Howard Schultz’s Self-Awareness in Managing Conflicts
The paper introduces the Johari Window and presents Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz, and his self-awareness management style and techniques. Notably, the Johari Window refers to a particular method that allows people to understand their attitudes towards themselves and analyze their relationships with others. Oliver and Duncan (2019) state that the Johari window was developed to enhance self-awareness and communication about behavior. It is essential to add that the Johari Window includes four quadrants of self-awareness and human interactions, such as open, hidden, blind, and unknown. Tran (2018) suggests that Johari Window is especially beneficial for the business management of multinational corporations. Consequently, leadership is strongly connected to communication within the company; therefore, it is critical to analyze all the quadrants to obtain information on areas for leadership improvement, employees’ thoughts and experiences, and undiscovered talents.
Moreover, when leaders communicate clearly and competently, the followers’ work performance improves crucially. Johari Window encourages sharing information about thoughts, perspectives, ideas, and feelings to build open and productive teamwork relationships (Blank, 2019). According to Pava (2017), a leader’s self-awareness characterizes the capabilities to identify not only own values but also the organizational and employees’ values. Thus, the leader should focus on revealing new business possibilities through Johari Window and perceiving the team as a family, ensuring equal treatment for everyone.
Howard Schultz is a shining example of a leader who used the Johari Window method to understand his employees and offer them the best working experience. According to Maldonado and Spangler (2021), Howard Schultz established his business, namely a cafe, in 1986. A few years later, in 1988, Schultz purchased Starbucks from its originators and held a CEO position until 2017. Maldonado and Spangler (2021) emphasize that based on Schultz’s business strategies, the company because number 121 on the Fortune 500 list in 2019, presenting more than 24,000 stores worldwide and demonstrating revenue of approximately $24 billion. As a result, today, Starbucks is the most successful and largest coffee chain globally, which continues to conquer coffee lovers around the world. Explaining Starbucks’ success, it is vital to consider that Schultz paid great attention to the human factor, for example, the happiness and comfort of his employees.
Therefore, Howard Schultz carefully analyzed his employees’ needs, creating the corporate code of the company. He named his business a “performance-driven company through the lens of humanity” (Pava, 2017, p. 80). One of the fundamental factors was a united team, which improves the service and quality of coffee preparation and a strong relationship between one another. Schultz argued that the success of a company depends on the quality of employees’ performance. Therefore, it is necessary to create better conditions so that the company members have a sense of belonging, and they would like to invest all their energy in the development and growth of the brand. For instance, Howard Schultz offers many benefits to Starbucks’ employees, such as “complete health-care coverage, stock options, paid time off, parental leave, and tuition reimbursement” (Maldonado and Spangler, 2021, p 7). Thus, Schultz claimed that Starbucks would become stronger and more successful if they increased the company’s value for the staff.
To conclude, Starbucks has reached such heights that it has become a national symbol of America and one of the most successful companies that have turned from an initially local business into a global network. Starbucks achieved success mainly because of a great leader, Howard Schultz, self-awareness, and techniques to unite the employees through corporate culture. The Starbucks example illustrates that good employee relationships are priorities in achieving business success.
Blank, S. (2019). Managing organizational conflict. McFarland.
Maldonado, T., Vera, D., & Spangler, W. D. (2021). Unpacking humility: An examination of leader humility and leader personality and why it matters. Business Horizons.
Oliver, S. and Duncan, S. (2019). Editorial: Looking through the Johari window. Research for All, 3 (1), 1–6.
Pava, M. (2017). Good enough leadership: realism without cynicism. International Journal of Public Leadership, 13(2), 76-84.
Tran, B. (2018). Communication: The role of the Johari Window on effective leadership communication in multinational corporations. In Social Issues in the Workplace: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (pp. 135-160). IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3917-9.ch007