Leader Comparison and Critique: Steve Jobs & Indra Nooyi Lauren Murphy GBA 500 Centenary College In 1978, J. M. Burns defined successful leaders as being transformational rather than transactional. Burns described the transformational leader as having recognized the organization as a complex system in a chaotic environment. The leader has also responded to complexity by being aware of change. The transformational leader has established a shared vision and inspired the organization to learn and evolve in response to change. Transformational leaders have driven radical change, trading short-term stability for long-term survival.
In 2007, Kouzes and Posner refined Burn’s work by breaking down the transformational leader’s qualities into five practices, in the book, The Leadership Challenge. Within each practice Kouzes and Posner identified variety of behaviors that complimented one another and combined those behaviors into one of the practices. The book has served as a reference to identify those behaviors among leaders. Two of the most notable leaders of modern times have been Steve Jobs, C. E. O. of Apple, and Indra Nooyi, C. E. O. of PepsiCo. Both leaders have attained incredible levels of success which may be attributed to strengths among the practices.
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However, both leaders also have weak spots among the practices which should be addressed to ensure continued success. Notable leader, Indra Nooyi, has been admired by many. Nooyi has always had a personal and intimate approach that has been integrated into this leader’s leadership style. She identified that the biggest factors of her success were, family, friends, and faith. Nooyi said: “When things look bleak and uncertain, it’s your family, friends, and faith that pull you through…And when I’m wrestling with change in my life, good or bad, the first place I turn to, is my religion, I tell you it really helps. (Nooyi 2006) Her spiritual beliefs and convictions have served Nooyi well as she cites them as a source of strength and empowerment as a leader. Nooyi has established a relationship with her employees that goes beyond the PepsiCo organization. One time the nanny for Nooyi’s children locked the car keys inside the car. Nooyi was not at the office, Peggy Moore, an associate, answered the phone and told the head of human resources about the situation. The head of human resources went to Nooyi’s house and helped the nanny unlock the car. Murray, 2004) Indra Nooyi has been able incorporate an appropriate amount of personal life within the position of PepsiCo. Nooyi comes across as relatable and professional simultaneously, a difficult task for any leader. At Apple, Steve Jobs has been on the forefront of change since the beginning. Jobs has been the type of leader that didn’t wait for change to happen. Steve Jobs (May 19, 2006) says… “Innovation distinguishes a leader and a follower. ” Innovation has been limitless for Steve Jobs. Since the introduction of i-products, Apple has undergone serious change pioneered by Jobs, and driven by this leader’s strong creative abilities.
Jobs has been relatively successful with leading Apple through continuous changes of advanced success. In its fourth quarter Apple posted a net quarterly profit of $904 million. Those results were up 33. 6 percent from a year ago. (“Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results,” 2007). Jobs subscribes to the Apple philosophy: “Too many companies spread themselves too thin, making a profusion of products to diffuse risk, so they get mired in the mediocre. Apple’s approach is to put every resource it has behind just a few products. ” (Morris, 2007) That philosophy could become the downfall of Steve Jobs.
One of the first leadership behaviors reviewed in The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner was model the way. A leader that has modeled the way has established principals concerning the way people should be treated and the methods used to attain goals. They have established standards of excellence and carry out all functions and interactions in a manner which is expected to be mirrored by employees. “Leaders demonstrate their intense commitment to the values they espouse by setting an example. It’s how they earn and sustain credibility over time. Setting the Example is all about execution and action.
It’s all about doing what you say. Leaders who are seen as practicing what they preach are more effective than those leaders who don’t. ” (Kouzes & Posner, 94) As successful as Steve Jobs appears to be, there are some leadership qualities that need to be improved. One such behavior would be “model the way” (Kouzes & Posner, 45) Steve Jobs has not established principles concerning the way people should be treated, nor does Jobs create standards of excellence as a leadership example for others to follow. In fact, this leader has been known to “scream at employees to the point of hyperventilation. (Pomiewozik, 2000) This leader has also been guilty of failing to follow through on promises and commitments. As an employer, Jobs was obligated to compensate employees for work as agreed upon in the job contract. That obligation to compensate employees was not followed through when Jobs fired a P. R. consultant and refused to pay the employee for completed work. (Pomiewozik, 2000) The demeaning attitude of this leader should not serve as an example for employees. On one occasion Steve Jobs played a cruel joke on an employee by pretending to offer the employee a position as Apple C. E. O. (Pomiewozik, 2000) “Values are empowering….
