No, you certainly don’t need to be a jerk to be successful as a CEO – but you do need to be able to be an Authoritarian Leader when necessary.
If you are generally Laissez Faire, you can be perceived as “moody”, “unpredictable”, or “temperamental” when you need to jump into Authoritarian mode.
A team that loves hanging out with their boss that usually lets them work how they need on their own to the best of their ability will suddenly freak out – saying things like “What a micromanaging jerk.”
The best CEOs I’ve found are inherently Situational Leaders. They can flip styles as needed and always know what role is called for with what type of person they are dealing with.
If you catch them in Authoritarian mode though, you’ll still think they are a jerk.
Authoritarian leaders fire people on the spot. They arbitrarily set product release dates and won’t accept input. They cut products you’ve been working on for months without explanation.
They tell you things you don’t want to hear and make you do things you don’t want to do.
They give ultimatums.
Steve Jobs was, at least later in his career, something else entirely – a Visionary leader.
This type of leader is similar to Laissez Faire in that it is hands-off, but the people are driven to do things out of a greater respect for their leader.
I suspect he always was, but he didn’t have as much real confidence in his vision in his younger days (it was more bravado) to “make people do shit” and relied more heavily on the Authoritarian style.
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/Do-you-have-to-be-a-jerk-to-be-a-successful-CEO-After-reading-Steve-Jobs “-biography-and-other-accounts-about-his-life-without-his-success-I-wonder-how-he-would-be-perceived
Originally Posted On: 2016-06-20