When Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs died, people left loving notes at every Apple store around the world. There was tremendous gratitude for the innovations and advancement Jobs had brought to our planet.
However, there was something else going on in direct response to Steve Jobs’ passing– “The Canonizing Effect.”
This is an odd phenomenon that often occurs when someone dies. We instantly erase all their “sins” and turn them into some kind of saint. Once they are gone, we suddenly seem able to say only “nice” things about them and what they did. We don’t feel like we can bring up any of their faults or flaws. (don’t speak ill of the dead etc)
As a result of this canonizing of Jobs, one of the things that I experienced was that I began hearing people in the leadership community speak of how they wanted to be the kind of leader Jobs was.
Really? People wanted to emulate Jobs’ leadership style?
Let’s be clear–there were many things about his leadership style that were highly admirable. For instance, his single-minded drive for innovation was remarkable. However, there was another side, to Jobs as a leader. He was oftentimes nothing short of cruel to those under him and very much isolated and unapproachable. (You can read all about this in the book Steve Jobs)
You might argue, “Yeah, but his style of leading worked. Apple Inc is a vastly successful company and the #1 recognized brand in the world!” Of course, you would be right. Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world. However, the question that rises here is not one of Steve Jobs’ innovative genius, (which I highly respect), but rather his ability to effectively lead now and in the future.
Therefore, we are left to consider:
Was Steve Jobs a Leadership Dinosaur?
We have to consider what it takes to be a leader, more specifically an Authentic Leader in this, the new economy. As we move forward, we must face the fact that the old model of leadership, based on being unapproachable and speaking down to those under our leadership will no longer work. It does not build loyalty either with our teams or with our customers. Fake relationships, which in many ways were the back bone of the old boys club are the kiss of death for doing business in the new economy.
Unless you are completely ignorant of the economic changes and the impact of how business is operating today, you now know that business is and will be done via relationship, real, nurtured relationships. (This is one of the fundamental reasons, and rightly so, why women are becoming the dominant force in business)
Now hold on a minute! Don’t let that little Chihuahua in your head start yapping about how you already know all that. We aren’t talking about the old fake smile, pat you on the back, and then badmouth you behind your back kind of relationship.
That is the old model.
The outdated model.
The model that just won’t work anymore.
In the new economy you better be willing to “show up” and let people actually see you. Transparency and Authenticity go hand in hand.
Authenticity will be—and already is—the hallmark of leadership today.
The question comes down to this: Do you have the heart, soul, voice, balls (or ovaries) and willingness to be transparent to make it?
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Dov Baron Speaks internationally on leadership in the new economy. He is the Leading expert on Authentic Leadership and is the world’s Only Corporate Cultural Strategist. To bring Dov in to speak to your group or organization please contact Baron Mastery at +1 604 436 2063
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