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Entrepreneurial

leadership

and

culture

foundations of entrepreneurial organisation.

by: Alladin Mohammud Yaseen

are

the

Abstract
This paper examines the salient features of Entrepreneurial leadership and culture that
shape up company Apple inc. Steve Jobs is credited with restoring the entrepreneurial
culture at Apple. He did it largely through leadership and exhibiting creativity himself.
There is little doubt that he expects people working for Apple to create innovative
products. Apple first restored innovation by developing creative new designs for the
PC. However. Jobs has gone beyond computers and has developed new product lines
that he sees as the future of Apple. The components of Job leadership, the
entrepreneurial team, the salient traits that shaped up apple and the entrepreneurial
traits will be discussed in the first section. The second section will cover
entrepreneurial culture, apple start up culture and the three entrepreneurial culture that
shape up apple.

Disclaimer and Copyright

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or


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Entrepreneurial Leadership............................................................................................ 4
Components of JOBs Leadership ................................................................................. 4
1. Vision .................................................................................................................. 4
2. Passion ................................................................................................................ 5
3. Innovation ........................................................................................................... 5
4. Motivation........................................................................................................... 5
Building an Entrepreneurial Team ................................................................................. 5
Salient leadership traits that shaped up Apple ............................................................... 6
Focus ....................................................................................................................... 6
Simplify................................................................................................................... 6
When Behind, Leapfrog.......................................................................................... 6
Push for Perfection.................................................................................................. 6
Tolerate Only A Players ...................................................................................... 6
Engage Face-to-Face............................................................................................... 6
Know both the big picture and the details .............................................................. 6
The 4 entrepreneurial trait in relation to Apple leadership ............................................ 7
Locus of Control ..................................................................................................... 7
Need for achievement ............................................................................................. 7
Need for autonomy ................................................................................................. 7
Risk taking .............................................................................................................. 7
Entrepreneurial culture............................................................................................ 9
Apple's Startup Culture ........................................................................................... 9
Three entrepreneurial culture that shape up Apple ...................................................... 11
1. Entrepreneurial culture of excellence ............................................................... 11
2. Entrepreneurial Culture of Secrecy................................................................... 11
3. Entrepreneurial Culture of Innovation .............................................................. 12
Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 12
Reference ..................................................................................................................... 13

Entrepreneurial Leadership
Entrepreneurial leadership are team players who are involved emotionally in a venture
and provide inspiration necessary for sustained momentum. They thing strategically
to create opportunity and resolve conceptual long term problem. Apple is
characterised as a design driven organisation in which decisions were arbitrated by
Steve Jobs with his sense of simple aesthetic and design. Jobs emerges as a short
tempered authoritarian dictator ruthlessly pushing, even bullying staff to complete
assigned tasks. He is described as a visionary risk taker with a burning desire to
change the world . This is semblabe to a charismatic leader willing to do whatever it
takes to win and who do whatever it takes to win and who couldnt give a fig about
being liked. The leadership style of Apple is highly represented by Job which is highly
regarded for his innovative, creative and marketing strategies. This style is semblabe
to transformational leader which is characterised by the transformation of organisation,
creativity and innovation with the purpose to engender commitment. However his
leadership style is beyond text book and unable to comprehend.
Components of JOBs Leadership
1. Vision
A vision is an idealisation of a desired future state. It is this ability of Steve Jobs to
hold completely disparate ideas and values in his mind at the same time, synthesize
and then act upon them, that is one of the keys to his genius. He is temperamental,
irrationally demanding, and he had no empathy for anyone. Steve Jobs, in the early
days of Apple Computer was a major Entrepreneurial Leader in spite of the fact that
nobody wanted to work for him because everyone acknowledged that his vision for
the company was compelling and he was working brilliantly and brazenly towards
that vision. He was viewed as critical to fulfilling the Apple vision.

2. Passion
Jobs wasnt passionate about computer hardware but rather about building tools that
would help people unleash their personal creativity congruent with Apples missions.
This trait is also found in successful entrepreneurs who are passionate about what
their products or services mean to the lives of their customers in a view to changing
the world for a better future.
3. Innovation
Steve job believes that the cure for apple during its downfall was not cost cutting but
to innovate. A specific vision toward innovation was set in motion by hiring the best
fit people and keeping them aligned and inspired toward that objective. For instance
when other smart phone makers was adding features and buttons, the iphone would
remove them, making it simpler, cleaner, and user-friendly.
4. Motivation
At Apple any universal concept of motivation might not work, because of how apple
justifies its reward system with a do or die culture. The Herzberg theory does not
justify the working condition of staff who work for long hours to get the job done.
Neither does the secrecy atmosphere that bring about individual motivation or fear of
punishment has whoever fail to comply to the culture is noticeably punished. The
reward scheme in apple for those that come up with innovative technology like iphone,
mac ipad could result in esteem of individual while the punishment approach on the
other hand is detrimental to the public image of Apple as any failure leads to sacking
individual or leakage of secret will automatically result in dismissal.
Building an Entrepreneurial Team
Steve Jobs may have been humbled but he still had a keen ability to judge talent and
he surrounded himself with brilliant designers and business leaders. He listened to and
debated with this inner circle of talent and he ultimately let them do their jobs. He was
no easier to deal with and no less demanding. He was no less opinionated and

aggressive. But he was once again an Entrepreneurial Leader as his inner circle strove
to transform into reality their collective vision of the future of computing. As a result
of Steve Jobs transformation, a near bankrupt Apple Computer became the most
valuable company in the world.

