Apple CEO Steve Jobs named to U.S. News & World Report’s list of ‘America’s Best Leaders’

“Leadership, as the public tells the pollsters, is in disappointingly short supply. So the 25 people profiled in the following pages are a heartening exception to the rule. ‘America’s Best Leaders’ are an accomplished group selected by an independent committee of judges assembled by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Some leaders are famous names; others, while giants in their fields, may be introduced to readers for the first time. Their leadership styles are as varied as the organizations they manage. But what they all share is a clearly articulated vision, measurable results, and, in the words of one management guru, Big Hairy Audacious Goals,” writes U.S.News & World Report.

Bill Gates, along with wife Melinda Gates, makes U.S. News and World Report’s list of “America’s Best Leaders”, not for leading Microsoft, but for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Some others include: Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State; Roger Ailes,
Chairman and CEO of Fox News channel; Howard Schultz, Chairman of Starbucks; Larry Page & Sergey Brin, Founders of Google; and Oprah Winfrey, Entertainment mogul.

Steve Jobs also makes the list for leading Apple Computer, Inc.

They rise to the occasion in times of political crisis, but truly transformational leaders who change the world for the better remain rare in business. Which is why Steve Jobs is so fascinating… the 50-year-old Jobs, usually clad in jeans and black turtleneck, has established an aura around his “insanely great” products, which are beautiful and brash, fabulous and functional… Last year, Jobs cheated death and escaped a cancer scare; this year, Apple will generate robust revenues, and its stock is bristling with good health. Jobs was lucky. We are, too. Because our lives are different and much more interesting with this man leading us to the land of what’s next.

Full article here.

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  1. Looking at a couple of names on the list, this does not seem such an honour.

    Also, the inclusion of Bill Gates for his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation raises an interesting question. Should not a truly great leader get good results in any situation? Does Mr. Gates have a clearly articulated vision, measurable results and Big Hairy Audacious Goals at Microsoft, as well? If not, does that suggest he enjoys a better team at the foundation? If the team makes the difference between a great leader and a not so great leader, is the leader truly great?

    An interesting article, but like many “best” lists very debatable. That said, the Jobs profile is a pretty good advertisement for Apple products. “Jobs’s passionate perfectionism … is embedded in the soul of many new machines–iMacs, iBooks, iPods.”

  2. Hey I don’t like Gates either, but like it or not, he has led Microsoft to become the largest corporation in the world… Now you can argure whether or not MS’s position is luck or leadership? I’d have to say both..

  3. Bill Gates: cohorts with the Chinese government to censor the internet

    Steve Ballmer: throws chairs and threatens to kill the CEO of Google

    Micheal Dell: baits and switches new users and provides absolute junk for computers

    Steve Jobs: Just wants to bring a better computing experience to the world.

    Makes the choice pretty easy.

  4. Bill Gates doesn’t have a creative bone in his body, it’s all about power and control. Who is really pulling his strings? The US government.

    Think about it, for over 21 years Microsoft products have been insecure when Unix has been solid.

    When the first Mac viruses came out long ago for the Classic OS, Apple buckled the OS right down.

    Microsoft didn’t bother, because it the US spooks had complete access to just about every computer in the world.

    Now the US government has backdoors into Cisco routers which are used for the backbone of the internet.

    It’s all about Big Brother.

    Where’s our auto -encrypted emails?

    Why do we have to register for PGP for our encrypted emails?

    How come only when we visit a Secure site the transaction is encrypted? Why not for all sites? It takes no more CPU power at all?

    It’s all about Big Brother.

    Hold it, there’s a knock at my door….

  5. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates billions of dollars to good causes. Sure Windows sucks when compared to OSX – but I can’t like my dislike for M$ turn me into an insane hater of all things with Bill Gates name on it.
    Bill is not the devil in person. He is just a man that runs a huge company and has lots of money. The same as Steve.

    I salute Bill and Melinda for their charity work.

  6. Let’s face it. There wouldn’t be a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation if there were no Melinda Gates and had she not spent a her vacation in Zaïre.

    Of course, she might not have taken that vacation to Zaïre had she not been married to the richest man in the world. But let’s make that point moot. The woman has a heart.

    In the meantime, Bill notices nothing about evil viruses killing innocent children and adults around the globe (outside of Windows) until he reads a newspaper article? You mean, before that he didn’t know there are people who are so poor, they can’t afford good food and clean water, sanitary living conditions, or basic medical attention, much less vaccines– which are either not developed or when they do exist, are not distributed because vaccines are not profitable for Giant Pharmaceutical Companies? Come on, people. Let’s get real about this!

