"Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup" is one of the statements by Starbucks on the structure for their leadership. Although servant leadership is viewed as a behavior, these behaviors can very well be applied to the leadership from a well known, caffeine providing company, Starbucks. From the definition of servant leadership, it is to make sure first that other people's highest priority needs are being served (Northouse, 2013). Starbucks has a goal to make sure that those highest priority needs are being served through every cup.
Servant leaders lead in ways that serve the greater good of the organization, community, and society at large (Northouse, 2013). Starbucks demonstrates servant leadership and goes beyond the needs of its customers to the needs of the community. This was displayed by Starbucks after the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina flooded much of New Orleans. The company was supposed to hold a leadership conference for its employees in the city of New Orleans, but instead spent the time and devoted it to volunteering by painting, planting grass, cleaning storm drains, and constructing playgrounds in New Orleans, rather than holding a conference. The employees of Starbucks invested a total of 50,000 hours volunteering in New Orleans for the damages caused by the hurricane (Harvard Business Review, 2011).
At Starbucks, the company's values and missions are inspiring. Servant leaders put followers first, empower them and help develop their full person capacities (Northouse, 2013). Starbucks supporting the overall greater good putting the community helps develop their employees to also demonstrate servant leadership. Employees feel far more committed to companies whose values and mission they find inspiring (Harvard Business Review, 2011).
Degrande, J., & HIlowitz, A. (2011 July 11). Starbucks Announces New Leadership Structure to Accelerate Global Growth. Starbucks Newsroom. Retrieved from http://news.starbucks.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=547
Schwartz, T. (2011 April 4). Why I Appreciate Starbucks. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2011/04/why-i-appreciate-starbucks.html