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Executive Interviews: Interview with Owen Linzmayeron Government and Business
March 2010 - By Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary


Owen Linzmayer
Owen Linzmayer is a respected San Francisco-based freelance writer

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  • While Randall E Stross (the author of Steve Jobs & The NeXt Big Thing)described Steve Jobs as, ‘arrogantly oblivious’, ‘unmerciful’, and an ‘unapologetic snob’ who is ‘imprisoned…by his selected historical memory’, others describe him as ‘the perfectionist’, ‘who sets expectations for quality, challenging the status quo, and never accepts no for an answer’, ‘too good a human being’ and ‘unparalleled institutional builder’, etc. Who is the real Steve Jobs?
    While Randall E Stross (the author of Steve Jobs & The NeXt Big Thing)described Steve Jobs as, ‘arrogantly oblivious’, ‘unmerciful’, and an ‘unapologetic snob’ who is ‘imprisoned…by his selected historical memory’, others describe him as ‘the perfectionist’, ‘who sets expectations for quality, challenging the status quo, and never accepts no for an answer’, ‘too good a human being’ and ‘unparalleled institutional builder’, etc. Who is the real Steve Jobs?

  • Commenting on Steve Jobs, Andy Grove said, “There’s no other company in technology that started with a strong core business and developed another very strong one. The rest of us are lucky, or good (if we’re) right once”. How could Steve Jobs be right more than once? Was it his predictive abilities or iconoclastic arrogance?
    I’m not sure I agree with Andy Grove’s premise, but Jobs has been right more than once because he’s been willing to roll the dice and take chances. We all remember the successes, but there have been plenty of failures, too. The important thing is that Steve has continued to swing for the fences despite striking out more than a few times. Steve has the cash and charisma to pick himself up and try again where others may not have gotten a second chance.

  • Many argue that he is reclusive and secretive and end up describing his leadership as secretive leadership and quote examples for similar kind of leadership from Phil Knight, Ratan Tata, etc. Is there any such thing as a secret leadership? What would be the impact of such leadership on the organization in the short run and in the long run?
    I don’t think Steve’s leadership style is secretive, though the company is definitely very tight- lipped when it comes to discussing its future plans. If anything, Steve’s style is autocratic and intimidating. The downside to this approach is that it relies on Steve’s iconic stature; he can lead through his mere presence in Cupertino. A successor will have a difficult time filling his shoes and can’t expect the same sort of devotion from employees that the Jobs commands by virtue of being a founder.



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