Hilary Clinton and Steve Jobs are ranked among the most influential leaders in the United States. Whereas Clinton has put a mark in the political history of the United States, Jobs set a benchmark in the world of business through building Apple Inc. from scratch to being one of the leading companies in the world. The success of Clinton and Jobs in their relevant fields is attributed to their leadership tactics (Shambaugh, 2010). Although the two leaders ventured in two different professions, similarities and differences could be drawn from their leadership approaches.
Jobs leadership can be categorized into various styles of leadership. However, charismatic style of leadership best describes his leadership approach. Charismatic style of leadership is associated with how leaders can effectively influence their followers towards achieving common goals and objectives. This is a unique type of leadership style in the sense that the followers enjoy working with the charismatic leader perhaps because they feel appreciated and inspired. Steve Jobs is one the few charismatic leaders, who had great influence on their followers. For instance, Jobs was a good communicator, an important element of charismatic leadership. He had the ability to captivate the attention of the audience and shares his vision with them. In addition to other attributes, this made it easy for him to associate not only with his employees, but also the customers of his company.
On the other hand, Hilary Clinton uses an authentic leadership style. This is a kind of leadership that is dependable with the leader’s core values and personality. It is ethical, honest, and practical. Ideally, authentic leaders display their candid selves. Throughout her political career, Hilary Clinton has displayed various characteristics of an authentic leader. For instance, during her Presidential campaigns, she displayed passion for her country through believing in herself and the agenda she had for the country. Most of her speeches involved a comparison of her life with those of the American people. This showed her connectedness with the American people in general, and women in specific.
One of strengths of the two leaders is being visionary. Whereas Jobs had a clear vision on what he wanted to achieve in life and where his company should be within the market, Clinton had envisioned where she wanted the United States to be as a nation. Secondly, both are strong willed and determined individuals. Jobs encountered various challenges while growing up and in building Apple Inc. (Elliot & Simon, 2011); while Clinton faced the odds by vying for a chance of becoming a presidential flag bearer despite being a woman. Their other strengths include being affiliative and democratic.
The most significant weakness is the way the two leaders associate with their followers. In most cases, the two leaders tend to identify themselves with their followers, always giving them a high degree of freedom in their institutions. This does not imply that leaders should not freely mingle with their followers and listen to their opinions, but they should be in a position to establishing their authority in their organizations.
The major opportunity of the two leaders is to use their personal attributes to influence their followers to achieve more or improve on performance in achieving both organizational and personal goals and objective. They are in a position to influence the followers to go an extra mile as far as performance is concerned.
Perhaps, the major threat faced by the two leaders his competition for their leadership positions. As the CEO of Apple Inc.; Jobs was always expected to deliver. In fact, at one point he was sacked from his own company, as a result of poor performance, before being re-instated later on. Hilary Clinton is also fighting for political positions within the government. At one point, she had to step down as a presidential aspirant because of competition.
Similarities and differences
One of the evident differences is the approach of their leadership styles. Whereas Clinton is authentic, Jobs is seen as a charismatic individual. Besides, Jobs was obsessed with perfection in his work and expected the same from his followers (Sander, 2012). On the other hand, Clinton is not a perfectionist, and is ready to compromise for the sale of others. However, the two leaders are similar in the sense that they care for their followers. Jobs recognized the employees as one of the important assets n his company, whereas Clinton has always had the American people in her heart (Bodden, 2010).
Bodden, V. (2010). Hillary Rodham Clinton: Historic leader. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co.
Elliot, J., & Simon, W. L. (2011). The Steve Jobs way: ILeadership for a new generation. New York, NY: Vanguard Press.
Sander, P. J. (2012). What would Steve Jobs do?: How the Steve Jobs way can inspire anyone to think differently and win. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Shambaugh, R. (2010). Leadership secrets of Hillary Clinton. New York: McGraw-Hill.