Howard Schultz - A Leader?
We examined various leaders throughout the course of history. In each session, we saw how certain leaders exercised specific traits of leadership. Transferring these learnings to the case of Howard Schultz and STARBUCKS, one can see that it is exactly because of Schultz’ comprehensive leadership capabilities, that he was able to lead the successful turn-around of the organization in 2008. Through the following detailed analysis, we’ll highlight critical instances when Schultz employed the ten pillars focused on during class.
Exploration and Discovery.
The idea for STARBUCKS came as a result of a personal trip Schultz took to northern Italy. While there he …show more content…
I was chairman and I am culpable.”
Innovation and Adaptation.
Not many people would disagree with the statement that Howard Schultz was a great innovator. Innovation through creation, as well as innovation through adaptation. “Not innovation for innovation’s sake, but innovation that is relevant, usable and core to the culture.” This included an expanded product line as well as product mix. The option was not just a hot cup of coffee – flavoring, ice, whipped cream could all be added to create a personalized drink. Moreover, STARBUCKS started selling coffee beans in supermarkets, coffee equipment and even food. As the company expanded overseas, it did not try to force a standard template on new markets. Instead, Schultz recognized the importance of adapting to local cultures and tastes and developing products and design accordingly. This approach was specifically successful in China.
Howard Schultz’s action style is that of an alchemist. He successfully led an organizational-wide reinvention of the company, the brand and its people. Schultz went on to define the equity of the brand as, “whether or not the customer feels valued, appreciated and respected.” The current environment at STARBUCKS did not embody such a sentiment.
No matter the situation, Howard Schultz was always prepared with a strategy. The main tactic of STARBUCKS was to