Several organizations across the world have applied servant leadership principles to enable them to achieve their goals and objectives, which have led the organizations to be among the top organizations across the world (Rubio-Sanchez, Bosco, & Melchar, 2013). This involves a change in leadership perspective from the old version where staff is required to serve their leaders to a new approach, which requires the leaders to serve their staff (Behar, 2016). One of the organizations, which have applied servant leadership approach in its operations, is the Starbucks (Behar, 2016). Starbucks Corporation is a company, which deals with coffee and other fast foods, and its success is attributed to their focus on their staff, which involves creating a good environment for the staff members in performing their duties in the organization (Behar, 2016).
This has led the organization to be the largest coffee chain in the world. Some the similarities in the way servant leadership is executed in this organization between different cultures and religions is that staff members are given the opportunity to develop their skills and talent both as an individual as well as a team regardless of their differences (Behar, 2016). Different cultural backgrounds have different behaviors and how they perceive different aspects of leadership, which is shaped by the influence they get from the society or natural leadership traits. Due to globalization, it has led to a connection in doing certain things in the same perspective, which includes the application of servant leadership principles in different cultures (Behar, 2016).
Servant leadership has continued to grow across different cultures and religions due to the results from different communities and organizations. However, due to the different values from the different societies, there are challenges, which affect certain cultures in leaders’ application of servant leadership (Rubio-Sanchez, Bosco, ; Melchar, 2013). Servant leadership in the Western culture and Christianity is based on serving others where leaders are expected to identify and meet the needs of the employees (Behar, 2016). This is based on the principle that leaders are called to serve and not the opposite. Starbucks has created an organizational culture, which is based on openness, and focusing on the employees first. This organization also believes that how you treat the employees is how they will treat the employees (Rubio-Sanchez, Bosco, ; Melchar, 2013).
However, other cultures and religions believe that leaders are meant to serve those in higher authority and serving others is not a principle which leaders are born with rather something they learn in their leadership roles (Rentfrow, 2007). Starbucks believes that it can operate in different cultures as long as they communicate their key values with the employees. This has also enabled Starbucks Company to open its branches all over the globe by also learning the different cultures for different employees (Behar, 2016). However, there are specific principles of servant leadership, which are universal regardless of religions and cultural differences, which include building a strong community (Behar, 2016).
This principle helps leaders to focus on strengthening their current organizations through improved relationships, which are the basis for increasing trust between different members working together (Rentfrow, 2007). Empathy is a universal servant leadership principle, which involves understanding the different perspectives from different individuals. This is important in the application of servant leadership as organizations are composed of different individuals who should be understood to enable corporation and trust between the individuals and the leaders regardless of their cultural or religious background (Rentfrow, 2007).
Behar, H. (2016). The magic cup: A story of a leader, a team, and the power of putting people and values first. New York: Center Street.
Rentfrow, T. (2007). Leadership Advance Online. Effective Leadership within a Multinational Environment. Retrieved from https://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/lao/issue_10/rentfrow.htm
Rubio-Sanchez, A., Bosco, S. M., ; Melchar, D. E. (2013). Servant Leadership and World Values. Global Studies Journal, 5(3), 19–33. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true;db=a9h;AN=95952547;site=eds-live