One principle of leadership is the ability to empower others. To do so, a leader must acknowledge and embrace the power of followers because without them, who is the leader leading? The current “Occupy (insert city)” movements is just one demonstration of the government’s loss of followers. America is losing (or has lost) faith in our leaders’ ability to govern effectively, exacerbated with their current focus on campaigning. With presidential elections at the forefront, what is being done about the economy?! The economy does not care about an election campaign–it will continue to worsen unless some drastic measures are taken. Who is going to step up and do something?
Howard Schulz was on the Today show on Tuesday, introducing a new Starbucks campaign which will hopefully “energize a sense of national solidarity, [so] every American can feel that they are doing their own small part to heal the country in a way the government has failed to do.” The campaign, Create Jobs for USA, “relies on a marketing tactic first made popular by Lance Armstrong — colorful wristbands. Starbucks customers will be able to buy $5 bracelets along with their lattes, woven in red, white, and blue, inscribed with the word ‘indivisible’ etched on a metal charm. Proceeds will go to the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit umbrella organization that supports hundreds of Community Development Financial Institutions, local organizations that lend money at low interest rates to small business owners in underserved areas. The Seattle-based coffee brewer has already given $5 million to the cause.”
What prompted Schulz to step up:
1. “It’s now the responsibility of business leaders to take constructive steps towards solving the jobs crisis.”
2. “We’ve lost something,” Schultz said. “We’ve either lost our conscience, or lost our soul.” He noted the country’s recent economic woes have made him concerned about societal upheaval. “I thought there would be social unrest in America.”
3. Schultz has no illusions that this campaign will make any real dent in America’s unemployment numbers — but he hopes it will transform the way corporate leaders and the American people approach these kinds of national problems.
What effects will this campaign have on this economy or our government’s ability to function effectively? Maybe minimal. But at least someone is doing something. That’s the first step.