|Leadership Styles in Multicultural Groups Order Instructions: 1. Brief Biography (2 pages)
a. The person’s background and how it influenced/contributed to their leadership style.
b. Information their rise to their leadership position (how/why they became leaders).
2. Organizational Profile (2 pages)
6. Oversight of Change (1 page)
Leadership Styles in Multicultural Groups Sample Answer
Leadership is a crucial aspect of any organization. Different leaders have different varied traits as well as leadership styles. These differences bring different kind of leadership which eventually affects the growth of the organizations. The leaders’ qualities do not have influence only on the growth of the organization; rather they go miles in affecting the leadership and performance of other leaders as well as ordinary employees. The leader’s background also plays a great role in influencing the type of leadership that a person will display. This paper analyses the leadership of Howard Schultz, of Starbucks Coffee Company. Different aspects of his leadership such as his background, his traits and how he has influenced other people have been discussed.
Leadership Styles in Multicultural Groups Biography
Howard Schultz, the CEO and chairman of the world renowned coffee company was born in 1953, in Brooklyn; New York. He was brought up in a poor family and this can be said to have influenced his well articulated traits of courage and hard work. He went to the University of Northern Michigan where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications. According to Jennings (2015) at his young age, he was a natural athlete. He used to play football and basket ball both at home and at school. Being an athlete must have contributed to his leadership by instilling hard work in him and also by building the social skills in him. This can be attributed to his democratic kind of leadership; whereby he is known for making consultations even with the lowest level of employees before implementation of decisions.
The democratic aspect of his leadership, which can be attributed to his early involvement in athletics, has earned him accolades. This emanates from the realization that democratic kind of leadership is essential and is emulated by many who wish to have high quality kind of leadership.
It is from his indulges in athletics that he got a scholarship to Northern Michigan university. His background must have highly contributed to his highly respected kind of leadership. The fact that he received a scholarship to university must have instilled some aspects of his leadership. Howard is known for his considerate kind of leadership. This is whereby, he is known to treat all people equally especially in matters where other leaders would treat the low level workers with indignity. This seems to emanate from his poor background and the fact that, the scholarship team found him worthy of support to continue with his education.
Kaplan (2011) notes that; his education background must also have played a great role in influencing his leadership style. In the course of his studies he must have come up with the aspects of leadership that he has adopted in his leadership. In the studies on communication, he must have come across the aspects that make good leadership. This is because; leadership is very closely tied with communication. Good communication is an aspect of a good leader. His education therefore played a great role in his leadership.
The course that he did, communication, is a suitable course that is directly linked to leadership. Communication is the basic ingredient of god leadership. A leader without communication skills will not cope with the turbulence of leadership. This emanates from the fact that, leaders ought to communicate the goals and as well as the achievements of the organization.
After graduation, Howard was employed as an appliance salesman, in a company that sold coffee makers. He then became director of sales. With time he realized that he was making much of the sales to Starbucks. He made efforts to get to Star bucks.
At the time, Starbucks was owned by his former college mates. He intuitively knew that that was the place he wanted to be, but still longed to do his best to improve its status. Kaplan (2011) discloses that; at star bucks, he first began as a director of retail operations and marketing. At the time, the company only sold coffee beans and not drinks. He was found to be a fabulous communicator. This must have come from the studies he did on communication. When he came up with the idea of selling coffee drinks, the founders of Starbucks were not for the idea. He insisted and, although they later gave in, he failed in the venture because the rest of the team was not interested.
He later opened up his own coffee outlets. With its much success and help from of investors, Howard bought Starbucks and merged it with his own company to form Star bucks coffee company where he became the chairman and CEO.
The organizational profile at Starbucks
Starbucks, as a coffee company, has not adopted a different organizational structure from the commonly seen profiles. Berfield (2009) discloses that; the company has executives who oversee the operations of the company from the Seattle headquarters. District managers oversee the operations of the company at the district levels. There is always proper coordination of the activities of the different district managers. However, the unique demands and needs of each district are considered. Communication among the executives and the district managers play a crucial role in ensuring smooth running of the business. Each store normally has a manager who oversees its operations. There are also the shift supervisors, who act as managers when the chief manager is out. At the lowest level are the baristas who are the ordinary employees.
