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Howard Schultz Leadership Style Analysis


Leadership is the primary component that must be organized and friendly to maintain profitable business operations. That’s why major companies try to resolve their matters by enhancing their leadership style, and among those major companies, I had selected Starbucks to analyze their leadership. Starbucks is one of the best cafés that are famous for their leadership traits. Mr. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, had demonstrated that they treat their employees as their partners and give them importance in discussion. However, in 1997 the company had faced challenges when three employees were killed in the robbery at the café in Washington DC.  They had improved their leadership and make it a more compassionate, approachable, and more secure environment for their employees.  According to the customer’s satisfaction, the more members interact, they would serve their customers properly (Leavy, 2016). The report aims to discuss the leadership skills and the style that Mr. Schultz had demonstrated in their company and maintain it throughout the business operation. Most importantly, the purpose of this report is to discuss the most suitable leadership that reflects my leadership and how I would carry that style with the help of a quiz.

Howard Schultz Leadership Style Analysis

Leadership Style

In his interview, Mr. Howard Schultz demonstrates that they prefer a friendly environment, proper discussion, and opportunities to share their perspective to enhance communication and interaction in the company. He believes that the more employees have good contact with each other; they would understand the value of teamwork that would ultimately help them improve business operations.  This leadership interprets that the CEO prefers Democratic Leadership and Transitional leadership (Li, 2017). Mr. Schultz likes combining both styles so they would be able to maintain corporate social responsibility and customer satisfaction.

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership refers to how top managers discuss every situation, implementation, and strategies with their employees. They believe that everyone should be provided the equal opportunity so they would be able to offer useful suggestions to enhance the business operation. In that case, employees would feel more secure and get the chance of development and growth. Starbucks had experienced a great response when they prefer communication. Even Mr. Schultz had demonstrated that their employees are their partners. That is enough to interpret that the managers had leadership qualities to communicate and provide importance to every member. (Fiaz, 2017)

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership refers to how every leader or employee can take the initiative and provide useful suggestions to the company. In short, employees could present their proposals for implementation to the top managers. Most notably, in this type of leadership, every employee could achieve development and growth, enhancing their working efficiency. According to the statement of Mr. Howard Schultz, they consider their employees as partners states that each employee has the opportunity to think and creates strategies for any project and discuss it with top managers (Lemus, 2015). The most suitable plan would be considered, and that will indeed be based on merit.

Reflection of Leadership Style and Possible Influences

The faculty provided a quiz to analyze students’ perspectives and preferences regarding what would be their initiative to improve their business operation. Twelve questions were asked by providing short cases with three options. These questions helped to interpret which leadership I would conduct in my future business operation and what will be my decisions at that time. The score I had achieved was 24 that solves that I am much prone to democratic leadership. As mentioned above, democratic leadership provides access to enhance communication skills and interaction between all the organization members. According to the quiz scoring that shows 24 score interprets, I believe in providing equal opportunity to discuss the best solutions or strategies for the organization.

Moreover, I would prefer my employees to improve their working efficiency by creating teamwork management and value team working skills. In the case of Starbucks, I had analyzed that their leadership is the best part that makes the organization profitable. Therefore my reflection for the leadership style demonstrates the preference of democratic leadership that is one of the best leadership styles that major companies usually implement. Most importantly, this style builds trust between my team members and me. Ultimately they would feel valued and engaged in the organization to enhance their working efficiency and skills. However, democracy may require modification when working on strict and short deadlines. In that case, it would be convenient to communicate, and with the help of team working meet the deadline, this could lead to high pressure. In such a situation, if the organization has command on democratic, they would somehow manage the problem rather than creating significant challenges.

Relationship Between Leadership and Planning

Planning and leadership are interlinked with each other. When an organization has organized and proper leadership skills, they would ultimately create better plans for their business operation. Leadership consists of guiding and ordering and includes communication, advice, suggestion, and participation of every member. In such a situation where employees can express their perspective and present their proposal, they would feel engaged. Indeed, top managers will get the best plans to enhance their operation. If leaders do not provide opportunities to other members, they will not achieve good planning. They might not lead to implementing the plan as it requires a long process of guiding everyone, training, and engaging with the planned strategies. Therefore, the more leadership skills an organization has, they would create good planning to help them achieve sustainable profitability (Hahn, 2016). In the case of Starbucks, when they had valuated their employees and provide them opportunities, ultimately, those employees had joined their hands even when the company was experiencing a significant crisis. To enhance the leadership and planning following steps, leaders must consider in an organization:

  • Discuss strategies with employees and ask them to make proposals, the best submission will be approved, and that would decide promotion as well,
  • Enhancing interaction by creating teams before providing tasks, each team member should be cooperative and provided with adequate training.
  • Discussion of changes in the plan immediately before confirmation to enhance their efficiency and manage the work accordingly.
  • Weekly discussions and frequent sessions or workshops would be appropriate to enhance the workforce and efficiency to achieve sustainable profitability.
  • Motivation and encouragement to enhance the skills of employees so they could work and interact appropriately.(Hahn, 2016)
Importance of Planning Tool in Managing Project

Planning is the first step that an organization takes to improve their business operation and make profitable decisions to implement in the project. The planning tool includes SWOT analysis, Force field analysis, and gap analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, gaps, and hurdles in the project that should be considered before proceeding and distributing tasks. Whereas the Gantt chart, Pareto Chart, helps identify the period that the project requires in completion. After Action Review, RAACI determines the outcomes of the strategies and analysis implemented (Kendrick, 2015). These tools collectively help to determine the goals and help to transform the plans into achievements.

Planning tools and techniques are necessary to consider to meet the deadlines. If leaders do not consider the plan, they might delay the tasks or face significant challenges. In these planning, estimation and budgeting are also calculated to maintain cash flow and enhance the chances to achieve high profit. Other than this, planning transforms decisions into achievement, and suitable planning techniques must be analyzed before confirmation of the project. The planning must be discussed with the employees to enhance their working efficiency and manage the workload. (Kendrick, 2015)

  • Fiaz, M. S. (2017). Leadership styles and employees’ motivation: Perspective from an emerging economy. The Journal of Developing Areas, 143-156.
  • Hahn, Y. &. (2016). Corporate social responsibility: A comparative analysis. The Journal of Business Economics and Environmental Studies, 13-17.
  • Kendrick, T. (2015). Identifying and managing project risk: essential tools for failure proofing your project. Amazon.
  • Leavy, B. (2016). Effective leadership today–a character, not just competence. Strategy & Leadership.
  • Lemus, E. v., (2015). Starbucks Corporation: Leading Innovation in the 21st Century. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 23-38.
  • Li, P. (2017). Strategies and their effect mechanism of promoting traditional service enterprises’ leadership effectiveness: a case study based on Starbucks coffee. Tourism Tribune, 49-60.

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