A Guide To Starbucks Leadership Style: From Bean To Cup

The most profitable business in terms of revenue is Starbucks. Under the direction of CEO and Chairperson Howard Schultz, the business flourished and expanded.

Along with the organization’s standing within the market, he has a unique leadership style. This was enough to attract the attention of those within the genre.

When it comes to the difference between high-quality coffee beans and a teaspoon of Nescafe instant coffee, Americans once didn’t understand it. They were unable to comprehend the difference in the coffee taste and flavor.

What Is Starbucks’ Leadership Style?

Starbucks’ leadership style is characterized by a commitment to ethical and servant leadership, prioritizing employee well-being, sustainability, and social responsibility.

Former CEO Howard Schultz was instrumental in shaping this approach.

Howard Schultz’s Concept of Leadership

When he was younger, Howard Schultz dreamed of starting a chain of stores known for serving the best coffee in the world.

Everything took place under Howard’s direction and control. He is the unseen figure whose leadership skills contributed to the business’s increased success. He could take the company to great heights.

The coffee line has been doing well under the direction of Howard Schultz because Americans prefer to socialize. Socializing is absurd; in this situation, the person does not require an introduction.

The leadership is strong, and the focus is on premium coffee and the Starbucks brand. The brand is superior when it comes to traditional breweries.

Howard Schultz’s transformational leadership

Because of his strong leadership in elevating Starbucks above all other coffee shops, Howard Schultz’s name rose to prominence. More than 20000 sites carry the brewery; Starbucks has attained its highest success under Howard’s direction.

The individual is renowned for being a transformative leader and is credited with starting the second coffee revolution in the USA.

He adopted an employee-focused leadership style, which served as a model for other business entrepreneurs.

Over the years, Howard became a well-known and successful worldwide and international brand. He stood the test with the introduction of premium coffee beans. Under his leadership, the brand was the best, and demand for the coffee increased with time.

Howard Schultz’s Ethical Leadership

Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, is widely recognized as an ethical leader who prioritized social responsibility and sustainability in his business practices.

Schultz believed that businesses have a responsibility to not only generate profit but also to make a positive impact on society and the environment.

One example of Schultz’s ethical leadership was his commitment to fair trade and ethical sourcing. Under his leadership, Starbucks began sourcing its coffee beans directly from farmers and cooperatives, paying fair prices, and investing in sustainable farming practices.

Schultz also prioritized the well-being of Starbucks employees, offering benefits such as healthcare and stock options.

Schultz was also known for his commitment to social and environmental causes. He was an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights, supporting same-sex marriage and publicly criticizing discriminatory laws.

He also prioritized sustainability at Starbucks, implementing initiatives such as using recyclable cups and reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

Schultz’s ethical leadership was demonstrated during a difficult time for Starbucks in 2018, when two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location.

Schultz publicly apologized for the incident and took swift action, closing all US stores for a day of racial bias training and implementing new policies to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Howard Schultz’s ethical leadership style prioritized social responsibility, sustainability, and employee well-being.

He built a successful and socially responsible company by leading with a strong sense of purpose and values.

Creation of the Leadership

The leadership theory was created in 1978. Transformative and transactional leadership are the two styles that have developed over time.

Howard’s leadership greatly inspired the team members. The team has also been told to cooperate to achieve a single objective. They worked in coordination with each other to make it a grand success.

Howard, a successful team leader, thinks that team members should respect and trust one another. Commitment is essential to the group’s success and ability to continue operating. By studying his management style, one can determine the extent to which the leader is dedicated to social justice.

When it comes to organization, this is both helpful and notable.
Over the years, several incidents have occurred under Howard Schultz due to employee support and boycotts.

He is the one in charge and possesses the knowledge and goals that can aid in suggesting a successful outcome. The idea of business has evolved in the minds of aspiring entrepreneurs thanks to their clear and vivid views.

Commandments and Principles of Starbucks

Howard Schultz upholds the leadership tenets necessary to lead Starbucks to success while standing by his convictions and commandments.

The leader uses his ideas with extreme tenacity, and hard labor has fueled his success. There are many things you may pick up from the CEO of Starbucks.

The seven guiding principles that the leader has suggested are listed here.

