Tim Cook's Style

Apple CEO Tim Cook has a managerial style could be broadly defined as democratic. Rather than standing in complete contrast to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Cook appears to have adopted some of the legendary entrepreneur's existing practices and developed a uniquely blended leadership mantra.

Many were concerned that Cook lacked the bold visionary style of Jobs, but he has strengths of his own. He's often described as charismatic and thoughtful by Apple employees. So far, his tenure has been characterized by a greater focus on existing products and fostering of business as well as employee relationships.

Instead of simply continuing the legacy of Jobs' autocratic leadership style, Cook has played to his strengths and placed emphasis on advancing cooperation among Apple's arsenal of talent. This is extremely indicative of the democratic style of management, which encourages consensus building, particularly among high-level employees prior to mutually consented decision making.

The role of hands-on participation of the CEO in developing Apple products has significantly reduced since Cook took over in 2011. The iWatch is an example of this shift in structure as Cook chose to be less involved in the details of product engineering. Instead, he delegated those duties to members of his executive cabinet. His notably subtle style of leadership has enhanced industry and employee goodwill. When compared to Jobs' brusque and often dictatorial manner, Cook's style has also resulted in slower decision-making and a clear loss of innovative drive.

In a blatant shift from Jobs' "innovation first" approach, Cook asserts that one "can only do a few things great." However, Tim Cook can make tough decisions. Ultimately, his focus on existing strengths of the organization, the importance given to accord between senior executives and lack of micromanagement clearly indicates a democratic managerial style.