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Leadership Theories and Approaches

Leadership Theories and Approaches

Apple’s most needed change is related to leadership. As observed, the previous CEO, Steve Jobs, utilized the transformational leadership style. According to some critics, the leadership style was aggressive and rude. However, Steve Jobs exhibited immense clarity on the goals of the entity, communicated openly, challenged the employees to participate actively, prioritized what the company needed to do, and got the teams to deliver results. Being in the technology sector, the lead time for new products is particularly important because of the rate of obsolescence and cutthroat competition (Patel, 2020). Therefore, the style of leadership was important and efficient at the time.

Currently, Tim Cook uses a ‘quieter’ approach that involves building consensus, cautious development of products, and less CEO participation in the process (Dudovskiy, 2021). This style of leadership is wanted because of the external factors that affect the company’s ability to compete efficiently. These include stiff competition, the need to keep up with advancing technology, and the current pandemic (Patel, 2020). Thus, the situation calls for aggressive leadership that moves the company’s activities faster through the tunnel.

Transformational and democratic leadership styles both feature in Apple’s management. The late Steve Jobs used transformational leadership, while Tim Cook used the democratic style. Transformational leadership is characterized by high enthusiasm, optimism, enhancing team spirit, and the ability to communicate the purpose clearly (Isaacson, 2012). Such leaders manage to attain superior results, as with the late Steve Jobs. Transformational leaders are also able to arouse intellectual stimulation among their followers. This leads to an elevated level of thinking that results in solutions for certain problems.

Democratic leadership involves participation from other individuals in an organization. As observed in Tim Cook’s leadership, he is keen on building consensus at the management level. This style encourages the participation of all employees in the different organizational processes. In addition, it creates room for finding efficient solutions to problems. As team relationships are created, higher levels of commitment are exhibited (Kaleem, 2016).

Of the two leadership styles, the transformational approach would be best in facilitating the company’s change. As aforementioned, transformational leaders command a great deal of certainty, inspire optimism, raise the team’s spirit, and communicate clearly by highlighting the main purpose. These elements are important in ensuring that the organization understands the purpose of the proposed change, has a role model to look up to, works as a team towards goal achievement, and gains optimism regarding the benefits. The employees rely heavily on a leader’s attitude and conviction about an activity. Therefore, a leader who can communicate their conviction with articulation is likely to obtain a following (Isaacson, 2012). In addition, the leader’s ability to stir up intellectual stimulation among the followers is important in ensuring they remain energized throughout the process of change. For these reasons, I propose the adoption of the transformational style of leadership since it will offer much-needed direction for all employees.

Trust is an important aspect of transformational leadership. The success of an organization is dependent on the trust that leaders will honor their word, and employees will do the same. Once a leader creates mutual relationships with employees that are based on trust, they can influence them easily. The followers trust that their leader is concerned about their needs and feel free to articulate these at any time. Their opinions also count in the company’s growth. Such an ability to consistently influence the followers ensures that the entity retains its success.

The transformational leadership style incorporates the vision and mission through the leaders’ ability to lead change. Leading change involves exhibiting conviction about its necessity. Such conviction can only be gained once a leader believes in the company’s vision and mission. This means that they cannot lead change without believing in the same. This belief creates the basis for deliberately influencing other members of the organization to act in a certain way. In addition, transformational leaders are believed to be visionary (Isaacson, 2012). This means that they can easily connect with all members of an organization and take them through the process of change. This is only achievable with the end in mind. The end is the vision that guides an organization. This inspires motivation among followers, making it possible for employees to follow in their example, which is living by the mission to achieve the vision.

In terms of value for the stakeholders, the style is convenient. As leaders inspire motivation among followers, the company is likely to report increased profitability. The increased profits occur due to a better product portfolio, increased sales, a wider customer base, and higher revenue. The changes translate into higher dividends for the stockholders. Employees gain increased job satisfaction and more attractive perks, rewards, or other benefits for goal achievement. The clients gain better customer service and more efficient products that address their needs effectively. The organization’s reputation gained a positive movement in the market as well. Therefore, all stakeholders benefit from this style of leadership in immense ways.


Dudovskiy, J. (2021). Apple Leadership: a brief overview.

Isaacson, W. (2012). The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs. Harvard Business Review.

Kaleem, Y. (2016). Leadership Styles & Using Appropriate Styles in Different Circumstances.

Patel, P. (2020). Leadership And Innovation At Apple Inc. Case Study.


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Based on the organization you chose in Competency 1, write a 700- to 1,050-word Leadership Styles Rationale paper. In your paper, complete the following:

Leadership Theories and Approaches

Leadership Theories and Approaches

Restate the needed change within the organization.
Analyze the various leadership styles you explored in Part 1 in the context of the organizational culture and proposed change.
Justify which leadership style or approach would best support the organizational change.
Explain how this style will support sustainable organizational success.
Explain how this style integrates the organization’s mission and vision.
Explain how this style will increase value for stakeholders.

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