Purpose and mastery: Howard Schultz and Starbucks


By William Seidman

Howard  Schultz’s efforts to revitalize and improve two cultures – the Starbucks corporate culture and our country’s culture – have earned him Fortune Magazine’s 2011 “Businessperson of the Year” award.

Schultz is cited for vastly improving the Starbucks culture and, also, for tackling some of our country’s problems: job creation, specifically.

I think he did this by re-energizing Starbucks’ employees sense of purpose — and he clearly committed effort to improving mastery.

Purpose is about working toward some form of greater good.  Mastery is about getting so good at these functions that everyone willingly accepts the expertise.

Without purpose, there isn’t a strong motivating force. I think that Schultz actually spent a lot of energy reviving Starbucks’ purpose. I wonder if his use of  purpose and mastery to drive culture will last longer this time —  or if it is just a reflection of his personality? Read more here.

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