Servant Leadership with Special Reference to Howard Schultz

SERVANT LEADERSHIP 7

ServantLeadership with Special Reference to Howard Schultz

ServantLeadership with Special Reference to Howard Schultz

Seldomis theconceptof servantleadershipexemplifiedas itcould by Howard Schultz (Tripod, 2014). Themodelof servantleadershiphas profoundimplicationsfortheindividualandthefirm whereitispracticed.Organizationin the21st centuryis fortunateto havea referenceto Greenleaf’s work.Itcould bearguedthattheimperialistic modelof leadershipwashistorically successfulmakinganothermodelunnecessary.Leadershaveto be a lotof thingsto a manypeoplewithin theorganizationsetting(Spears, 2010). Theymust operatewithin diversestructures,workwith peoplefrom diverseoriginsandhaveto be adaptable.One excellentexampleof a servantleaderis Howard Schultz, thefounderof Starbucks Corporation Coffeehouses. Asa youngboy,Howardexperiencedtremendousjob-related difficultiesdue to his fathermedicalproblems.EventhoughHoward didnot havetheslightestideathathewould ownsuccessfulbusinessesone day,hedesireandwillingnessto protectthosethat werecloseto him andthosethat matteredmostin his lifewasone of his foremostvalues.WhenHoward establishedStarbucks,heeffectivelybecameone of theindustrypioneersby offeringhealthinsuranceandretirementsecurityto full-timeandpart-time workforce (Tripod, 2014). This paper shall discuss servantleadership as depicted by Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

WhatIs Servant-Leadership?

Greenleafin 1970 first coined the term servant leadership.Greenleaf calledforbetterleadershipwhere,servingotherincludingcustomers,employeesandcommunityarethehighestpriorityforan organization(Spears, 2002). Servantleadershipstresseson increasedserviceto others, sharingof powerin decision-making,promotinga senseof communityandholistic approachto work.Baseon Greenleafdefinitionof servantleadershipwhich a servesas thestandardwayforseparatingitfrom otherformsof leadership,a greatleaderis thefirstexperiencedas a servantto others. Greenleafidentifiedsomeof theprimaryattributesthat servant leadersshould possessincludingbutnot limitedto listening,healing, empathy,persuasion,awareness,foresight,conceptualization, stewardship, commitmentto thegrowthof peopleandbuildingcommunity(Spears, 2010).

Basedon thedefinition of servantleadershipas projectedby Greenleaf, theservant-leaderisa servantfirst.Itbeginswith a naturalfeelingthatone desiresto serveandto servefirst.With time,consciouschoicesbringone to aspireto lead.Aservantleaderis differentfrom others whoare leadersfirst.Thecentralpointof departurefora personwholeadsfirstanda personwhoservesfirstis manifestedin thecaretakenby theservant-first to seeto itthatotherpersons’sincludingemployee`shighestpriorityneedsare beingaddressed(Spears, 2002).Resultsof servantleadershipshould be visiblein thenatureof thosebeingserved.Theyshould becomewiser,autonomous,healthierandfreer.Thegeneraleffectsto thesocietyshould be positiveboth to theprivilegedandthedeprived.

PerhapsHoward Schultz is one of thoseleadersin the21st centurywhobestmanifesttheactualfeaturesof a servantleadership.Schultz is thechairmanandchiefstrategistsof Starbucks Corporation, a firm that hebuiltin 1985 (Tripod, 2014). Thefirmgrewfrom a singlestoreinWashington into a global chainboastingof morethan 12,000 retailstoressituatedin 37 countries.Itis thezealandleadershipacumenof thismanthat Starbucks is whereitis today.Schultz has receivedmanyhigh-status awardsin acknowledgmentof his manybusinessandcommunitycontribution,includingbestmanage in 2001 andexecutiveof theyearin 2000.

HowardSchultz as a Servant Leader

Schultzcan bedescribedas one of themostoutstandingentrepreneursandvisionaryleadersin theworldtoday.Schultz philosophyof usingthepowerof thehumanspiritin theoperationof thecompanyhas earnedhim numerousprominenthonorsin both thecorporate worldandthecommunity.Heis themanbehind thevisionof Starbucks that has resultedinthecorporation’sunheraldedsuccess.Schultz’s farsightedness,servitude,vision,andintegrityhavemadehim a fabulousstoryof themannerin which corporate leadersshould emulate(Tripod, 2014).

Asmentionedabove thesuccessof Starbucks is mainlypeggedon ambitionandvisionof Schultz whodecidedthatnaturewassoaddicting thatitrequiredto bepermeatedthroughtheAmerican culture.Itis theambitionof Schultz that transformeda simplebusinessideainto a global enterprise(Tripod, 2014). Tobe succinct,Schultz’s enthusiasmfueledhim to seewhatnootherAmerican hadseenandattainthingsnoothermanwould havethoughtare possible.In referenceto Starbucks,Schultzhas visionhas createdthecontemporarycoffeeculture.

