What Do Steve Jobs, Tim Kobe, Dan Goman and the like Have in Common? Disruptive Leadership

Evolution of digital technologies is gathering greater momentum each day and it has a great impact on the way markets are changing. With all these changes taking place, organizations and businesses need to become prepared for any disruptions coming their way.

How can businesses belonging to any industry do that? By listening to the disruptive voices of leaders like Steve Jobs, Tim Kobe, Dan Goman and the like.

What does disruption mean?

This term has been a buzz word in the tech industry in recent years. Basically, the term means changing the way of thinking or the way of doing things, in a business context. Disruption has the power to completely erode or alter markets by providing a more efficient alternative to existing products or services. Also, it can be the change-driving force of entire industries.

Disruption is closely connected to innovation, even though they do not mean the same. Startups are changing industries, innovators are changing the modus operandi, and nearly everybody can agree that a disruption carried out well is a positive thing.

How does this have anything to do with leadership if leaders are usually relied upon to help people work together towards the same, predetermined goals?

What is disruptive leadership?

A disruptive leader is a person holding a leadership position and who is always on the verge of finding new solutions, developing processes, their organizations and businesses. These leaders are ready to change things from the ground up to achieve the necessary results.

Steve Jobs belongs to this category and Apple’s unprecedented success can definitely be attributed to his leadership style and creative vision. He was known for his unapologetic criticism, which he defended by pointing out the results his team achieved.  

How industries benefit from disruptive leadership?

This type of leadership definitely benefits both organizations and the industries they belong to. The founder and CEO of OWNZONES Dan Goman has leveraged his team to come up with a cloud-native platform solution that has set new grounds in the entertainment industry. Dan Goman and his team didn’t want to accept standard benchmarks for success in the industry and disrupted the digital landscape by coming up with a post-production platform that helps content creators manage and deliver their content more effectively.

The disruption lies in creating software on the cloud itself and using a new IMF format to future-proof the content creation and distribution work and eliminate all the pain points of on-prem servers.

How disruption changes the customer experience?

An example of disruptive changes can be seen in the moves by Time Kobe. The CEO and founder of design firm Eight Inc., which has been the designer of Apple’s stores for the last two decades, led the disruption of the car dealership experience. The first things that visitors to The Lincoln Way store in China is the absence of salespeople. The showcased vehicles stand alongside displays where customers can find more information and configure their own features for a real luxury purchase experience.

Kobe advocates “returning to experience” where consumers who interact with a company have a simpler, easier encounter compared to what they’ve experienced before. If we look at their China store example, the company created a diametrically opposite experience to the one seen in high-pressure environments most car buyers get into today.  By doing so, they created an emotionally positive and memorable experience eventually resulting in a stronger connection with the brand.

Conclusion

Changes are certainly not an easy thing to accept but the times we live in dictate the need to adapt quickly. Leaders like Dan Goman and Tim Kobe and the organizations they are in charge of are ready to deal with difficult times and accept risk-taking and experimentation as mechanisms for thriving in a change-driven environment.

People who have disrupted their industries are aware that decisions and changes are not made at their whim and they never lose sight of the overarching goals. They trust their teams to steer projects in the right direction and, most importantly, they trust their vision of reaching new heights.

4 Traits of Today’s Successful Tech Leaders

In the last few years, the IT industry has been changing at an astonishing rate. With its evolution, the role of tech leaders has also changed. Namely, being an IT leader today is different from what it was about a decade ago. It’s no longer about having a superior aptitude for tech and focusing on end-user needs only. There is a plethora of attributes every successful tech leader should possess and here are some of them.

To Understand your Team, you need to Understand Yourself

There is a thin line between an average business owner and an exceptional leader. Overconfident and close-minded entrepreneurs that don’t take their employees’ advice into consideration usually stay mediocre or even end up failing. Of course, this is something you want to avoid. To succeed, you need to know what your strengths, weaknesses and emotional triggers are. Only by constantly investing in your self-awareness will you be able to leverage your strengths as much as possible and surround yourself with the right people with complementary skills. Most importantly, by investing in your emotional intelligence, you will manage to focus on the people you communicate with, recognize their problems and adapt your interactions based on their emotions and expectations.

An amazing example of the importance of self-awareness for one’s entrepreneurial success is Mark Zuckerberg. Even though he was just a teenager when he launched Facebook, he hired experienced advisors who helped him make the right decisions and, over time, he has become a well-rounded leader.

Make Quality and Timely Decisions

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing,” Roosevelt once said. The tech industry is moving at an astonishing pace and, to keep pace with it, you need to be capable of making the right decisions fast and taking risks when the need arises. If you are sitting on the fence all the time, not being able to find quality answers to your employees’ questions and problems, they might consider you incapable of leading them. Even worse, this might heavily affect your company’s growth.

Uber is just one of numerous examples showing how important bias for action is. Namely, when Lyft, their competitor, started offering scheduled rides, Uber’s executives decided to release the same feature within weeks. In this case, they didn’t have the luxury of doing a detailed research and debating the benefits of the product features. They simply built it and launched it.

Create Safe Work Environment

It’s your responsibility as an employer to provide your employees with pleasant, productive and, above all, safe work environment. Even though you cannot prevent all the incidents from happening, you can at least reduce the risk of workplace injury by developing a strict protocol, including safety education, offering adequate resources, and monitoring potential problem areas.  Most importantly, if the incident has already occurred, you need to know how you respond to such a situation. According to Bordas & Bordas personal injury lawyers, in such cases, employees are likely to hire an attorney to help them protect their right to compensation. As they will ask for all sorts of files and documentation on the employee, and you should cooperate with them and hand this information over.

Recognize your Employees’ Efforts

Steve Jobs believed that “great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” This is exactly why every great leader understands and values their team’s efforts and hard work. By proving that you care about the employee behind the work as the work itself, you will be able to boost your employees’ satisfaction and, most importantly, improve their engagement and retention.

For example, you could develop an incentive program. The studies show that 71% of employees would rather stay with a company that offers rewards than switch to one that offers higher pay. Most importantly, apart from being brilliant motivation boosters, incentives don’t require you to have Google’s budget. Young and small businesses in IT could offer a wide range of affordable and yet highly effective incentives, such as in-house skill-building opportunities, certificates of achievement, flexible work arrangement, gift cards, paid time off, and happy hours.

Conclusions

Never try hard to become the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. You’re simply not them. Instead, you need to know what it is that makes you authentic. Only by establishing recognizable leadership traits and staying true to them will you be able to build a powerful brand that stands out.

Which are some additional traits of distinguished entrepreneurs? Share your favorite ones with us.