Steve Jobs is arguably the finest entrepreneurs of recent history. This innovative reformer in the technology sector lived from February 1995 to October 2011 (Treasurer, 2017). His achievements continue to reverberate across the world almost a decade after his death. Passionate demeanor, charismatic attitude, and risk-taking temperament are just a few of the traits that set him apart and made him excel in the technology arena. When it comes to entrepreneurship, many questions are raised as to what it takes to become a successful one. Some people argue that to be a successful entrepreneur, one must be born a prodigy, others argue that such people learn while others argue that the best entrepreneurs are the extroverts who spent their time tinkering around on their businesses and projects. What is certain is that some certain character traits were exhibited by Steve Jobs that made him extremely successful as an Entrepreneur. This paper shall examine Steve Job's character traits and demonstrate that these are the required character traits that make up for a successful entrepreneur.
Like other entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs was deeply passionate about his work. In the majority of the cases, entrepreneurs do not engage in their projects simply because of the financial rewards. It takes a lot of years before the money starts to trickle out of the business. This is because the true benefit for Jobs and his counterparts is doing what someone loves. In particular, Steve Jobs was a passionate man and this passion drove his perseverance to keep working despite the many challenges that he came across.
In his numerous interviews and talks, he was always eager to highlight the importance of his passion for better technology in his entrepreneurship journey. Other people have explained that it was Job's passion that drove people to believe that he was not simply selling a tablet or phone but he was selling the best tablet or phone. According to Rampton (2014) passion is an important trait among entrepreneurs because a lot of effort and time are required in the extra work and long hours that a person is required to invest in a new project.
During a 1995 interview carried out by Daniel Morrow, Steve Jobs is quoted to have said that he was deeply convinced that about 50% of what separates unsuccessful entrepreneurs from the successful ones was pure perseverance (Rampton, 2014). Passion is so important among entrepreneurs that it is estimated that 65% of all business founders can be said to be driven "by heart." It is this passion that fuels entrepreneurs with an unshakable sense of purpose to either make a problem easier or solve it altogether.
Throughout all the difficult phases, the entrepreneurs internally reward themselves by seeing that they have a mission and quitting is not one of their options. As highlighted by Cornelissen (2013) this unshakable passion in his vision saw Steve Jobs get rewarded with not only money but also a platform of influence that is only shared by a small group of visionaries and entrepreneurs in the whole world.
It has been claimed that entrepreneurs see opportunities almost everywhere. This is because entrepreneurs are visionaries who are on the lookout for new ideas or the means to improve an already existing service or good. This vision is due to their high social intelligence that can turn something toxic to something that is nourishing (Keirsey, 1998). While this might come out as a cliche, the statement is true because sometimes the vision of the entrepreneur is to solve or eliminate a problem and not simply making money.
Having vision is arguably the very first reason why a person becomes an entrepreneur (Chell, 2008). Steve Jobs vision meant that he was hardly tied down by dogma of the beliefs of other people. Throughout his life, Jobs believed that the opinion of others should not let a person's inner vision be lost. It is this vision that meant from an early age, Jobs knew and felt that he was destined to doing something big in his life. As a result, while his peers were happy to collect and spent their allowances, he had the vision of founding a successful and big company, an idea that he spent the whole of his life pursuing. Entrepreneurs can see into the future (Tur & Ribeiro, 2018).
As a result, one is inspired by things and images that are yet to be discovered. Before his death, Steve Jobs was pursuing the vision of having smart gadgets that could perform more and more user-friendly tasks. It is this vision that constantly fuelled Steve Job's ambition. His vision was not simply to succeed at a personal level but more importantly, to use his work to change the world. In various forums, Jobs is quoted saying that from the beginning, he wanted to influence the world, change it and leave a mark after his exit (Nieuwenhuizen & De, 2008). It is these kinds of goals that his vision was based on and it is his ambition that led him into becoming one of the greatest visionaries and leaders of the 21st century.
One of the most defining character traits of entrepreneurs is that they are resilient. This trait is important because being an entrepreneur means that for most parts of one's life, one is forced to walk a path that is little understood and tested. With little information and experience to go along with, many of the entrepreneurs are resilient enough to withstand waves of failure. Sir Winston Churchill, the wartime leader of Britain once said that "success is the ability to move from one failure to another without the loss of enthusiasm" (Tur & Ribeiro, 2018). This is because entrepreneurs experience failure periodically.