Salient leadership traits that shaped up Apple


An elite group would be asked to come with a list of 10 suggestions.
Then Jobs would slash the bottom seven and select only three.The
team members, was to focus on four great products, one for each
quadrant. All other products should be canceled.
Jobss ability to focus simplified things by zeroing in on their
Simplify
essence and eliminating unnecessary components. E.g an iPod
connected to a Mac with iTunes software, allowed devices to be
simpler, syncing to be smoother
When Behind, The original I-Mac was focused on making it useful for managing a
users photos and videos, but it was left behind when dealing with
Leapfrog
music. The relaunch resulted a combination of iTunes, the iTunes
Store, and the iPod, which allowed users to buy, share, manage,
store, and play music better than they could with any other devices.
Push
for When the Apple Stores was to be launched , Job convinced his store
manager to delay everything a few months so that the stores layouts
Perfection
could be reorganized and not just be of product categories.
Tolerate Only Jobs was impatient, petulant, and tough with the people around him.
His treatment of people emanated from his passion for perfection
A Players
and his desire to work with only the best. He believed if managers
were polite,mediocre people feel comfortable sticking around.
Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random
Engage
discussions. Jobs loved freewheeling face-to-face meetings. He
Face-to-Face
gathered his executive team every week to kick around ideas
without a formal agenda, followed by the marketing and advertising
team.
One of Jobss salient traits was his ability and desire to envision
Know both
overarching strategy while also focusing on the tiniest aspects of
the big
design. In 2000 he came up with the grand vision that the personal
picture and
computer should become a digital hub for managing all of a users
the details
music, videos, photos, and content, and thus got Apple into the
personal-device business with the iPod and then the iPad.
Focus

The 4 entrepreneurial trait in relation to Apple leadership


Locus of Control
Successful entrepreneurs are convinced that they can control their own destinies and
can also dominate others through coerce method or power. Jobss brutality in dealing
with subordinates legitimised a frighteningly harsh, bullying, and demanding culture
at Apple. Under Jobs a culture of fear and intimidation found roots throughout the
organisation. For a company so revered for its innovation, the neutering of
entrepreneurial spirit might seem counterproductive, but Apples draconian treatment
of its workforce is actually part of its formula for success.
Need for achievement
Need for achievement is a persons desire either for excellence or to succeed in
competitive situations. Elites team who worked with him admitted that the trait,
infuriating as it might be, led them to perform extraordinary feats. The culture of
Apple was based on an ideal that self-motivated individuals will work harder if they
do not have a boss micromanaging every action.
Need for autonomy
Need for autonomy is the desire for independence and self-direction. Part of Jobss
compulsion to take responsibility for what he called the whole widget stemmed
from his personality, which was very controlling. But it was also driven by his passion
for perfection and making elegant products. All of the workers were to take
responsibility of their to the end.
Risk taking
Risk taking is a compulsive competitiveness which stems from deep insecurity which
drives individual to prove themselves time and again by taking risks. Job presented his
original Ideas and invented new things that people might not like. He always trusted his
own judgment and understanding of what people needed and was willing to cannibalize

Apples products in the name of progress. I.e the iphone

Jobss fantastic charisma allows him great leeway with employees for being highly
emotional and volatile narcissist with all-commanding self-confidence. Hes known to
deliver devastating put-downs of co-workers thus labeled a master of psychological
manipulation he also played the roles of both good cop and bad cop as he alternated
between lavish praise with terrifying scorn.

Entrepreneurial culture
An organizational culture is based on the core values of an organization. largely
espoused by its leaders. When these values support opportunities to innovate, an
entrepreneurial culture may develop. An entrepreneurial culture encourages
employees to identify and exploit new opportunities. It encourages creativity and risk
taking but also tolerates failures. Champion innovation is rewarded in this type of
culture. Building an entrepreneurial culture is of particular importance to strategic
leaders, as explained in understanding strategy.
Apple's Startup Culture
Simple, elegant, and innovation are among the first values were critically important
was instilled into the Apple company culture. Sustaining an entrepreneurial culture
starts with who you hire (Prosek). To integrate in Apple intellect and experience do at
matter much but rather if the employee would fit the culture. From sales associates to
top executives, Apple is united by a common culture that ensures that customers enjoy
the experience that they have come to expect whenever they interact with any Apple.
Also the Role culture could be link with eras of Sculley, and other leaders who try to
formalize the structure by imposing their own rule, neglecting the important of project
groups, which is central to the Task culture even though individual expertise at Apple
is crucial to its innovation. Jobs teach to accept a culture of responsibility by hosting a
series of weekly meetings that are the devices that sets the beat for the entire company.
A typical reflection of Apple is the individual culture whereby different intellectual
elites in specific department work tiredly to bring about a unique invention based on
their expertise.
According to Prosek, the key to unleashing that creative energy is to create an
entrepreneurial culture based on four pillars.

