Jung describes “leadership style” as a key to “being one of the most, if not the most, important” aspects of organizational leadership (Jung, 2003, pp. 1). In the context of Steve Jobs and his relentl

Jung describes “leadership style” as a key to “being one of the most, if not the most, important” aspects of organizational leadership (Jung, 2003, pp. 1). In the context of Steve Jobs and his relentless quest for innovation before customers know they even want a product or service, Jung’s analysis of transformational leadership and its integration with innovation is spot on.

In the context of Loehr’s description of innovation and its relation to science, Loehr argues that “an innovation is deduced from rational arguments and ideas has to be induced by facts” (Loehr, 2017, pp. 25). In many ways, Jobs’ arguments for new and innovative ideas are sound and flawed at the same time: why invent something people don’t even know what they want? How would one know that people want a product if it is not even tested, advertised, or researched?

On the other side, part of being Jung’s transformational leader is exactly what the word “transform” means: innovating a current idea into a new thought, product, or concept. With Loehr arguing that innovation is deduced from rational arguments, he and Steve Jobs are both right: innovation is indeed a rational, rigorous process, and Steve Jobs turned out to be “rational” in his approach that people needed products they didn’t even think they would need. Certainly, his ideas could have been “irrational” if his “innovations” turned out to be futile and not profitable.

In the “What is Innovation?” video, every one of the people mentioned applied a rigorous practice to innovation, or a “process, or a series of steps to create something of value for society” (What Is Innovation? – Science of Innovation, 2013, 00:15–05:21). Logic was applied as Loehr suggests, and each innovator also created products that people did not know that they wanted. Again, Jobs’ style is both logical and flawed: if the idea did not work, it would have been flawed, if the idea created profit, then it would be brilliant.

Throughout this leadership program, a constant theme has been applying rigor to the process, whether the process be treating people right, collaboration, changing culture, or in this case, innovating. Loehr describes rational arguments because of facts that lead to the creation of innovative ideas; I would argue that his approach is the rigor required to achieve innovation. Despite the science and research applied to innovation as seen in the readings and video, I would also argue that indeed Steve Jobs and others are visionaries, working beyond their times, in term making them truly “transformational” leaders.

Lohr, K. (2016). The Science of Innovation: A Comprehensive Approach for Innovation Management (De Gruyter Textbook) (Digital original ed.). Walter de Gruyter.

Jung, D. I., Chow, C., & Wu, A. (2003). The role of transformational leadership in enhancing organizational innovation: Hypotheses and some preliminary findings. The Leadership Quarterly, 14(4–5), 525–544. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1048-9843(03)00050-x

What is Innovation? – Science of Innovation. (2013, December 16). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR83B1UuzCY

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