    The only reason Bill wants these people alive is because he can not enslave dead people to M$ Windows.

    The US News & World report should have Melinda’s photo in the article, not Bill’s. It’s Melinda who deserves the salute

    PS. Funny that my ex-spouse and Bill Gates share the same initials.

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  7. I don’t like Microsoft either, but Bill Gates has been brilliant in a John D. Rockefeller kind of way. It takes leadership and vision to do what he has done (not anyways in an honorable way – ripping off Mac GUI and flipping it over for example). But in his book The Road Ahead he writes about the Titans of Industry that couldn’t make the leap from one epoch to the next, and that history is littered with the corpses of such companies. His goal is not to be left in the dust when the next ‘turn’ becomes apparent. He more or less turned MS on a dime when he realized that he had missed the importance of the internet. If he can’t do it, then I don’t think it is possible for a mega-company to do it.
    However, the great story here is the All-American comeback of Steve Jobs. Who wrote that only in America do the down-fallen had a second act? I feel lucky to be alive while he is creating the great comeback of Apple. To get down to 2.5% US marketshare (and who among us wasn’t a little bit worried at the rapid erosion there for awhile?) and then battle back – that’s the greatest business story in the last 15 years. And that’s why the media cheers him on.

  8. MacParanoidis GoodforYou writes: “Bill Gates doesn’t have a creative bone in his body”

    Now that is simply not true. After all, he created (or at least contributed to) Donkey!:

    MacParanoidis GoodforYou writes: “How come only when we visit a Secure site the transaction is encrypted? Why not for all sites? It takes no more CPU power at all?”

    Well, this one actually isn’t true, especially on slower computers. One common mistake of on-line shopping carts is that on secure pages, they pull graphics off the secure server, which slows things down considerably (due to the encryption of the graphics). These webmasters either mistakenly believe that all content on an encrypted page must be encrypted (not true) or aren’t clever enough (or are too lazy) to pull graphics from a non-secure source.

    I don’t suppose this effect is noticeable on a G5 Quad, but on a lot of computers it can be significant.

  9. “…selected by an independent committee of judges assembled by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.”

    and their “list” is to accepted as fact; this is nothing but subjective BS.

    C.Rice is a mouthpiece. real leaders set the agenda or strongly influence it.

    O. Winfrey. “leader”! Give me a break. she’s nothing but a contemorary mammy to wealthy white women.

    Jobs is probably the only one who belongs on the “list”.

  10. MW: “know.”

    Paper money is not the same as real money. BG can’t cash-in his entire holdings at M$ at the current share price unless he sells the company (or his entire holdings) for cash at the current share price without accruing capital gains tax. The act of selling shares affects its price, therefore some of the value of his holdings are unrealizable. If charitable donations are made in the form of shares, then one gets the biggest tax benefit as those shares should be valued at their market price on transfer. If charitable donations are made in the form of cash then that is something else. I believe BG created a private [family] foundation endowed with 28 or so billion.

    Private Foundations

    Since a private foundation is a charitable organization, it is exempt from federal income tax on its income, although it must pay a 1-to-2 percent excise tax on its net investment income. The gifts you make to establish a new foundation or grow an existing foundation can afford you certain tax advantages; income, gift and estate tax deductions are available under the law.

    Private Endowed Foundations
    This is the most common type of private foundation. The foundation’s financial assets create a principal — or endowment — that is invested, and income from the endowment is paid out annually to charity. Generally, the principal or endowment is not spent, only the investment income. Therefore the principal can increase over time with good investment, ensuring the foundation’s continuation and growth to meet future community needs. Private foundations are required by law to pay out annual grants and other qualifying distributions totaling a minimum of 5 percent of the fair market value of their assets.

  11. I hate Microsoft and I hate Bill Gates wearing his Microsoft hat – but people, let’s give credit where credit is due. The Gates foundation has done WONDERS for health care and education, particularly in the third world.

    Steve Jobs has tons of money, but a philanthropist he is not. Even when you buy bad, poorly-designed Microsoft products, a small fraction of your money essentially went into the Gates foundation and its philanthropic causes.

    Steve Jobs has yet to measure up in charity or philanthropy. Unfortunately, he’s “thinking different” about charity means that your money to Apple is going nowhere except in his pocket.

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