The above has been generally the alignment of the profile of the Starbucks Company. Although Starbucks has never operated in franchise system, they license front stores. The front stores are usually supervised by the Starbucks. They are also made to operate under the regulations of Starbucks. Starbucks therefore, must license every other thing that is sold by those front stores. All these are efforts to protect the name of Starbucks and ensure that nothing breaches its association with high quality.
According to Berfield (2009) The Starbucks coffee company has maintained a global picture in the sense that it has its outlets in many countries. The employees are drawn from the various countries. Some of the employees of Starbucks work at different countries from their country of origin. There has always been a global orientation for this company ever since its founding by the chairman and the CEO, Howard. There has been opening of bigger stores in countries other than the United States. For instance, the Starbucks outlet in China has been growing bigger and bigger. The outlets of Starbucks draw customers from different countries due to the mixture of the employees which creates a global orientation of the company.
The cultural context of the Starbucks Company cannot be overestimated. There has been a mixture of different culture in this world renowned coffee company. This emanates from the mixture of employees from different countries who have different cultures. This aspect has been sustained by the tolerance of the leadership to different cultures, under the leadership of Howard. Foroohar (2015) clarifies that; there has always been an orientation of tolerance to different cultures in this company. This aspect has mainly been sustained by the focus of the leader, Howard, which has been; making souls and not purely coffee.
Characteristics of leaders
The success of Howard Schultz as a leader of a multination business corporation has been influenced by his traits which are oriented on leadership. A very much outstanding character trait of Howard is his courage. Even before he became the chairman and CEO of Starbucks coffee company, Howard always demonstrated courage in his undertakings. For, instance, it took him courage to move out of the Starbucks company (in its early form, before he bought it) when the founders did not support his idea of opening up coffee drinks outlets.
It has also taken courage for Howard to make the leadership in opening of the myriad coffee outlets that has been opened in many different countries. At some points, it seems risky to open up the outlets in some of the countries. But due to his unwavering courage, Howard has overseen the opening of those outlets and the subsequent growth of the company.
His trait of hard work cannot be overlooked. This trait must have been influenced by his poor background and also his venture in athletes. This trait has seen him work hard in ensuring the success of the company. HE does so by being determined to make marks in the company while still making the vision of the company his own.
Foroohar (2015) maintains that; Howard is also a focused person. Once he eyes on a target he has to achieve it. This is a very admirable character trait and it has gone a long way in ensuring the success of the company. Being focused to see the establishment of a world renowned coffee drinks business made him make the wise investments.
Use of power
Just like any other leader, Howard has had power bestowed upon him by the virtue of being the chairman and the CEO of a multinational business organization. His appropriate use of the power has seen the growth of the company in unprecedented ways.
As Jennings (2015) found observed; Howard has always used his power to insist on the social responsibility of Starbucks as a company. He has always ensured, through the powers bestowed upon him by the company, that the suppliers of the coffee beans get a fair value for the products. It is also in the same sense that Howard has insisted on fair pricing of the coffee drinks in all the outlets located in different countries.
However, in doing this, he does not misuse his power such that he dictates the pricing of the coffee drinks in different countries. This is because; different countries have different economic prevailing and other factors that will ultimately influence the pricing. Howard uses his power in a consultative way. This emanates from his democratic kind of leadership.
He also uses his power in ensuring that the company adopts environmentally friendly practices. For instance, through his powerful leadership, the coffee grounds that have been spent are not thrown away. Instead, they are kept for farmers who would like to use them for their gardens to become acidic.
Kaplan (2011) clarifies that; this positive use of his power has fostered the growth of leaders in the company in the sense that, they have all embrace the spirit of social responsibility and conservation of the environment. Because he negotiates with them and not forcing the issues, the leaders adopt the same spirit.
