Manager vs Leader
The comparison between these two is often misunderstood, especially in the field of technology. A manager “does things right” but a leader “does the right thing”. Once a course of action has been decided then a manager will make sure that actions to complete that course of action is followed. A leader is one who knows that a different course of action should be initiated to accomplish a long-term goal. In the following writing, we will discuss a practical example.
Let’s talk about the roles that Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak fulfilled. Steve Wozniak designed the Apple I and II mostly by himself. Once challenged with an engineering problem Wozniak knew all the steps required to produce a solution. His love was the electronics and the software, Steve Wozniak was an Electronic Engineering genius. Steve Wozniak deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the personal computer. Wozniak didn’t really understand what the customer wanted, this would become more obvious later.
Steve Jobs, wasn’t an engineer and couldn’t design electronic circuits or code software but his vision is what sets him apart from not only Wozniak but all others in the personal computing and later electronic products. It was Jobs who wanted to start a company to sell Woz’s inventions. Steve Jobs had the vision on how Apple could affect the lives of regular people by creating user-friendly computers that looked good. Steve Jobs first attempt at changing the PC was with the Apple Macintosh with its Graphical User Interface originally developed by Xerox PARC. Steve Jobs vision was that the Macintosh would revolutionize Personal Computing. The Macintosh was underperforming during its launch in 1984 and there was internal fighting within Apple and Steve Jobs resigned. It was during the period that Jobs left 1985-1997 that Apple missed Jobs vision for Apples new products. Initially during 1989-1991 Macintosh sales turned around but started declining after 1991. During 1991-1997 no new significant products were introduced and in 1997 Apple was almost bankrupt. There wasn’t any vision for new products that consumers needed. There wasn’t anyone who could provide a long-term vision not even Steve Wozniak. Jobs found his way back into Apple and the rest is history.
In the years from 1997-2011 Apple developed the following new products.
- MacBook Pro laptop
- Mac Mini
Under Steve jobs leadership Apple has become the largest information technology company in the World. Steve Jobs learned from his earlier mistakes and he also knew that there was a need for an Operations Manager to complement his leadership. There is another famous leader who failed at his first attempt at leadership. His name is Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots winner of 5 Super Bowls. He was dismissed at his first head coaching job of the Cleveland Browns.