Leadership Styles and Characteristics

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What traits define an effective leader? Leaders are made not born, and that is why leaders have certain traits which you can learn and practice to become a leader. An effective leader does a self-assessment to know his strengths and weaknesses. By this assessment that is ready to be corrected for improvement and is able to handle those under him effectively. A leader who responds to groups needs and knows the organization well can lead people in the direction. Effective communication, motivating team members, and risk taking is just a few of the traits strong leaders should possess.

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Starbucks is one of the companies associated with success. It is an amazing success story. Howard Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks, who has been accredited with the success of the company. Starbucks is a coffeehouse company diversified in 55 countries with more than 18,800 stores. The company earns annual revenue of more than 10 billion U.S dollars. The profits of the company tell it all. There is clients loyalty to the company, and this makes it one of the biggest companies in America. Starbuck began as a machinery store and coffee supply in 1971, introducing more specialty coffee drinks into our culture. The main headquarter is Starbucks Center located in Seattle, Washington with the largest multi- tenant floor building occupying 2,200,000 square feet. People all over enjoy coffee any day, anytime such as espresso, cappuccino among others. Starbucks has been in the industry since March 30, 1971, reigning for over 40 years, and still remaining relevant.

Leadership, love and authenticity are the best definitions of Howard Schultz. Most leaders are in the market to compete and win. Howard is unique; he believes that leadership is not about winning, it is about finding that right way to succeed in bringing future hope to others. It is about loving what you do and respecting those who help in achieving it. Howard uses transformational leadership style by encouraging and inspiring their team to develop as a team as well as an individual towards achieving their goals. He is one leader who is concerned about his employees where he takes care o f them. He is assertive, aggressive, optimistic and ready for a change. He has entitled them to comprehensive health insurance, as well as opportunity to own stocks among others. He encourages diversity and respects the employees cultures. A leader who discriminates against certain ethnicity is not effective leaders to manage people. A leader with enthusiasm and positivity can effectively motivate employees to view their duties positively as well as team players. Howard has been able to earn trust and respect from the employees. He shows confidence even when the company is going through a crisis. A charismatic leader ensures that employees are more adaptive to when there is a need.

Everyone aspires to be a great leader and so do I. Learning to be a leader takes time; you have to build your confidence, skills and attitude. Having Howard as an autocratic leader who grasps many issues facing the company to look upon, there are most of my styles I have to change. Everyone loves to be in control and so do I. Power if not controlled can get out of hand. I would want to manage employees in a way that they have a say in the company but not only the line and middle managers. In my leadership style, I take the personal approach to the problem; analyze it before using the official channel. I also work with sub-team to ensure quick result as well as the implementation of the issues discussed. The dynamic leadership style of Lithuanian is one that I am most following. Although they are still in the older generation of bureaucratic habits of Soviet times, young leaders in leadership are emerging at a high rate with Nordic encouragement.

If a highly competitive coffee company came up, making Starbucks lose its customers, then my style of doing things would have to change. In such a scenario, high risks and measures have to be considered. New technologies can be brought to compete with the market. Authority can be used to ensure that no secret about the company is licked out to our competitors. Successful leaders and entrepreneurs take risks and grab opportunities as they come. Even if introducing a new product in the market might be risky as there is no assurance it will be accepted in the market, an effective leader will take the risk to save the company. Company leadership plays an important role in the company as leadership style impacts the organizational culture. In political crisis or any crisis affecting the company directly, level of family- friendliness in the company setup, effective communication and value of employees are key to ensure survival of the company in the crisis. In a different organization, the leadership style should not change, as the employees require the same needs to work effectively.

During an economic crisis, the role of the leader is to keep the employees and all managers together. In such a time most managers just want to keep the company together, until the crisis is over. It is a useful short term strategy to help employees and management get over the worst stage before coming up with long term strategies. An effective leader should also find ways to cope with the anxious staff, clients and consumers as well as the uncertain future. A strong leader should effect employee engagement in such a crisis so that they feel part of the company. As a leader, informing them of what to expect can go a long way, equipping them and caring for them are key psychological needs to keep them engaged. When employees are engaged, they can boost stock price, improving the business. Therefore, leadership should not change during a strong or weak economy.


Adeniyi, M. A. (2007). Effective leadership management: An integration of styles, skills & character for today's CEOs. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.

Schultz, H., & Gordon, J. (2011). Onward: How Starbucks fought for its life without losing its soul. West Sussex [England: Wiley & Sons.

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