As a leader, Howard Schultz proved to have values that encourage innovation and creativity yet a sense of wholeness in the overall business. The engagement of customers and employees has proved to be the main strong points he has imposed on Starbucks, the overall corporate culture of Starbucks reflects that.
What situations could have been dealt better?
In general, Starbuck’s deals with majority of its problems properly, especially with the help of the many partnerships and relations with various groups. The only weakness in Starbucks is it’s vulnerability to public scorn. (Rucker, Kayla and Lanagin) With its built reputation, small conflicts and social media can cause negative publicity with Starbucks such as a video from an employee which showed impolite customers and their dissatisfaction at work. In this regard, perhaps Starbuck’s should ensure that there is an official sector to deal with employee issues.
What was their best moment as a leader?
Howard Schultz values Starbuck’s service and product reputation for quality. In 2006, despite going against the advice of his best financial advisors, Howard Schultz realized that people were losing the connections with Starbucks. (Zelen) With this situation in mind, he decided to reform his workforces, retraining 135,00 baristas by closing all the US company-owned stores during a single afternoon. It was a 3 hour training session which proved to inspire and motivate the employees in their work. Besides that, Schultz also made the decision to hold a leadership conference for 8,000 US store managers and 2,000 partners (employees), costing about $30 million. Schultz had the goal of reminding people what Starbucks stood for. More baffling. however is how he decided to choose a hurricane ravaged city of New Orleans as the area to train his personnel. It was seen to be an illogical decision but Schultz had turned that around to not only discuss how to improve the business but also volunteer to clean up the city, restoring parks and building playgrounds.
In that decision, Schultz involvement in his “partners” defies the very status quo of many other leaders. He is definitely a role model for all employees. (Zelen)