  • It would be best if you had a good eye for all things.
  • It would be best to have a purpose beyond the profit level.
  • You must make ways for your opportunities.
  • The employee or the leader should stick to the fundamental values.
  • There is no need to believe that you are the end; one must refrain from interfering needlessly.

Leadership Process and Concept at Starbucks

Leadership development is the prime component at Starbucks and is a vital part of the complete business process. Leadership development of the organizational culture in the case of the company will be maintained on a prolonged basis by the successor of the CEO.

Starbucks is looking forward, and in this respect, the company strives to attract the attention of the upcoming business leaders.

The Starbucks leadership adheres to the concept and strategy of personal succession. The business will make replacement plans in advance, specifically for the top-level successors. The executive management team at Starbucks is deeply rooted in the value of leadership.

The team members followed the company principles to go ahead in the competition.
At the same time, Starbucks will ensure that all areas of the corporation understand its value.

The Coffee Master event was first held in 2004 under the direction of the CEO. People were engaged in the workshop by experiencing various regional coffee flavors and tastes.

Leadership Ethos at Starbucks

The CEO, Howard Schultz, has made things interesting at Starbucks. The graduates are part of the Coffee Master Program, and the members get the black apron.

The prestigious apparel will make the team members follow the CEO’s principles and get into mainstream business operations.

Howard Schultz leads the corporation and has highly educated personnel. The staff members are highly satisfied with their work and receive precise instruction to help them develop into the organization’s potential future leaders.

This is how people can advance their careers and push the boundaries of what is possible while gaining experience and job satisfaction.

Starbucks And Servant Leadership

Starbucks is a company that has embraced the concept of servant leadership, which prioritizes the needs of employees and customers above all else.

Servant leadership is a philosophy in which the leader’s primary role is to serve and support their employees, to help them reach their full potential and achieve the company’s goals.

At Starbucks, this leadership philosophy is reflected in the company’s commitment to employee well-being and development.

The company offers competitive salaries, healthcare benefits, and career growth and advancement opportunities. Starbucks also provides training and support for its employees, emphasizing the importance of customer service and creating a positive customer experience.

Another way in which Starbucks embodies servant leadership is through its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.

The company has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental footprint and making a positive impact on the communities it serves.

For example, Starbucks sources its coffee beans ethically and sustainably and has committed to reducing waste and using recyclable materials in its stores.

Starbucks’ focus on servant leadership has also been demonstrated in its response to crises and challenges. For example, in the wake of the 2018 incident in Philadelphia, Starbucks closed all of its US stores for a day of racial bias training, emphasizing the importance of creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all customers and employees.

Starbucks’ embrace of servant leadership has been instrumental in the company’s success.

By prioritizing the needs of employees and customers, as well as sustainability and social responsibility, Starbucks has created a culture of excellence and service that sets it apart from other companies in the industry.


Transformational leadership is a central theme at Starbucks and has long been associated with the company’s success as a lucrative enterprise.

Here, Howard Schultz assumes the position of a transformational leader, and it is admirable how he has created and communicated his mission statement.

He thinks Starbucks may become a respectable establishment where Americans would like to enjoy a cup of coffee. The CEO has used his extraordinary personality to influence and draw others to him and boost the growth of Starbucks.

He transformed Starbucks into a new workplace where employees fully appreciate the environment and unique workplace culture. Also, Starbucks became the largest coffee-selling company with a huge fan base.


How does Starbucks prioritize employee well-being?

Starbucks prioritizes employee well-being by offering competitive salaries, healthcare benefits, and career growth and advancement opportunities.

The company also provides training and support for its employees, emphasizing the importance of customer service and creating a positive customer experience.

How does Starbucks demonstrate its commitment to sustainability?

Starbucks demonstrates its commitment to sustainability by sourcing its coffee beans ethically and sustainably and by implementing initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental footprint and positively impacting the communities it serves.

The company has also committed to reducing waste and using recyclable materials in its stores.

What was the 2018 incident in Philadelphia, and how did Starbucks respond?

In 2018, two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks location. Starbucks responded by publicly apologizing for the incident, closing all US stores for a day of racial bias training, and implementing new policies to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

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