Servant Leadership Brought
to Life for Starbucks Coffee Company
Creative Leaps International broke new ground this
spring, working with its largest set of corporate audiences to
date. Unveiling a
new Concert of Ideas, The Leader’s Challenge, the Creative
Leaps team performed for more than 5,000 store managers and personnel
partners of the Starbucks Coffee Company at recent conferences in
Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California.
The Leader’s Challenge addresses Servant Leadership and the ‘Five
Ways of Being’ identified by author and consultant James Autrey
as its building blocks. According to Autrey, being authentic, vulnerable,
present, accepting, and useful in the workplace is the first step
in becoming a successful servant leader, and speaks not only to a
person’s professional development but also to his or her personal
values, perceptions, and beliefs.
The Leader’s Challenge acknowledges the connection between
the public role we assume as leaders and the more personal nature
of our authentic selves. What is the relationship between vulnerability
and success? How can we handle negativity with grace and integrity?
What does full acceptance of others in the workplace require of us?
What does it mean to be fully present with our employees and peers…and
how can that enhance workplace relationships and leadership skills?
The Leader’s Challenge is also rich in the key insights that
Creative Leaps has brought to life over the years. What do you do
in the face of insurmountable obstacles? How do we envision success? …And
how can we effectively turn vision into action?
Concerts of Ideas are most often utilized by corporations as
catalysts for a learning process. But for Starbucks, The
was the learning process. The Leader’s Challenge was positioned
as the principal learning tool of the Starbucks conferences. As such,
Creative Leaps was more responsible than ever before in engaging
its audiences not only in active participation but, ultimately, in
fully comprehensive thinking and learning. Without a doubt, Creative
Leaps has reaffirmed its ability to provide both creative insight
and practical content to its corporate clientele.
After experiencing The Leader’s Challenge and various follow-up
activities on Servant Leadership, a select group of attendees at
each conference collaborated with the Creative Leaps team to build
a culminating performance based on their individual learning and
insights from the conference. (Creative Leaps calls these concluding
events “Harvests of Ideas,” and considers them a vital
part of the learning process). The resulting performances included
full participation by the conference attendees and focused on such
areas as team development, identifying personal values, and accepting
diversity in the workplace. These culminating events celebrated shared
values of leadership and personal development; and they were full
of lively and heartfelt affirmations of commitment, dedication, and
The Leader’s Challenge was developed with the generous guidance
and support of Richard Smith, senior educator and consultant on the
subject of Servant Leadership.