Was Steve Jobs a micro or a macro manager? How about Richard Branson, Warren Buffett and Martha Stewart? Find out the management style of these celebrity business leaders.
FAMOUS MACRO MANAGERS
Buffett is known for his laissez-faire management style. This macro approach works well because he buys companies with experienced CEOs who are focused on profitability. While this style has led to some management problems, as Buffett has said: “We would rather suffer the visible costs of a few bad decisions than incur the many invisible costs that come from decisions made too slowly – or not at all – because of a stifling bureaucracy.”
The founder and CEO of Kogan.com has a self-described laissez-faire management style. Kogan allows employees to choose their own hours so long as they get the job done. He aims to hire tech-savvy employees who know more about a subject than he does.
When the founder of the Virgin Group shared the secrets of his success with the BBC this year, he said: “I know I’m a good entrepreneur, but I’m not sure that I’d be a very good manager and there is a difference. My mind is always thinking ahead and wanting to create new things. I just think once I’ve set something up, it’s better if someone else runs it.”
FAMOUS MICRO MANAGERS
Steve Jobs, co-founder and leader of Apple, was a well-known micro manager. When Fortune magazine profiled America’s toughest bosses, it said of Jobs that his “inhuman drive for perfection can burn out even the most motivated worker”.
Martha Stewart built her lifestyle empire with personal attention to every detail. She has described herself as a “maniacal micro manager” who must “understand every part of the business to be able to maximise those businesses”.
Cartoonist, filmmaker and founder of his eponymous company, Walt Disney was so hands-on in his business he was known to obsess over every detail of the ride design at his Disney theme parks.