Steve Jobs was a great leader because he was able to direct and motivate subordinates. Although Steve Jobs was not seen as the most personable leader, I believe he was a good example of a path—goal leader. Steve Jobs defined the goals of Apple. He wanted Apple to be number one in innovation and wanted employees to “think differently. ” I believe this “think differently” approach helped remove obstacles for subordinates. Most companies want employees to do exactly what they’re told, but Steve Jobs and Apple wanted employees to think outside the box and “think differently. Obstacles were removed and employees were given free reign to think outside the box, providing a boost for Apple’s innovation. Steve Jobs also provided support for subordinates. He supported new ideas that subordinates came up with and this helped make things like the iPod and iPad so successful. To be a successful path—goal leader a leader must be directive, supportive, participative, and achievement oriented. The leader must be able to adapt and must realize what drives the subordinate.
If a subordinate needs to have control on a project, the leader must be participative and provide involvement. On the other hand, if a subordinate has a need for affiliation, the leader must be supportive and provide nurturance. The path—goal theory is important because it allows the leader to see what behaviors affect the subordinate positively or negatively. Path—goal theory allows the leader to change their leadership style based on the subordinates’ personality.