Business Management Forum Post Responses.
I need a 150-word reply to each of the following two forum post that were made by my fellow classmates in a business management class:
Several corporations embody the values of servant leadership. Servant leadership is a philosophy that puts employees ahead of profits. The philosophy has been proven to increase profits, increase employee retention and increase business operations altogether. The corporation that I choose for this assignment is Starbucks. Starbucks has created the largest coffee company in the world (Greenleaf, 2015). Greenleaf states that from 1995 to 2003, Howard Behar served as the company president. When Behar started with Starbucks, there were only 34 stores and there was very little focus on the importance of employee engagement (Greenleaf, 2015). To shift the culture, Behar started asking employees what they liked about Starbucks and what they did not like. Behar began with small interactions that eventually turned into a cultural transformation. Among the list of values that Starbucks has on their website, the very first value relates to “Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome” (“Starbucks Values,” n.d.).
When viewing the performance metrics for Starbucks over the last several years, it becomes apparent that Starbucks continues to improve each year financially. In 2014, Starbucks operated 10,515 stores around the world and reported a same-store sales growth of 6% (Jhaveri, 2014). Fast forward to 2016 and Starbucks has doubled their number of stores worldwide with over 22,000 stores. In 2015, Starbucks reported revenues of 21.1bn and approximately 42% of the U.S. market share (Static, 2016). Dunkin Donuts has a U.S. market share of 25.5% and in 2014 reported store sales growth of 1.4% and 5.5% sales growth (Dunkin Brands [DB], 2015). Dunkin Donut’s vision statement does not show the qualities of servant leadership. Their vision statement says: “To be always the desired place for great coffee beverages and delicious complimentary donuts & bakery products to enjoy with family and friends” (DB, 2015). Based on Dunkin Donuts’ vision statement, their focus revolves around customer experience. Starbucks boasts the lowest turnover rate among its competitors and beats the average industry by about 140 percent (Rockmael, 2016). Dunkin Donuts has implemented a merit system to combat employee turnover since turnover has been historically high. In one article, it was quoted that an average Dunkin Donuts store needs about 25-30 employees to cover all shifts for one year and out of 125 employees at one location, only two lasted beyond one year (“Turnover solution,” 2006).
Based on my research between Starbuck and Dunkin Donuts, I feel that the philosophies of servant leadership exhibited by Starbucks are the reason why Starbucks has captured almost half of the market share. Starbucks has the highest profits and the lowest turnover in their industry. Dunkin Donuts can learn from the Starbuck model and increase profits while decreasing turnover through servant leadership.
Dunkin Brands. (2015). Dunkin Brands reports fourth quarter & fiscal year 2014 results. Retrieved from Dunkin Brands: http://investor.dunkinbrands.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=894871
Dunkin Donuts franchisee brews turnover solution. (2006). Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2006/05/15/smallb1.html
Greenleaf. (2015). How Starbucks built a servant leadership culture: Q&A with Howard Behar . Retrieved from https://www.greenleaf.org/how-starbucks-built-a-servant-leadership-culture-qa-with-howard-behar/
Jhaveri, A. (2014). Must-know: Starbucks’ key value metrics – Same-store sales. Retrieved from http://finance.yahoo.com/news/must-know-starbucks-key-value-130015655.html
Mission, Vision and Values Statements . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/mission-statement
Rockmael, K. (2016). Is Starbucks really a great place to work?. Retrieved from http://monitor-360.com/blog/is-starbucks-really-a-great-place-to-work/
Static. (2016). Statistics and facts on the coffeehouse industry. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/topics/1670/coffeehouse-chain-market/
Being a supportive follower is critical to fostering a strong and cohesive organization. There is an old phrase that “it’s lonely at the top”. Rather the statement is totally true or not is irrelevant but does speak volume to the fact that the higher a person name appears on an organization chart, the lesser amount of friends they have within the organization. I lead through knowing my employees. If I am leading 3 or 300, I make a conscience effort to learn them as a person so when their countenance has shifted, I am able to identify it and cater to their need. The same function is pertinent for those that I work for. Leadership and support is required both up and down the hierarchy. In the event that a leader I work for is having difficulties, professionally or personally, I have the ability to utilize my preexisting relationship with them to sit and listen or even pick up some task that may be pending that they may be too distracted to accomplish. This could be a reason why request for information is not provided in the same timely fashion as before (Peterson, 2014). Products may not produce the same level of preciseness due to them being off-kilter. Regardless of the indications, it is inherent upon me to recognize them and provide the appropriate level of support. It is easy to refer someone to a counselor, and sometimes this may be the right answer, but other times they may just need to talk. One of the pieces that is critical in leadership is understanding that employees, employers, and supervisors are all humans. As tough as each person may appear, everyone has feelings. I may be an ENTJ according to a personality test, but having compassion for people and their situation is a key element to my leadership and followership ability.
Peterson, S. (2014). Leaders, too, need support. Retrieved from http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/career/2014/03/01/leaders-too-need-support-/5932153/
 Main forum question was: Conduct some web-based research into one organization that professes to have adopted a servant leadership philosophy (e.g., SWA, Men’s Warehouse, TDIndustries). What are the organization’s values? Compare these organizations to another in the same industry using major performance metrics (employee turnover, market share, profitability, etc.) and conclude whether or not you think having a servant leader philosophy makes a significant difference in company performance.
 Main forum question was: Read the article, “Leaders, Too, Need Support.” How do you see yourself in the role of supportive follower? What power bases would a supportive follower be more likely to employ? What challenges do you have with this concept? What can you do to overcome those challenges?