Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Danger Of Charisma 

As any PR practitioner knows, it is easy to generate news and reputation for a charismatic leader.  The challenge comes when the charismatic leader departs from an organization.  Apple is facing this question, apparently, and Steve Jobs is calling the story "hogwash."  Apple is in a particularly difficult position because the company is largely seen by its devotees and the financial community as a one-man company.  Job's imprint is on every element of its ethos and products.  In fact, Apple's future will be ensured only after Job's leaves and both the company and market discover, if they ever do, that he is not essential.  Jobs is apparently not making transition easy for his board, and there are accusations that the board is too beholden to him.  The proper PR strategy,. of course, is to increase the profile of other Apple executives so there is a comfort in the marketplace about the bench strength of the company.  One wonders if Jobs is allowing this to be done.


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