Voting for Starbucks
Howard Schultz’s op-ed piece in The New York Times yesterday (calling for “Servant Leadership” in our presidential aspirants) offers a prism through which to view last night’s antics in Cleveland, as well as the rest of the (seemingly endless) presidential election cycle. It also adds a welcomed layer of nuance to the increasingly harsh debate over the escalating ratio of CEO pay to entry-level worker’s.
Some of the reviews coming out of the “kids’ table” early performances last night highlight the appeal of Carly Fiorina’s ability to credibly champion business expertise as an auger of political acumen. Given that Silicon Valley mores are the pistons driving today’s entrepreneurial engine, her experience there (no matter how shaky) seems to have struck a chord of competence.
Is it time to have a genuine business leader as president? Not a career politician. Not an angry reality TV personality with licensing acumen. Not a narcissist in search of self-aggrandizement. Not a ‘my way or the high way’ plutocrat. Nope. Is it time for someone who has made a payroll, built a business, managed through consensus-building to forge a well-run, profitable concern that plays fair with its employees, customers, channel partners, shareholders and communities?
This morning, perhaps especially, it seems like a delicious thought. Too bad Howard Schultz has ruled himself out of the running. He would be my candidate.
It's on my mind, along with wonderment at the impact on our political Brands of this year's election cycle.