I think Steve was a transformational business leader, who thought outside the box. After learning about his death, I decided to find out more about Steve and share what I have learned.
In some way, he was not much different from you and me. He was raised (and adopted) by a working class couple. Growing up he was energetic, prankful, and fun-loving.
Yet, he was different. He had above average intelligence, (skipping one grade in elementary school). He showed single-child syndrome - ego-centric, a loner with few friends, and did not know how to share. In other words, his emotional quotient was rather low. It showed up in his relationships with his friends, girl friends, family, employee, co-workers, business partners, and bosses. The only exception may be his wife who was strong enough to standup to him and weather the ups and downs of his personality. He found Apple, bore a child out of wedlock, and eventually became rich and famous.
His view of the world was black and white, either you were insanely right or f***ing wrong. His emotions fluctuated between the two extremes.
The biggest difference between him and us was his passion - passion for excellence.
In the American business schools, we are taught to fulfill the needs of stakeholders - stock holders, investors, owners, employees, creditors, and suppliers - by maximizing return on investments. In reality, the CEOs are fulfilling their needs first - getting 6-8 figures salaries, huge stock options, and golden parachutes upon separation. Steve thought that was the wrong approach. He believed in creating a market based on great products and innovation. He proved that with iTunes, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iCloud.