A Sense of Exceptionalism?
Steve Jobs has been a unique and dynamic pioneer in innovation. He obviously is a key leader of Apple, and his health is a factor in the company's health.
But leaders must always be wary of, and their boards vigilant about, company founders or long-serving top leaders being seen as or beginning to believe they are the enterprise, and irreplaceable, rather than the captain of the ship and caretaker and builder of an institution. Top leaders or founders who have a sense of exceptionalism, of being "above the rules," have proven dangerous in too many institutions.
In this case, Steve Jobs and his board had a strategic decision to make, finding a delicate balance between protecting his privacy and maximizing his long-term health on the one hand and his ability to continue to lead with transparency on the other hand, given that his health issues may have a possible destabilizing effect.
That is why we create leadership teams and boards: to make the tough calls. If this was thoroughly debated and decided, I think it was a reasonable judgment.
Posted by: blasmaic | June 25, 2009 10:39 AM
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