Values motivate. ” (Kouzes & Posner, 53) The joke Jobs played on that employee was neither empowering nor motivating. This leader clearly displayed a lack of emotional intelligence and has not established positive principals concerning interactions with other people. The values, or lack thereof, possessed by Jobs are not conducive to exemplary leadership. On the other hand, Indra Nooyi has served as a model not only for PepsiCo employees, but also for Indians and women across the globe. Nooyi’s daily interactions display genuine respect towards everyone. Moreover, this leader has excelled by establishing goals and standards of excellence.
Every year Nooyi has established objectives that have been a clear but achievable stretch. Those objectives have been established in every division and at every level. Employees look at the objectives and commit to them. “Our belief is that once you spend enough time in the design of those objectives up front and you unleash the corporation’s entrepreneurial spirit and create an environment for them to work, they can meet those objectives. ” (Murray, 2004) Overall employees that have not met the objectives tended to flag themselves and then established a new growth agenda. The objectives are not just numerical objectives. They also relate to people or creating an environment or meeting certain diversity goals…That is really how we judge whether people are making progress in the organization. ” (Murray, 2004) Nooyi’s personal examples and values have led employees to establish individual commitment to PepsiCo. Indra Nooyi has become a prime example which employees can model after. Exemplary leadership needs direction, that direction has been defined as “inspire a shared vision” by Kouzes and Posner and explained as: Exemplary leaders are forward-looking.
They are able to envision the future, to gaze across the horizon of time and imagine the greater opportunities to come. They see something out ahead, vague as it might appear from a distance, and they imagine that extra ordinary feats are possible and the ordinary could be transformed into something noble. They are able to develop an ideal and unique image of the future for the common good. (105) Indra Nooyi has maintained the vision of making “Pepsi Co. the defining corporation of the 21st century. ” (Murray, 2004) The first step Nooyi took toward the vision was evaluating where the company as a whole.
Nooyi noticed that many employees had skepticism and doubt about maintaining the corporation’s involvement in the spin off restaurants such as: KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Those doubts and skepticism were taken into consideration. This leader and colleagues took a step back and tried to understand their strategy role in the restaurant business. “Once we got everybody in the restaurant business signed up to the underlying strategic rationale, the financial transaction was a very simple thing to do.
It was all about laying out the reason, communicating it very clearly, having an open dialogue with them through the entire process, and affecting the separation in a way both parties felt it was a win-win” (Murray, 2004) The steps toward attaining that vision involved a decision to remain a part of the KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, restaurant spin off business. This leader sought to clearly communicate and establish a shared vision around the underlying strategic reasoning behind both remaining in and separating form the restaurant spin offs.
Nooyi’s leadership ability, inspire a shared vision, has placed PepsiCo as a realistic example of a defining corporation for the 21st century. Steve Jobs has declared, “Our vision is that we have just begun. ” (“Our Vision Is That We Have Just Begun,” 2000) This leader had never been one to seek the consul of others. He has thrived on being the first and the best at innovative technology regardless of support from his organization. “You can’t ask people what they want if it’s around the next corner. ” (Morris, 2008) That attitude has made it difficult to clearly establish any detailed plans for the future.
The visionary attitude of this leader has been very prominent, yet vague. “… brining his particular mix of genius and obsession, as well as a tendency to play by his own rules. His utter dedication to discovery and excellence has created a culture that has made Apple a symbol of innovation. ” (Morris, 2008) Jobs has established a unique control it’s operating system which has afforded Apple significant control over its ability to design, change, and adapt. That control gave Jobs a unique advantage to create innovative technology, yet there have not been any preconceptions established as to where the products will end up.
On every new product unveiled from Apple, the vision of: “we have just begun. ” (“Our Vision Is That We Have Just Begun,” 2000) can be applied. However, the details and intricacies of the vision should be defined to ensure continued success; thereby rounding out this leader’s inspiring a shared vision behavior. In order for a leader to reach an exemplary leadership status that leader would have to make an impressionable impact on the organization, they must challenge the current process. “Sometimes leaders have to shake things up. Other times they just have to grab hold of the adversity that surrounds them.
