Anyone starting a business should take a hard look at the success of Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO. Rather than hiding behind his title or constructing lofty strategies, Mr. Schultz has struck a balance between assertive and approachable. This balance has helped this amazing leader develop a brand that is successful the world over. If you’re starting your own company, here are things that you should take from Schultz’ uber-successful model:
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One of the reasons that Schultz is so successful is that he has incredible vision. Rather than creating a simple coffee shop, Schultz created a place where customer experience is foremost. Instead of concentrating solely on profit, Schultz envisioned a company that balances corporate achievement with a social conscience. Not only do part-time employees have access to comprehensive health insurance plans, but the company invests in the communities in which it does business. If you hope to grow your company, you, too, must be able to envision “something more.”
Rather than allowing failure to defeat him, Schultz admits his shortcomings, takes accountability for his mishaps and uses mistakes as learning opportunities. As a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for every mistake in your company. Instead of letting these mistakes get you off track, find their root cause and use them as educational tools. Do your employees need better training? Should your policies be clearer? Every mistake has a cause; find the cause of the mistakes that are occurring in your company and take steps to make sure they don’t occur again.
3. Get Involved
Whether you have influence among your peers, in your community or on a larger scale, use that influence to encourage others to get involved. You may create scholarships for budding entrepreneurs, help build homes for the underprivileged or start an after-school program for local children. No matter what cause you believe in, get involved. You may not have $5 million to donate as Schultz did, but you always have time that you can give.
You don’t have to become a world leader to inspire others. Take a cue from Schultz and use your position to inspire those around you. When you remain visible, approachable and humble, your employees will bend over backwards for you. When your employees are dedicated, your clients and customers will reap the rewards. When your clients and customers are dedicated, your profits will soar. Never be afraid to get your hands dirty. You should be as willing to clean the toilet as you are to run the numbers.
Everyone has a story. Would yours serve to inspire others? If you’ve taken the leap and started your own company, you have knowledge to share. Act as a mentor to those who have the same hopes and desires that spurned your own actions. You can mentor high school students, speak at the local college, or even help to bolster the careers of your own employees. Your job as a leader is to make those under you better.
If you’ve started your own company and are looking for your own mentor, look no further than Howard Schultz. This amazing man, straight out of the Brooklyn projects, has created a business model and strategy that has shocked millions with its effectiveness. You’ll do no better than to follow his lead.