The style of leadership embraced by a company is identifiable through analysis of its mission or vision statement. This paper focuses on the analysis of the mission statements of two companies, Proctor & Gambles and Starbucks. The mission statement of a given company is very important because it provides the backbone for every leadership decision made in the organization. Moreover, the mission statement of the organization is the compass that directs the style of leadership exercised by the organization’s management. It is noteworthy that there are various leadership styles. One of these styles exercised in companies is servant leadership. Servant leadership is about putting the customers first in every decision of the organization. Servant leadership focuses on satisfying the customers in the market first before consideration for any other thing (Jones, 2012). In such organizations, the employees are trained on the best ways of serving customers to ensure they get pleased in the services of the company. However, other companies take all the styles of leading businesses to come up with a standard leadership model, which is applied in the decision making process of the firm. The standard leadership model gives standardized principles of good and effective leading, which can be applied at the global level. Therefore, standard leadership aims at developing a style of leading the business that can be applied anywhere in the world. Proctor & Gambles practices the standard leadership model. Starbucks, on the other hand, practices servant leadership.
The Starbucks mission statement is, “T o inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time” ( Orta, von Feigenblatt, Lemus & Rivero, 2015) . From this mission statement, it is evident that this company follows servant leadership. Its focus is on satisfying and improving the feelings of customers in the market in order to minimize client turnover. On the other hand, the P&G mission statement is, “ Be, and be recognized as, the best consumer products and services company in the world”. From this mission statement, it is evident that P&G follows the standard model of leadership. Its focus is spread among satisfying the consumers in the market, enhancing profits, creating wealth for the shareholders and motivating the employees.
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The similarity between the two mission statements of Starbucks and P&G is that they both have words that mean focus for the customers in the market. The Starbucks mission statement is the strongest one in terms indicating focus to the satisfaction of the customers. It states that the company has a mission of nurturing and uplifting the human spirit. This is a direct message for the customers in the market. The company simply seeks to show that all consumers who use its products should expect to get their spirits uplifted significantly. This statement shows that Starbucks is completely focused on enhancing the feeling of satisfaction for the customers who use its products in the market. P&G also has some part in its mission statement, which refers to the customers in the market. One focus of its mission is to provide quality services to the customers in the market. Therefore, it is evident that both servant and the standard leadership styles involve focus to the customers. It can be seen in both mission statements that the companies aim at pleasing the customers in the market. The aim of both companies, as expressed in their mission statements, is to boost the reputation in the perceptions of the customers.
However, this two mission statements also contain significant difference. The difference between the two mission statements is that one is completely focused on the customers while the other is not just concentrated on clients, but also other stakeholders in business. It is noteworthy that the Starbucks mission statement is only focused on the customers in the market. It communicates that the aim of the company is simply to satisfy and attract many customers in the market. However, fort the P&G mission statement, it includes other stakeholders in its aim. The P&G mission statement communicates the aim of winning good reputation for the company in the world. This implies that it is also focused on creating wealth for its shareholders and increasing profitability. Its main aim is to receive recognition as the best consumer products and services company. This statement is significantly, self-centered. It implies that the ultimate focus of the company is not on the people, but on itself. Its ultimate focus is a great and positive reputation for itself.
These two statements have a great impact on the culture of each organization. The mission statement of Starbucks makes its managers to make decisions that are customer-centered. Since the ultimate aim of this company is to nurture and uplift the human spirit of consumers in the market, even the employees are trained to behave in a manner that pleases customers. Every decision made at Starbucks would be geared towards ensuring the customers feel good. For P&G, the culture that its mission statement influences is one that is meant to seek business glory in the market. The employees who understand this mission statement will always behave in a manner that boosts the glory and reputation of the company globally. Moreover, the mission statement of this company makes its decision making process to be geared towards achieving balanced results. Balanced results, in this case, mean high profitability, customer satisfaction, wealth creation for the shareholders and employee motivation.
The mission statement of Starbucks, which favors servant leadership in the company, is reflected in its values like production of quality coffee. The company sources for the high quality coffee beans and roasts them with very great caution so that when customers drink the final product, it really gives them a nice feeling and puts them in good spirit. Starbucks also connects, laughs with and engages in corporate social responsibility activities meant to improve the status and condition of its customers.
The public reputation of Starbucks is positive. The company is regarded as customer-centered and always seeks to make clients feel happy. It is renowned for its innovation, introducing drinks that customers get attracted to in the market. This company has, however, been in the news for not treating its employees well since it focuses on the consumers alone. For the case of P&G, it is renowned as a classic company which has won glory among the consumers, just as its mission statement states. Its products are of high quality. Moreover, it is renowned for better employee treatment practices than Starbucks. P&G has a balanced focus to customers, employees and shareholders. Therefore, it is factual that each company practices what is stated in its mission statement.
Each company is living the words of its mission statement as evident through its values and principles. For instance, John Pepper, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and current Chairman of the Board (COB) of Procter and Gamble (P&G) confesses that he follows the standard global leadership principles of dealing with uncertainty, knowing customers, balancing the tensions and appreciating diversity (Bingham, Black & Felin, 2000). Starbucks also has depended on innovation to boost the quality of its products to enhance satisfaction of the customers (Sakkab, 2007). P&G could change its mission statement to read “To provide the best products and services for the consumers”. This new mission statement would make adopt servant leadership.
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Orta, M., von Feigenblatt, O. F., Lemus, E., & Rivero, O. (2015). Starbucks Corporation: Leading Innovation in the 21 st Century. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences , 7 (1).
Sakkab, N. Y. (2007). Growing through innovation. Research-Technology Management , 50 (6), 59-64.