This question came up recently with a leadership workshop I was delivering. As with this article there were two camps which identified Jobs as brilliant, citing his leadership as the reason behind Apple’s phenomenal results. Rejectors see him as arrogant and deeply flawed, leading Apple to meteoric success in spite of his often boorish behavior. Overfield & Kaiser highlighted that we need to shift our mindset regarding leadership effectiveness. Rather than considering either leaders’ interpersonal influence or their capacity to address substantive organizational issues, we need to re-frame the question. A more useful approach is to assess the degree to which leaders are adept at doing both, integrating one of many paradoxes that make their jobs a difficult balancing act.
Often we find ourselves on either side of this formula which is why many of my clients have strong strategic skills and are committed to building their soft (nothing soft about these skills !) skills that they can draw on to become highly functioning leaders.
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