Leading Change: Tim Cook

Leading Change: Tim Cook

Provide an example of a person you believe is successful at leading and implementing change. What makes him/her successful?

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple, which is among the most valuable companies globally. He took the leading position in 2011, after Steve Jobs, the company’s founder, death. Since then, Cook has steered the company through cultural change and implementation, leading to the cultivation of an inspirational, inclusive, and collaborative environment. These are three leadership styles that made him successful in managing and implementing the cultural revolution in Apple. Cook believes in teamwork and transparency, the management style which eases the decision-making process, unlike Jobs, who demanded perfection and excellence from employees through an autocratic leadership style. Kotter (2005) argued that great leaders influence followers to move in a direction that is sensible for the business, themselves, and the community.

What do you think are the three most critical components of leading and implementing change?

Using Cook’s leadership approach in managing and implementing change in Apple, I think leading and implementing change should be based on communication, collaboration, and commitment. According to Younger, Younger & Thompson (2011), effective change management aims at obtaining the support of the stakeholders. Cook has focused on exemplifying the purpose of changes and showing how they are connected to the company’s values to gain the support of employees and stockholders.

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Cook has also mastered the art of collaboration in the organization to ensure that change is co-owned. When Cook took over from Jobs, he changed the organizational culture and structure to allow a decentralized decision-making process by bringing in the elements of collaboration and autonomy. For example, the former employee of the company, as presented by MacDailyNews (2017), agrees that Cook does not like debating, and he would rather bring top managers together and let them build consensus.

Commitment is another component of leading and implementing change, as exhibited by Cook. Zenger (2017) opines that successful leaders ensure their behaviors and beliefs support change. Cook believes in democracy, and he has shown that by introducing the culture of teamwork and independence in decision making, unlike Jobs, who ensured that all decisions must go through him. As the leader of change, Cook has recently taken action in the wake of increase racial inequality and injustice in the United States. The company, through his leadership, has announced that it will donate $100 million to make the real change happen.


Kotter, J. P. (2005). Change Leadership: Many start but few finish well. Leadership Excellence, 22(12), 3-4.

MacDailyNews. (2017, April 10). The culture at Apple changed when Tim Cook took over as CEO. Retrieved from https://macdailynews.com/2017/04/10/the-culture-at-apple-changed-when-tim-cook-took-over-as-ceo/

Younger, J., Younger, A., & Thompson, N. (2011). Developing the skills of HR business partnership: consulting and change management. Strategic HR Review, 10(1), 6-14. doi:10.1108/14754391111091751

Zenger, J. (2017, November 25). Change Your Leaders To Change Your Culture. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackzenger/2017/11/25/change-your-leaders-to-change-your-culture/#65b4f90667d5

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