visionary in a company exits, the company does not have to suffer too much hemorrhaging, if the new leadership endeavors to adhere to the ideals of their former proven and active leader.

Strategic leadership synonymous of the style of Chairman Steve Jobs worked well for the company. Tim Cook may or may not adhere to this leadership style; however, he must be true to the ideals of their former leader that has proven to be result-oriented for the company. Each Apple employee must consider their former boss’s ideal and work to maintain this ideal or create awareness among employees and newer ones in the future, for Apple to remain a global leader in information and computer technology. Over the years, Apple executive suite may have learned one thing or two from Steve Jobs which has made their company a global leader in the industry. Those ideals are still relevant, even in the absence of their visionary inventor and leader.


To a great friend, who has been gracious to spend the better part of the fifty-six years with the world through his inventions and creation, God’s speed!

To his wife and children, let it not be said, that the light dimmed when the great genius exited.

In life, Steve was a great leader and worthy inventor;

In life, Steve brought smiles and warmth to the face of many who sought the iPod; iMac; iPad; iPad2; iPod, iPhone; iPhone4; Macbook air;

In Death, Steve is forever remembered for all the smiles and excitement he brought to the consumer.

May his life and light never dim;

May his loss for your family never be too sorrowful that you may not bear the weight at this time;

May the Good Lord give him eternal rest, Amen.
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