Whether change comes from outside challenges or inside challenges, leaders make things happen. ” (Kouzes & Posner, 164) CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs has been one of the most notable leaders of the 21st century. Jobs has continually searched for ways to change the status quo not only within Apple but also within the technology industry as a whole. Steve Jobs has a resume that exposes a leader who frequently challenges the process and believes, “if you’re bold enough to build it, they will come. ” (Morris, 2008) His utter dedication to discovery and excellence has created a culture that has made Apple a symbol of innovation.
You won’t find that word on a placard or piece of propaganda at One Infinite Loop, Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. There innovation is a way of life. But it isn’t creating new variations on Crest toothpaste. At Apple, every endeavor is a moon shot. Sometimes the company misses, but the successes are huge. (Morris, 2008) Jobs has established his own technology market that has not been limited by gender, geography, race, or age. (Morris, 2008) Jobs and the creative team at Apple have sought to challenge the process through discovering what people hate or find nconvenient about technology and used that to create innovative products that stay one step ahead of the rest of the technology world. One of the more recent ideas was that people hate to carry around a cell phone, a music player, and a computer, but people do it anyway. The iPhone was created to provide all of the conveniences of a Mac within a cell phone, thereby appealing to a mass of people that frequently carried all or most of those items. Steve Jobs’ ability to challenge the process has allowed Apple to remain an individual pioneer of technology.
The leadership challenges that Indra Nooyi has had to face have been more personal than organizational. “In 2005, women held 16. 4 percent of corporate officer positions, up just 0. 7 of a percentage point from 2002, according to a recent report from Catalyst Inc. , a nonprofit research organization that studies women at work. PepsiCo’s percentage in 2005 was 27. 6. ” (Joyce, 2006, D01) Nooyi had been up against a challenge from the start. The lack of women in corporate officer positions has not only been a challenge to overcome for Nooyi, but also for women everywhere.
To add to that obstacle, she was also a woman of color, an even rarer attribute of corporate officers. (Joyce, 2006, D01) While working at Johnson & Johnson in Bombay, Nooyi came across an article on the Yale School of Management and was intrigued by the opportunity to attend. This leader doubted did not think that admission to the school was possible, yet applied anyway. Nooyi was accepted and had to finance her education at Yale School of Management. “My whole summer job was done in a sari because I had no money to buy clothes. I was a poor Indian Student. (Joyce, 2006, D01) It was uncommon for Indian parents to allow a daughter to leave India to pursue education in the United States. “It was unheard of for a good, conservative, south Indian Brahmin girl to do this. It would make her an absolutely unmarriageable commodity after that. ” (Joyce, 2006, D01) Nooyi challenged the process and defied the odds. In the 2006 speech delivered at MIT Sloan, Nooyi cites the “five Cs” that have been used as a path to success: competency, courage and confidence, consistency, compass (discovering your true north), and coaching.
In the Kouzes and Posner’s book The Leadership Challenge, enabling others to act was identified as a behavior of an exemplary leader. Most successful organizations provide special attention toward recognizing and ensuring the success of minorities within the organization. The most prominent focus tends to be women in the workplace. Steve Jobs has provided women within the organization with the education and resources needed to reach success. Within Apple, Steve Jobs has created the Learning Interchange Feature Curriculum has dedicated a portion of the curriculum to the development of women’s careers within the organization.
It was designed to allow women to develop an understanding of various job descriptions and the necessary steps to enter specific job markets. Apple also highlighted and recognized a variety of successful women within various organizations both past and present so that employees might learn from those examples. Many major organizations have made these provisions for female employees. Indra Nooyi and PepsiCo have been no exception. This organization has been named as one of the “Elite Eight” for Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. This list recognizes the top corporations that have instituted programs that offer equal access for women-owned suppliers and have attained world-class quality in their supplier diversity programs featuring women’s business enterprises. ” (PepsiCo Named to “Elite 8″ list of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprise,” 2003) Indra Nooyi has been a living example of women’s successes in the corporate world, specifically in the role of C. E. O. of PepsiCo. Organizations have not stopped at just ensuring and enabling the success of women.