His style of leadership
Aritz & Walker (2014) maintain that; there are different styles of leadership demonstrated by leaders in the world over. As Jennings (2015) found out; the style of leadership of Howard Schultz can be said to be democratic and transformational. Howard can be said to be democratic in his leadership because he has always allowed the free input of the opinions of the other stakeholders in the company. Although the ultimate decision is always made by the leader, it is important to allow the employees to give their opinions and consider them in implementing decisions especially those that will affect them directly.
Howard has also been transformational in his leadership in the sense that he has always pursued higher levels of the business operations as well as higher motivation of the employees. In transformational kind of leadership, the leader ensures that the employees are working towards clearly stipulated goals while at the same time they are free to give out their opinion on running the business. This way, the leader and the employees work towards a common goal and in an environment that eludes trust and respect.
Lorenzetti (2014) notes that; in the spirit of transformational leadership, Howard has always challenged status quo and encouraged creativity in the workers just as he himself has always been creative. In order to keep the spirit of transformational leadership, measures to ensure intellectual stimulation among the employees have always been undertaken under the leadership of Howard.
Lorenzetti (2014) asserts that; this style of leadership of Howard has realized highly motivated personnel at the Starbucks. With the motivated workers and the democratic airing of opinions, the Starbucks has been able to rise up in the market and has always maintained competitive advantage.
Oversight of change
Since the start of Starbucks coffee company, there has been great changes realized under the leadership of Howard Schultz. Most of the changes can be said to have been initiated by this great organizational leader. The main change that was effected by Howard Schultz was the change from selling the coffee beans to selling coffee drinks. Howard impacted this great change by being focused on the market demand and having the courage to venture in the market regardless of the uncertainties.
Kaplan (2011) maintains that; in the wake of the many transformational changes that have been impacted by Howard in this world renowned coffee company, one thing has been outstanding. That he remains humble despite the tremendous changes that he has always made. For instance, in describing the achievements that the company has made such as the accolades received or the myriad trophies, he always uses the term ‘we’ and not ‘I’ as many people in his shoes would say.
During hard times of changes, such as when the prices of coffee were forced to go down due to the mean demands of the customers in Manhattan, Howard moved along with the demands of the masses. This way, he helped to keep the customers and also to keep the business afloat. During those times, he did not give in to the threats of the outlet becoming a takeover target. Rather, he waited until the right time to increase the prices.
The reason why Howard has been able to impact those changes is because of being focused on the goal of the company; and the fact that he keeps dreaming big. This way, he never lost control and focus even with the many challenges that come with implementation of changes in international organizations.
Implications for other leaders
Howard Schultz has demonstrated a kind of leadership that can be emulated by any person intending to be a worthwhile leader. His character traits are basic components of his unique leadership. Courageousness, as displayed by this great organizational leader must be adopted by any person intending to be a great leader.
Hard work as a character trait is also to be emulated by anyone aspiring to be a great leader. Being focused and never losing the aim as well as making the organizational aim your own aim, are aspects of good leadership that cannot escape anyone aspiring to make it in organizational leadership just as Howard.
Embracing the best style of leadership especially in consideration of the nature of the organization as well as the prevailing circumstances goes great lengths in ensuring successful leadership. Democratic and transformational leadership can make good leadership when applied depending with the prevailing circumstances. Those are the leadership styles that have propelled Howard Schultz to the category of successful leaders.
Leadership Styles in Multicultural Groups References
Aritz, J., & Walker, R. C. (2014). Leadership Styles in Multicultural Groups: Americans and East Asians Working Together. Journal Of Business Communication, 51(1), 72-92. doi:10.1177/2329488413516211
Berfield, S. (2009). HOWARD SCHULTZ VERSUS HOWARD SCHULTZ. Businessweek, (4143), 28-33.
Foroohar, R. (2015). Starbucks for America. (Cover story). Time, 185(5), 18-24.
JENNINGS, L. (2015). HOWARD SCHULTZ. Nation’s Restaurant News, 49(1), 10.
KAPLAN, D. A. (2011). Strong Coffee. (cover story). Fortune, 164(9), 100-116.
Lorenzetti, L. (2014). Where Innovation Is Always Brewing. Fortune, 170(7), 24.