For most people, failure can be too much to handle because unlike entrepreneurs, most people do not possess the uncanny ability to witness failure and still flirt with by starting on another project. Steve Jobs faced many challenges and failures with his young company and kept on learning from these setbacks. For example, after every unsuccessful product performance, rather than quit, he would learn from the mistakes, investigate what went wrong and strategize for the next launch. Just like Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney, Steve Jobs was resilient enough to understand that for most of the journey, he would face failures one after another and he needed to be strong enough to keep making fresh attempts and learning. It is this resilience that saw his nurture Apple to the great heights of financial success that the company is experiencing today.
One of the major setbacks faced by Jobs was his ousting from the company that he had founded. Due to his abrasive nature and demeanor, Jobs was let go by the company that he had helped to create. In an interview Jobs explained, "What had been the sole focus of my adult life was gone. It was devastating" (Treasurer, 2017). Hence, he considered his ousting as a major personal failure because he had worked hard to push the company into the recognizable brand that it was. After years, away, he came back to the company in 1997 with a new wealth of knowledge especially regarding the importance of tempering his obsession with control (Treasurer, 2017).
Unlike before, he sought to empower the employees to do their best rather than control them. This resilience was reflected by the change of fortunes in the company that had dropped from the spotlight during his absence. For example, it was after his return that he led the push into the development and production of the new operating system in Apple that redefined the functioning of personal computers, the iPhone and the iPod. The development of the new operating system put the company back on the map and in a position to compete against other giants in the industry.
Flexibility is one of the less known and appreciated traits in entrepreneurship. Flexibility is the ability to adapt to challenges and realities, an important business tactic. Most entrepreneurs can change their ideas drastically to accommodate the required adjustments. For example, Jobs was flexible enough to know that Apple needed to keep abreast with popular trends including a better way of storing and playing music, hence the development of the iPod.
At the same time, he continued to develop other ideas for better personal computers and smartphones. Being flexible allows an entrepreneur to be opportunistic and not rely solely on his or her ability and knowledge (Wilner, Christopoulos, Alves, & Guimaraes, 2014). In the course of changing from one idea to another, developing some aspects of an idea and ignoring other entrepreneurs can fine-tune a product as best as possible.
Every entrepreneur recognizes that there are difficult and numerous problems to overcome before a project can be declared a success. These problems range from stiff completion and lack of funding among other huge challenges (Giannantonio & Hurley-Hanson, 2016). It requires a strong sense of confidence to channel one's passion for a project. It may be an understatement today to say that Steve Jobs was confidence. People have defined him as being a narcissist, meaning that he demonstrated self-confidence or an extremely strong sense of self, a tendency to execute disruptive and bold strategies and was self-centered.
On the surface, these definitions may be thought of as having negative connotations. However, for Jobs and other entrepreneurs, this is a valuable quality to possess. Steve Jobs self-confidence bordered on arrogance but it is this strong sense of the self that propelled him to launch his historically successful projects in history. Steve Jobs was known to be a strong believer in his products that he never blamed the projects when they did not do well in the market- he simply looked for ways of improving the product because he was confident in his products.
Confidence is essential among entrepreneurs because it is this sense that motivates them enough to convince other people that a project is worth the money and time to be invested before going forward. So confidence are these leaders that about 91% of them are sure that their ventures will break even in about a year (Cornelissen, 2013). Jobs was also rebellious in nature. He is known to have always wanted to do things his way no matter what it made him look and no matter the status quo.
While some people have argued that his rebellion and arrogance got in the way of his leadership capabilities, rebellion way key to his innovative mind because it made him confident about himself. So rebellious and stuck to doing things his way that he is known for walking barefoot in public and rubbing people the wrong way often. While rebellion can bring one trouble, it can also help one command respect among peers and subordinates because it shows other than a person is not afraid of acting and thinking outside the box (Wilner, Christopoulos, Alves & Guimaraes, 2014). For Steve Jobs, the rebellious nature not only meant that he would never settle for the status quo, but it also boosted his confidence in taking nontraditional and adventurous tactics towards innovation.
The paper sought to examine Steve Job's character traits and demonstrate that these are the required character traits that make up for a successful entrepreneur. As revealed, passion, vision, resilience, confidence, and flexibility are some of the most important character traits of a leading entrepreneur. These traits work in combination to complement each other. As examined, Steve Jobs exhibited these character traits and went on to create and manage one of the most innovative and successful companies of the 21st century. Even his arrogance that seemed to rub some people the wrong way was one of his ways of exuding his self-co...
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