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Journey through Entrepreneurial Leadership: A Reflection and Case Study Analysis


How does the application of entrepreneurial leadership concepts contribute to personal and professional development, and what lessons can be drawn from the case study of Steve Jobs at Apple?

Journey through Entrepreneurial Leadership 02

Journey through Entrepreneurial Leadership


Part A: Personal Critical Reflection on Module Learnings

Gibb’s Reflective Model


Undertaking the module on Entrepreneurial Leadership has enabled me to come across various new concepts and expand my theoretical knowledge. I can use this entrepreneurial leadership knowledge to better understand real-life scenarios and ensure my personal and professional development as well. Throughout the entire module course, I have learned about various concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship. In the first week, I was educated about the concept of innovation, its characteristics, benefits of innovation, creativity and its distinction with invention. This paved the way for learning about the new topic of design for innovation. This week, we were taught about classical models of innovation, the importance of innovation, problems, possible solutions, design paradigm, managing innovation, the four D’s of design-driven innovation and creative thinking.

The third week moved on to the topic of entrepreneurial opportunities. Here, I came across the entrepreneurship definition and two most important theories of entrepreneurship, namely, disruptive innovation and creative destruction theory. In the following two weeks, we delved deeper into this concept by learning about famous entrepreneurs, how they make a difference, their motivational drivers, different categories of entrepreneurs, and social entrepreneurship. The social entrepreneurship concept was particularly helpful in learning about how entrepreneurial leadership can also be utilized for social purposes rather than only for profit-making intentions (Phillips, et al., 2015). In the following weeks, I was able to gather widespread knowledge about different innovation networks and their importance, concept of open innovation and knowledge management, barriers to innovation, leadership and its styles and entrepreneurial skills.


In my opinion, the module has been extremely beneficial for acquiring detailed insights about both entrepreneurship and innovation. Previously, I used to get confused between the two concepts of invention and innovation. However, this module has eradicated this confusion and helped me to understand and differentiate between them. I have become aware about the benefits of innovation and creativity, which now encourages me to focus on enhancing my own creativity by using critical thinking and analytical skills. Now, I realise the importance of developing a creative mind for ensuring my personal growth and professional development in the future. Different theoretical models of innovation introduced in the third week have further enriched my knowledge on this topic. In this regard, I think that the module has elaborated vividly about the innovation concept for making us learn about entrepreneurial leadership. This sometimes became tedious for me as I was keener towards moving on towards learning about the what, why and how of entrepreneurship. However, I later realised that I could not have completely understood about entrepreneurship concept without gaining prior knowledge of different innovation concepts. Learning about famous entrepreneurs further enhanced my interest on understanding this concept and focusing on analysing how I can myself develop some entrepreneurial skills. Social entrepreneurship was another concept that I found to be fascinating as I had the misconception that entrepreneurs only meant for commercial or profit purposes. Moreover, learning about different barriers to innovation also made me better understand how I can develop suitable strategies for develop entrepreneurial skills in my personality.


In this entire module course, I participated in various individual and group projects, which further enabled me to better learn about innovation and entrepreneurship leadership theory in practice. In one group project, we were asked to present a business idea for applying these entrepreneurship concepts. This provided me with the opportunity of enhancing my creative skills to think about new business ideas that could be implemented in real-life. Here, I also had to look for various entrepreneurial opportunities by searching for information over the internet sources and each of the group members had to come up with different ideas. I could improve my teamworking and communication skills while working on this group project. These were developed through various group discussions about carrying out the project. I also performed the task of evaluating such ideas to select a best suitable alternative, which helped in enhancing my problem-solving skills. However, during the group project, we also encountered some internal conflicts because of differences in opinions amongst the members. I was unable to resolve the conflict and instead avoided any such discussion. I could not exert any influence for ensuring team cohesion in that situation despite being the group leader. Moreover, I also faced difficulties in grasping some of the concepts taught in fourth week related to innovation models. I often felt uninterested in those topics because of failing to better understand such theoretical aspects. Thus, I had to undergo both good and bad experiences while undergoing through this module.


In my opinion, both individual and group projects along with the entire module course has been beneficial in expanding my theoretical and practical knowledge. I had ample opportunity of applying in theoretical knowledge in assignments and projects, which further helped me in better understanding various concepts. I also think that my interest of learning about new things enabled me to grasp the concepts. The group project was also of great significance that improved my creative thinking abilities while looking for different business ideas and opportunities. While participating in this, I was able to contribute significant towards the successful completion of the project both as a leader and team member. This is because my teamworking and interpersonal skills helped me to act efficiently as a team member while also guiding others in the project. My leadership skills also helped in conducting group discussions with team members for discussing about progress in each week, which further contributed towards achieving team objectives. However, I think that I need to work on my conflict resolution and negotiation skills for emerging as a future business leader. In my view, lack of effective conflict resolution skill made it difficult for me to resolve internal conflicts within the team occurring from differences in opinions. Besides, instead of engaging in open discussions with conflicting members, I made a mistake of avoiding the situation. I also took more time in making them reach a consensus, which displayed that I lacked adequate negotiation skills. Moreover, I think my lack of attention to details and critical thinking abilities were also the reasons behind facing difficulties in understanding some theoretical concepts. Nevertheless, I also did not have the opportunity to experience the practical application of such models, which further accelerated the difficulties. Thus, this helps me in identifying and analysing my strengths, weaknesses and skills that have benefitted or prevented me throughout the project.


