Skip to content

Being aware of your strenghts
There are many kinds of people who are business leaders. I’m sometimes asked: “Zev, how do you feel about Howard Schultz, the man who made Starbucks Coffee Company into a global phenomenon?” I love Howard Schultz! He made the company that I started really famous. Well, how can that be? Why would I admire someone who did something that I didn’t do with a company that I started? And the answer is: I know who I am. I’m a startup guy! I am really effective at the beginning of a company’s existence. I’m effective for a number of reasons. Mr. Schultz, when he acquired Starbucks company after it had been in business for 14 years, had already had experience as an executive of a corporation. And he was able to take the company from its Seattle Foundation and grow it across the United States and then around the world. He just retired last year after 32 years. I am not a person who can lead a corporation that’s doing billions of dollars but I’m very satisfied businessman. And I think that each person, including you, needs to decide: What motivates you? What would make you happy?

Can entrepreneurs be leaders?
Today in our society we admire entrepreneurs. They’re important people because they create economic activity, they create jobs. We love them. But would we love them if we work for them? Entrepreneurs are sometimes difficult people. You’ve probably heard the stories about Bill Gates Junior and the leaders of Apple. Pretty difficult guys. But those are the ones you read about in the media. In my experience, many entrepreneurs, both men and women are good leaders. They are what we call servant managers, servant leaders. They understand that it’s in their interest to listen to some of the people that they work with. Not necessarily to agree with everything they say but to listen to them. And that is the sign of a good leader.