Asa trueservantleaderSchultz has a magnificentscaleof integrity.To be moreprecise,heservesandactsas an ethicalleader.Basedon his guidance,Starbucks provideshealthinsuranceto anyemployeewholenderstheir laborto thefirm formorethan 20 hourseventhoughtheymay not be marriedandregardlessof thespousal situation(Tripod, 2014).Furthermore,Starbucks providesshareoptionsto their workforces workingin differentdepartmentsof thecorporation.Thisis theprincipal,anddecisivereasonmakescoffeeas expensiveas itis becausethecorporationcoughsmoremoneyin healthcare thattheydoforcoffeebeansusedto producethecoffee.In fact,Starbucks wasone of thepioneerfirms to providetwo specialbenefitsto its workforce (Tripod,2014).

Fromlate1980s,allpart-time employeewereeligibleforcompletehealthbenefitsandby thebeginningof the1990s allemployeebothpart-time andfull-time startedto shareownershipin thecorporationin theformof sharesoptions.Schultz has alwaysstatedthatthecorporationcannot flourishin theheartsof consumersifitisnot devotedto its workforce andpartners.Anotherelementthat portraystheintegrityof Schultz andthecorporationis thefactthattheypaythecoffeegrowerspricesabove thecurrentmarketvalueoftheir produce.Schultz feelsthatiffarmersare compensatedwith extradollarsfortheir effortandproduce,moreconsistencyin qualityandpassionwill beaccordedto their coffeebeans(Tripod, 2014).

Finally,Schultz andStarbucks are an activedoerin thesocietyandcommunitythat thecreated.Shultz isalwaysseenassistingnewemployeesin theretailstoresandhis friendlyconducthas helpedhim acquiregoodreputefrom theworkforce. Schultz philosophyis thatifa leaderfosters careandaccordspeoplealltheyneedfrom theenterprisesetting,thentheyare goingto flourishphysicallyandemotionally. Thisis theperhapsthemainreasonhefrequentlyvisitsthestores,not becausehehas to be therebutbecauseof his passiontoseeothers succeedas thefirms continueto generateyields.

Schultzpayshis totalattentionandeffortstoeveryindividual,something that has auguredwellwith all his partners.Servantleadersdepictsimilartraitsanddoeswhathecontinuallypursues-serving others – whileat thesametimepayingattentiontoattaininggoodoutcomesin linewith thefirms values,goalsandintegrity(Tripod, 2014). Based on his ownreflection,his fatherandnextof kintaughthim thevalueof benevolentandthat has beenhis driveeversince.His doctrineis “givetothe employee,allthat youcan andgiveto stakeholders allwhattheyexpect”.Hebelievesin actingwith loyaltyandintegrityto allpeopleyougetinto contactwith.Finally,hiscredo remainsbeinga servantto everyone whoyoulead(Tripod, 2014). Undoubtedlyhis 20 yearsat thehelmof Starbucks has helpedhim understandthatthepowerofthe humanspiritandgenerosityinthe corporateworldare as vitalas theserviceand productsan enterpriseoffers.

Conclusion

Inconclusionis itevidentthatHoward Schultz servantleadershipis one to beemulated.Fromhim wecan learnthatbusinessis not onlya profitsmaking machine butshould also strive to attain the fragileequilibriumbetween thefiscalresponsibilitiesthat leadershaveto stakeholders andemployeesas wellas our commitmentto benevolenceto thepeoplein thecommunitythat theyserve.Ahugechunkof successof theStarbucks brandcan beattributedto theservantleadershipof Howard Schultz. Itis his integrityvisionandabilityto helpstakeholders realizethattheyare an integralpartof thecorporationthat has givenhim an openingto succeedata levelnoonewouldhavethoughtare possible.Histraitsasa servantleaderis visiblein his statementthatsuccessis themodernworldis about havinga heart,a conscienceanddemonstratingto your people,partnersandcustomersin communitiesyouservethatyouare concerned about therightthings,becauseita corevalueyouthat drivesyoueachday.

References

Spears,L.C. (2002). Greenleaf,Robert. K: Servant Leadership: a journey into the nature oflegitimate power and greatness.Paulist Press: Mahwah, New Jersey.

Spears,L.C. (2010). Character and Servant Leadership: Ten Characteristics ofEffective, Caring Leaders. TheJournal of Virtues and Leadership,Vol. 1 (11) 25-30.

Tripod.(2014). Thepathway to be an excellent leader: Business Leader Howard Schultz.Retrieved from: http://poppycsr.tripod.com/id5.html