From the above reflection, I could identify various strengths and weaknesses in my personality, which can further influence my personal and professional development. Creativity skills helped me to effectively act in group projects like thinking about various business ideas and looking for entrepreneurial opportunities. Research skills helped me to extract required data and information and utilise them effectively while working on the group project. Adequate teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills were also beneficial for me to act as an effective leader in managing all team members and tasks. I could also utilise my leadership skills alongside working as a member of the team and focus on enhancing my problem-solving skills in the project.

Despite these personality strengths, I also recognised some weaknesses and areas of improvement throughout the entire reflection. I need to improve my conflict resolution skills which is one of the most significant abilities in an effective leader. This is essential for resolving conflicts within a team that can hamper the productivity and performance of members, thereby delaying the completion of a project. I also lack the effective negotiation skills that are required to reach a timely consensus despite group members having different opinions. Moreover, I need to enhance my critical thinking abilities for analysing and understanding concepts from different perspectives.

Action Plan

Objectives/GoalsActions    Success Criteria/MeasuresEvaluation  Timescale
Conflict resolution skillsConducting an open discussion with conflicting partiesIncreased team cohesionResolved team conflictsWithin one year
Negotiation skillsNegotiating between partiesTimely consensus in teamAble to fulfil both parties’ requirementsWithin one to two years
Critical thinking skillsUndertaking various perspectivesFinding out effective solutionsUnderstanding both positive and negative consequencesWithin two to three years
Leadership skillsDeveloping self-confidence and leading abilitiesSatisfied and motivated subordinatesEffectively directing and guiding team membersFive to seven years

Based on the self-reflection, I identified key skills that I need to focus on in the future. These include conflict resolution skills, negotiation skills, critical thinking skills and leadership abilities. A personal development plan has been development to display how I plan to develop and improve those skills because of their potential impact on my personal growth and professional development. The above table has represented actions, success criteria, evaluating my success and timeframe for building each of these skills. Thus, I intend to follow this plan and accordingly, track my progress to ensure that I am reaching my desired goals.

Part B: A Critical Evaluation of an Entrepreneurial Leadership Case Study


The essay aims to identify a case study of entrepreneurial leadership and evaluate the leadership characteristics and behaviours with the help of various theoretical concepts. In this regard, the example of Steve Jobs can be considered for the evaluation of leadership. Jobs was an American entrepreneur, business owner and investor, who was recognised for co-founding and leading Apple, which is one of the most successful companies in the world. Steve Jobs also founded and ran various other companies like NeXT and Pixar. This makes it acceptable in using his entrepreneurial leadership as a case study for this essay.

Entrepreneurial Leadership of Steve Jobs

It is first essential to understand the concept of entrepreneurial leadership and compare with one of the most popular leadership theories, which is transformational leadership before delving into the evaluation. Entrepreneurial leadership refers to a distinct leadership style that helps in dealing with current challenges and crises in an organisation (Koryak, et al., 2015). This leadership strategy is beneficial for directing the organisation and solving important problems by undertaking different steps throughout its growth and development. Entrepreneurial leadership also involves identifying new opportunities that help in improving organisational performance by fostering an environment for both change and innovation (Koryak, et al., 2015).

Furthermore, undertaking a comparison with transformational leadership can help in better understanding the concept of entrepreneurial leadership. Transformational leadership and entrepreneurial leadership are similar in the sense that both leaders inspire employees for displaying innovative behaviour (Newman, et al., 2018). However, there are significant differences between the two leadership styles. While entrepreneurial leadership style emphasises on opportunity-oriented behaviours as compared to transformational strategy, they do not possess charisma or offer individualised consideration as transformational leaders (Newman, et al., 2018). This shows that entrepreneurial leadership mainly focuses on role modelling of entrepreneurial behaviour of the followers, while transformational leaders undertake a more generalised approach.

Besides, entrepreneurship theories can be further used for analysing the case study of Apple and leadership of Steve Jobs. Here, two significant theories of entrepreneurship include creative destruction theory and disruptive innovation. Creative destruction theory of Schumpeter refers to new innovations replacing old technologies where growth can arise from conflicting processes between the old and the new (Aghion, 2017). This strategy is undertaken for preventing or delaying the entry of competitors in the industry. On the other hand, disruptive innovation focuses on transforming highly sophisticated and expensive products and services into more affordable for making it accessible to a broader population that was previously only provided to high-end or more-skilled customer segment (Christensen, et al., 2016).  Thus, these entrepreneurship theories can be utilised in the later section for evaluating leadership of Steve Jobs in Apple.

