Starbucks & Industry: Leadership Profile
Starbucks & Industry: Leadership Profile
Starbucks was fortunate enough to have a head start on the coffee shop boom, circa 1990, as they opened their first store in Seattle, Washington in 1971. As an initial patron of Starbucks in 1981 Howard Schultz was fascinated with the company and thorough persistence, leadership, and influence over investors he was able to purchase the company in 1987. Today Starbucks is one of the most widely known and respected organizations and industry leader of specialty coffee and related retail products (Starbucks Corporation, 2014). This profile explains how the leaders and managers of Starbucks and members of the coffee shop industry, recruit and develop future leaders through leadership traits, leadership development, balancing competing values and priorities, and avoid current and future derailment and failure. Leadership Traits
In the premium caffeinated beverage industry, the Starbucks Corporation is one of the most recognizable and profitable in the world. Having grown to over 20,000 retail stores in over 65 countries worldwide, it is safe to say Starbucks has been fairly successful (Starbucks Corporation, 2014). However, this success has not occurred through sheer luck or by accident. Having the right leaders in the right place within the organization has contributed greatly to Starbuck’s success. From the Board of Directors, to store level employees, recruiting personnel with the right qualities to lead in this industry is important.
One may wonder, what are the qualities or traits necessary to be successful in this industry? After all, industries vary greatly throughout the world. A set of traits that may prove to be extremely valuable in one market may prove to be a detriment in another. Starbucks operates within the premium beverage market. Although Starbucks started with and is primarily known for coffee beverages, the corporation has expanded its brand portfolio to included premium teas and juices as well (Starbucks Corporation, 2014). The Starbucks business model also focuses on providing its customers with a quality coffee shop experience. Taking all of this into account, it would be safe to categorize Starbucks within the customer service industry.
Within this industry, there are certain common traits that can be found among leaders and managers. One of the most obvious would be Agreeableness. According to Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy (2009) “Individuals high in agreeableness come across to others as charming, diplomatic, warm, empathetic, approachable, and optimistic” (p. 209). These are key characteristics to supporting one of the main principles of the customer service industry; to be sensitive to the customer’s needs. These characteristics also support Starbuck’s desire to provide a comfortable social environment for customers to come and purchase their products.
Another personality trait that is beneficial in this industry is Adjustment. This trait “is concerned with how people react to stress, failure, or personal criticism” (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy 2009, p. 210). In the customer service industry, especially at the store level, leaders and managers have a great deal of responsibility. Situations involving customer complaints, product sales, and employee activities all fall within their realm of responsibility. To be successful in this industry, leaders must possess the ability to function in spite of all these factors. Leadership Development
Many people see Starbucks and their employees that serve customers every day as “baristas”. However, that is not how Starbucks see their employees. According to Moyer (2012), “Starbucks cares so much about boosting customer service from within that they spent $35 million to send 9,600 store managers to their Leadership Lab conference and exhibition...The goal was to mobilize [Starbucks] employees to be brand evangelists” (Moyer, 2012). Starbucks uses what they...
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