Starbucks Case

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The Leadership Styles of Howard Shultz Led Starbucks Success Howard Schultz is one today’s most influential corporate leaders. Although he no longer holds the Chief Executive Officer position at Starbucks, he is responsible for bringing Starbucks where it is today. Leadership is a process whereby an individual, in this case Schultz, influences others to achieve a common goal. Schultz has influenced a wide range of people from the highly educated and trained executives Orin Smith and Howard Behar to each and every one of the 140,000 employees of Starbucks. Schultz only brought in people he knew had the same values and great vision he did for Starbucks. The common goal between Schultz and every person at Starbucks can be viewed on the mission statement: “Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”

The leadership theories most applicable to Schultz are the path-goal revised theory by Robert House and the transformational approach proposed by Bass and Avolio. Successful leaders, like Schultz, never lose hope and keep their goal in mind at all times. Schultz has led Starbucks to success with great leadership.

House believes there are eight leadership behaviors that clarify paths for followers’ goals. Path-goal clarifying behaviors are exemplified by one of Schultz’s values: provide a great environment and treat each other with respect and dignity. When Schultz acquired Starbucks his achievement-oriented behaviors were apparent in his business plan to open 125 new stores in five years. One of the many work-facilitation behaviors of Schultz is waking up daily at 5:30am to call Starbucks managers around the world and visiting over a dozen stores a week. Supportive behaviors are one of the strong points of Schultz. After seeing his father’s leg broken on the job and being helpless, he made it a personal goal to never let the same situation happen. Schultz made...
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