Brewing Coffee & Leaders

Posted by Melissa Meunier on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 @ 11:00 AM


If you're like me and countless other people, you start your day with a cup of coffee.  And for many, you stick to one brand. For me, it's Starbucks. So, when I came across a recent video interview by Kate Everson, Associate Editor at CLO, I couldn't help but like the company just a little bit more.

At Starbucks, there is an understanding that to be successful, you have to profit people through people. Joseph Michelli, the author of "Leading the Starbucks Way," shares with Kate that because of Starbucks' leadership philosophy, they have figured out how to brew strong leadership.

Starbucks' values a lot of skills; however, "Otherness" as they like to call it, is extremely crucial to their brand. Otherness is a skill. It is those employees (partners) with the inherent talent to develop and lead others that make them a perfect blend.

The leadership philosophy goes back to when the company was founded and first adopted the "take care of your people, and they will take care of you" approach. When the organization built its profit sharing model, they wanted "partners" involved and part of the business. Thus giving their employees the opportunity to buy a stake in the company and making them a contributing part of the enterprise.

In the Starbucks culture, training and education play a significant role. From day one, employees are taught about leadership. While they are hired to produce a product (for cash), they are also in place to inspire customers and their peers. The company's mission states, "To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time."  Maybe this is the reason I drive 15 minutes out of my way each morning to get my daily dose of java.

To instill and promote leadership, Starbucks works with educational institutions to provide its employees credit toward college degrees, regardless of the employees' full or part-time status. The organization feels that anyone can benefit from education opportunities. While many won't grow into leadership roles at Starbucks, the skills they acquire there will allow them to go where they want, be in demand and successful.

For the employees who show leadership and put forth the extra effort, it doesn't go unnoticed.  They're rewarded with growth, education, and leadership positions (store manager, etc.). From Masters of Coffee to a store of their own, the fast track to leadership is in their hands, and the opportunities are available.

For Starbucks, they lead have led with "taking care of their people" and in return, it has made them the company they are. As a learning leader, taking care of employees should be a top priority. While there are many ways to take care of your employees, finding the right options that provide the best results is the key to success.


Topics: Leadership Skills

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