Enabling others to act provides employees with the resources needed to be successful in a current position or to access the resources needed to advance. A leader that demonstrates that behavior provides the development of cooperative mentoring and coaching relationships necessary to ensure success and supports the professional decisions of employees. (Kouzes & Posner, 254-260) Indra Nooyi has not established any specific strategies or courses for the employees of PepsiCo to develop professionally. If Nooyi developed that behavior it could bring PepsiCo to the next level of success. To get extra ordinary things done leaders must invest in strengthening the capacity and the resolve of everyone in the organization. ” (Kouzes & Posner, 260) Steve Jobs has provided employees with several specific coaching opportunities. One such opportunity was the Apple Certified Trainer program. The program was designed to train and instill Apple employees with the skills needed to be successful to adequately enhance consumer product knowledge. Completion of the program results in becoming an Apple Certified Trainer. The employees have to initiate the process by filing out an Apple Certified Application.
The application is reviewed to determine employee eligibility to become an Apple Certified Trainer. The second step in the program is to register for a “train-the-trainer” class. (Apple Certified Trainer Program, 2008) This mentor-guided class provides training, role-playing exercises, exercise giving presentations, and practice exams. It also provides students with question and answer sessions. The third step in the program allows the students to demonstrate their knowledge and technical expertise. The students are expected to present what they have learned to a group of peers and their Apple Training Mentor.
The Apple Training Mentor evaluates the presentation based on technical proficiency and ability to clearly and effectively communicate that proficiency. The fourth and final step is to pass the Trainer exam. The exam is administered via the Prometric Prime test engine and scores applicants on their technical expertise. Once all four steps have been satisfied, the applicant becomes certified. In addition to the resources provided within each step, Apple also provides trainees with a variety of resources which can prepare them for the exam via external courses and individual mentoring sessions. Apple Certified Trainer Program, 2008) Steve Jobs established a fundamental leadership behavior that encourages collaboration throughout the developmental career growth process. Jobs has clearly demonstrated his strength by enabling employees to act. The final behavior of an exemplary leader according to Kouzes and Poser was encouraging the heart. Keeping determination and hope alive has never been an easy feat; however it is a critical practice leaders must possess. Encouraging the heart involves rewarding others for contributions and demonstrating confidence in the abilities of others. Another person’s belief in your abilities accomplishes more than that. The expectations that successful leaders hold provide the framework into which people fit their own realities. ” (Kouzes & Posner, 284) C. E. O. Steve Jobs has sought to reward his employees for contributing to the successes of Apple. In early 2005 Jobs rewarded employees by giving all Apple employees a 1GB iPod shuffle. The previous year this leader gave employees additional vacation time as a reward for achieving the best quarter in Apple history. Some employees feel that the successes have not been justified by the rewards. Jade, 2005) This author has determined that Jobs should seek honest and anonymous feedback from employees to determine specific areas that need improvement. That step will initiate the process of ensuring employees feel their work has been recognized. Indra Nooyi has displayed great skill when it came to encouraging employees. Nooyi has developed and instilled confidence in PepsiCo employees by stating, “there are no limits to what you can do… aim high and put your heart into it,” (Dandapani, 2005) To build on that, Nooyi ensured employee’s of all levels receive recognition in a creative manner.
That recognition was set and has been displayed at the PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, NY. This leader had interactive kiosks installed to highlight winners of internal PepsiCo awards. The kiosks were placed in the main lobby and showcase past and present award winners. (“Case Study: PepsiCo,” 2008) Not only did Nooyi award employees, but this leader also took those recognitions a step further by utilizing the kiosks. Nooyi’s creative rewards have been positively received by employees. Those type of rewards set Nooyi apart as a leader who truly knows how to encourage the heart.
Throughout history exemplary leaders have been observed by others. The observations have helped many develop theories as to what qualities and behaviors made those leaders so successful. The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner has clearly identified and outlined the practices which have made leaders exemplary. In the book, Kouzes and Posner have also explained the behaviors that accompany the practices. Leadership strengths and weaknesses can be identified and explored due to the works of those authors. Leaders come and go.
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