Steve Jobs was the co-founder of Apple, which was started in the year 1976 and headquartered in Cupertino, California, United States. Apple is a public company trading in the NASDAQ stock exchange and operating in the consumer electronics and software industry (Forbes, 2023). The company designs, manufactures and sells smartphones, wearables, personal computers, tablets and accessories alongside other software services. Some of the most popular products and services include iPhone, Apple TV, iPad, Mac, AirPods, Apple Watch, iCloud, Apple Care, Beats products, licensing services, streaming and digital content services (Forbes, 2023). As a co-founder and innovator, Steve Jobs contributed extensively towards the success of Apple Inc across the world. The introduction of Apple’s iPhone not only transformed the company, but it also revolutionised the entire telecommunications industry (Morris, 2017). This innovation and invention made people used to the idea of using mobile phones as their primary communication device and Jobs was a major part of this legacy. Jobs along with Wozniak further transformed the computer industry by leveraging technology to make smaller, easy to use and cheaper machines for consumers. Such strategies were considered as stepping stones of

With the help of case context described in the previous section, the entrepreneurial leadership of Steve Jobs can now be analysed with the help of creative destruction and disruptive innovation theories. Job’s innovation power has been evident from various Apple products that not only saved it from bankruptcy but also transformed it into a trillion-dollar company (Zaman, 2020). He introduced various new technologies for replacing old ones, which demonstrated the effective use of creative destruction under entrepreneurship. One of the most significant one was the introduction of graphical user interface for computer, which caused destruction in the min-computer industry. The second innovation was replacing the old products and processes of record labels, MP3 players and Walkman by introducing iTunes and iPod (Zaman, 2020). The third destruction introduced was the emergence of iPhone using multitouch technology that created waves in the mobile device industry. This shows that Steve Jobs was engaged in three creative destructions by replacing old processes and technologies with new and improved innovations that transformed mobile, computer and software industry alongside contributing towards Apple’s success. However, Apple’s products have always been priced at high levels for targeting high-end and more-skilled customer segments (Lee, 2015). Neither Steve Jobs nor any other leader has ever tried to make these products more affordable or accessible for the mass population, thereby retaining the status of offering highly sophisticated products to affluent customers. This shows that disruptive innovation of entrepreneurship has not been followed in Apple.

Various entrepreneurial behaviours and traits can be observed in the selected case study of Apple and Steve Jobs. Jobs has clear focus on emphasising on the successful products and cancelling others by grabbing the opportunities of technological advances in the market (Issacson, 2012). This helped in cancelling unprofitable products and saving Apple from bankruptcy. He also possessed the natural instinct of an entrepreneurial leader by simplifying things to emphasise on their essence alongside eliminating other unnecessary components (Issacson, 2012). Steve Jobs also displayed extensive creativity in not only introducing innovations but also leapfrogging to ensure that Apple would not be behind its competitors in the market. It helped in putting development of products before profits, displaying empathy and further having the potential of bending reality. He also focused on putting products beforehand that could help in meeting the unmet and hidden needs and demands of the customers with innovative transformations undertaken in Apple (Issacson, 2012). Thus, Steve Jobs displayed immense passion for innovativeness, engaging in face-to-face conversations, focusing on details and being inspirational.

Despite positive leadership traits evident in Steve Jobs’ entrepreneurship, various limitations were also present. Being an entrepreneurial leader, Jobs always pushed his subordinates for perfection (Issacson, 2012). This might have led to the worldwide success of Apple, however it also led to excessive stress for the employees of the organisation. He also displayed impatience, toughness and petulant nature with people around him who could not be in his list of top players (Issacson, 2012). This made it difficult for people to survive in the company who failed to meet his expectations towards innovation and performance. While this might have helped in motivating subordinates to strive for perfection, it also created a toxic culture of intolerance and fear in the company. Steve Jobs was also criticised for being unreasonable, rude, arrogant and fickle as an entrepreneurial leader. He was further critiqued for taking credit of others’ ideas, which could be a major drawback in his leadership ability (Zenger, 2013). This is because entrepreneurial leadership focuses on coming up with new ideas instead of imitating others’ ideas. Jobs was also identified to be fiercely opinionated in his vision, abrasive with people having contradictory opinions and highly charismatic in delivery (Snow, 2015). While these contributed towards the huge success of Apple, these negative traits could have also resulted in things going wrong. Effective leaders have the ability of considering others’ opinions as well and changing for the better, which was also evident in Jobs’ personality (Renko, et al., 2015). Thus, despite having some negative traits as an entrepreneurial leader, his competencies could surpass them and contribute towards the company’s success alongside making him a remarkable leader in history.


The essay analysed the entrepreneurial leadership theory by undertaking the case study of Apple and Steve Jobs. For this purpose, the concept of entrepreneurial leadership was described by comparing it with transformational theory. Furthermore, the case context of Steve Jobs as the co-founder of Apple was provided alongside displaying his major contributions in the company’s success and transforming mobile, computer and software industries. Furthermore, it was found out that Steve Jobs used creative destruction theory for introducing innovations by replacing old processes, which helped in revolutionising those industries. Besides, various strengths and limitations of Jobs’ entrepreneurial leadership style was also observed through the analysis. Despite being criticised of being rude, pushing for perfection or tough, Steve Jobs’ competencies made him one of the most successful entrepreneurial leaders.


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