Leadership Qualities, Skills and Style of Tim Cook

When Steve Jobs died, Apple appointed Tim Cook as the new CEO of the company. At this point, he was known a little in public and many people doubted him for this post. Tim Cook does not like to work on the spotlight. With having leadership qualities and skills, Cook made the state of Apple fundamentally sound. Apple’s stocks soared up from a split-adjusted $54 to a recent $126 and translating into a market capitalization well North of $700 billion. Apple is the first company to cross that level since Steve Jobs died. Apple’s market value became more than double than Microsoft. Today our post will be on the leadership qualities, skills and style of Tim Cook. 

Cook was born on November 1, 1960, who is an American business executive, industrial engineer, and developer. He is the seventh CEO of Apple Inc. He was ex-Chief Operating Officer of Apple. Cook joined Apple from Compaq Computer in 1998, came from an operations background and spent maximum years of his career at IBM. He named on Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. Because of his leadership qualities, skills & styles, he is running the Apple successfully.

Leadership Qualities, Skills and Style of Tim Cook

Risk Taking: Leaders sometimes take difficult decisions to take risks for the betterment of their companies. For leaders, nothing is being easily done. When taking risks, leaders have to keep trusts on themselves. Tim Cook also knew about this matter. He knew he must take risks to make him succeed. He noted that He “[w]e take risks knowing that risks will sometimes result in failure, but without the possibility of failure there is no possibility of success.”

Trust Others Around You: Tim Cook is so popular as a leader who will keep trust on the opinions of the team members who are always surrounded by him. He has many top executives around him and he believes they are successful people with having innovative and brilliant ideas and they can lead the company if needed. He trusts them more than anyone.

Be Humble: Another leadership quality of Tim Cook is he is always humble as a person. Being a CEO of one of the greatest company did not get swept him from being a humble leader. He never used to forget his roots. He pays a visit to his Apple stores and engages with his customers. Once Cook had an interview with Businessweek nd there he said, “Not allowing yourself to become insular is very important–maybe the most important thing, I think, as a CEO.”

Valuing Collaboration: Among his other qualities, giving value on effective collaboration is a unique quality. “You look for people who appreciate different points of view. People who care enough that they have an idea at 11 at night and they want to call and talk to you about it. Because they’re so excited about it, they want to push the idea further. And that they believe that somebody can help them push the idea another step instead of them doing everything themselves.” he said in an interview.

Admit When You’re Wrong: Cook strongly believes leaders can do mistakes and they can be wrong too sometimes. He once spoke about Steve Jobs and his ability to admit wrongs to Business-week. He said that Maybe the most underappreciated thing about Steve was that he had the courage to change his mind. And you know–it’s a talent. It’s a talent.”

Be You and Don’t Pretend to be Anyone Else: Many people believed that Cook don does not have the right personality to fulfill the role of CEO successfully because of his calm and passive behavior. But he has proved he is the right man for the CEO post. While Steve Jobs was far aggressive, Tim Cook remained polite and calm and completed his job with his own strength. He believes that succeeding as a leader does not mean you have to give up being who you are. This is one of his important leadership quality we must say.

You Can Only do a Few Things Great: The point of view of Tim Cook is to focus on what you do best and do it the best you can. He says, “I mean if you really look at it, we have four iPods. We have two main iPhones. We have two iPads, and we have a few Macs. That’s it.”
“We argue and debate like crazy about what we’re going to do because we know that we can only do a few things great,” he added.

He possesses more leadership qualities and skills besides these:

  • Believe in what you’re doing and take actions that reflect that
  • Write your own rules
  • Transparency is key
  • Make risky but smart bets
  • Keep calm and have faith
  • Diversity of leadership is massively important

Leadership Style

He follows his own leadership style for the betterment of his company’s success. He is a democratic leader and he follows democracy by giving the opportunities to the employees to share more ideas for the betterment of the company. He also follows Laissez-faire Leadership style by giving authority to the employees. He also possesses Coaching leadership style. He motivates his followers, inspires them and encourages them.

So from the discussion above it is clear that Tim Cook has been an inspirational leader to many people since he took over the role as Apple CEO. His leadership approaches are admirable and his qualities, skills & styles of leadership can teach us all how to build a solid foundation as a leader. He sets a powerful example for others. We can all learn from his example.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cook
  • http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/11-leadership-lessons-can-learn-from-tim-cook.html
  • http://fortune.com/2015/03/26/tim-cook/
  • https://www.inc.com/business-insider/elon-musk-tesla-solarcity-sec-solar-panel-customer-cancel-contract.html
  • https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237287

Related Reading:

  1. Leadership Qualities and Styles of Jeff Bezos
  2. Leadership Style of Jack Ma

Sadnan Bin Sattar

Sadnan is one of the top contributors of Gotabout Business Strategy and Analysis. He is an undergrad student of North South University; major is Finance and Accounting. He has a strong interest in strategy development.