1. Commitment to People An entrepreneurial culture is based on the idea that each


individual can be a powerful force for change in the organization. Apple focused on
nurturing a culture that valued creative people in good times and bad whereby the
culture was deeply associated with Steve. However some analysts felt that Apple had
a laid-back work culture which was dysfunctional from a management standpoint.
2. Commitment to the Business - Align an individual's interests with those of the
business. When employees feel engaged it betters the company culture as people will
want to do more for the company and ensure that they are pleasing their bosses and
their peers. They feel as if theyre a part of a strong team, united and committed.
3. Authenticity - Demonstrate sincerity by being enthusiastic about entrepreneurial
strategies and actions pursued by the business. While Job was incredibly demanding
of his people, he wasnt the best leader but was always involved in every detail due to
the fact of his salient traits -innovative, determined and, passionate. Finding gaps in
the market, and creating products that make a real difference to peoples lives, can
only be accomplished if an authentic desire is present
The fourth pillar which is creative tension and continuous effort was implemented by
Job himself.
Steve Job focused on building a high-performance culture by doing two things:
1. Creative tension and continuous effort
He eliminated passive aggressiveness and encouraged debate when new ideas were
forming. When difficult problems are being tackled with exceptionally bright people,
there are going to be disagreements. But it is through the tension of that creative
conflict that new ideas get born, new angles get explored, and risks get mitigated.
Thinking together means to deal with conflict up front.

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2. Align company objective with vision


Upon his comeback in 1997 in Apple, he made the decision to shut down big portions
of revenue-generating department because they didn't fit with his vision for the
company. A cross-disciplinary view of how Apple would resurface was enacted. This
holistic vision means there is cohesion throughout the company, from concept to
product to sales. For example, the retail strategy could have been a separate or
disparate part of the whole, but Apple has made its retail strategy part and parcel of its
overall promise of ease of use.

Three entrepreneurial culture that shape up Apple


1. Entrepreneurial culture of excellence
Central to apples culture is product excellence- a cult of product- where employees
do not want to let the company down by being the weakest link. And if they do, they
can become collateral damage because of the aggressive, competitive environment. It
is task and work orientated and definitely not play- oriented whereby long hours,
missed holidays and tight deadlines were encouraged. However Apple is a
collaborative and cooperative environment, devoid of overt politicking. In his view
unquestioning collaboration and cooperation was necessary to ensure instructions
were communicated and followed in this command and control structure.
2. Entrepreneurial Culture of Secrecy
Secrecy, mistrust and paranoia seemed to underpin the Apple culture. Staff only knew
about the elements of new product development. Identity badges allowed only
selective entry into parts of the Apple Infinite loop campus. However product secrecy
was emphasized since such designs can be copied and sales of old model suffer as
soon the launch of new model is made in public. New recruits was appointed to role
of dummy position and were assumed that they can assemble an I-Mac by themselves.
As Apple was mainly into innovation, the company's policy was to keep things

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confidential. Secrecy was built into the corporate culture and the company always
maintained tight control over information.

3. Entrepreneurial Culture of Innovation


Steve Jobs is credited with restoring the entrepreneurial culture at Apple. He did it
largely through leadership and exhibiting creativity himself. There is little doubt that
he expects people working for Apple to create innovative products. Apple first
restored innovation by developing creative new designs for the PC. However Jobs has
gone beyond computers and has developed new product lines that he sees as the future
of Apple. Innovation is important in high-technology industries such as computers and
in creative industries such as music and film animation, as shown in understanding
strategy. Thus, Steve Jobs is an appropriate strategic leader for Apple with his
emphasis on creativity and innovation. Apples open innovation concept, reveals that
such innovations basically necessitate complementing of internal competencies, and
core strengths of R&D, management and commercialisation, with external resources
(Pontiskoski and Asakawa, 2009).

Conclusion
Culture and Leadership shapes the way employees behaves their value, attitude and
determines how they will implement the organisations business model and
strategy(Honey and Mumford 1982). In the end, people create the culture of a
company and entrepreneurial culture ultimately separates the winners from the pack.
Through culture, leaders can drive up the level of innovation, out-compete the market,
and attract the best employees. Jobs acted as if the normal rules didnt apply to him
and the passion, intensity, and extreme emotionalism he brought to everyday life were
things he also poured into the products he made. Apples culture is like a genetic
mutation of the corporate America genome. A mutation that should be studied and
replicated wherever possible.

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