I could write a book about Starbucks with all I have to say about this truly unique business. It is the most phenomenal company I have studied, experienced, and modeled my managerial style after. Howard Schultz, and every barista, manager, shift leader, and person involved in Starbucks has proved that coffee is not only a luxury, but it is daily habit that needs to be maintained, even in this difficult economy.
Starbucks has power. It is not difficult to understand why. When you control or dictate a populations daily intake of a legal, addictive drug, a little ego trip might be in order. What is truly remarkable about this company though, is it’s ability to turn a captive audience into a social group motivated to make a difference. How many times have you walked through the doors of your local Starbucks and seen a sign about Jobs for America, Starbucks (RED), or used a discount for having your own mug or tumbler? Starbucks is using it’s power over people to try and make a difference in the lives of entire communities that it’s customer’s probably never put much thought to.
Now, take the thousands of company owned stores, the employees and the millions of people that come in contact with Starbucks everyday, and add Jesus into the equation. Startling.
Keep in mind, I’m not a ridiculous Bible thumper here, but I do believe that business and faith have a mixture that can work well. I think that Starbucks operates on Biblical principals already. Focus on the guest, honoring commitments and sticking to core values and ideas, even if they hurt the company temporarily, are things that Scripture supports. Now, take it a step further. Imagine if Starbucks published business literature declaring themselves and their values to honor God. Wow. It would be a public, solid stand that would cause an uproar in the business community but could have such a positive impact around the world.
Being realistic, is Starbucks ever going to publicly declare a purpose to serve the Almighty God? No. But I take it as an encouragement with what I can do with my own talents and time. Being in the same industry as Starbucks, I can do the same things Starbucks could. Of course with limited resources, maybe not on such a large scale, but the people that I come in contact with everyday behind the bar should see the fruits of my spiritual labor.