Howard Schultz Leadership Style

Howard Schultz founded Starbucks, served as its Chief Executive Officer and later as the Chairman. He returned as the CEO in 2007 when Starbucks was on a downhill ride with plummeting stocks and dipping revenues. He pulled the brand back up again with his leadership. Howard Schultz leadership style has become a cult now.

Schultz’s Unique Style

Howard Schultz leadership style is unique. Before delving into the elements of his leadership and what formed his style, it is necessary to understand who the man is. Howard Schultz loves coffee which is why he championed the product but what he loves more is to contribute something to people’s lives. He may be known as the man behind Starbucks in popular domain but he is fondly regarded as the man behind the company that was the first to offer comprehensive healthcare insurance to all his employees. Leadership is not just about telling people what to do, hiring the right people to do it and getting the job done. Leadership is about treading a path that others may not have tread and then executing all plans with conviction and devotion to succeed.

Howard Schultz leadership style is a blend of democratic leadership and transformational leadership. He believes that an open forum, open ended communications, giving everyone a voice and then allowing the people to air their opinion is a secret to achieving greater objectives. He also believes that transformation is quintessential to growth. The transformation of himself as the leader, that of the company and of every employee is crucial for the sustainability, profitability and development of the brand that he founded. Naturally, the Howard Schultz leadership style emphasizes on accountability, participation from all and sundry and then he inspires others to achieve the eventual objective.


Howard Schultz once said that one cannot inspire others if one is not inspired oneself. He also famously said that his passion is not making or serving coffee. His passion is building a company that serves the people working for it and the people who buy the product or services. His passion has always been to contribute to people’s lives and it is by making, selling and serving coffee that he tries to achieve that. Passion is what inspires a person and that cannot be the task that one does but what that task is intended to achieve that matters.

Howard Schultz leadership style is one of the secrets to Starbucks’ success.

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