Leadership Workshop With Dr. Frank Ross: Leadership Lessons From Starbucks

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts & Life Editor

On Wednesday, January 18, 2012 L.E.A.D. NEIU welcomed many student leaders from different organizations on campus to Leadership 101 with the gift of Starbucks. Dr. Frank Ross, who is the Vice President for Student Life at NEIU, as well as an avid Starbucks lover, was the speaker and motivator for this workshop. Before the heart of the presentation began, Dr. Ross expressed that while we are all student leaders, we are here to develop our leadership qualities and build on them. He went on to say that while there was Starbucks coffee being offered in the back of the room and a Starbucks logo on the power point presentation on the screen, the workshop wasn’t promoting Starbucks. The presentation was about the leadership lessons that Dr. Ross found very useful and empowering in the book ‘It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks’ written by Howard Behar, Janet Goldstien and Howard Schultz. Dr. Ross stated that the reason he liked this book so much was because it was written in “real language, not corporate language,” and because it gave a sense of empowerment to aspiring leaders in a ‘Top 10 format.’ Due to the workshop only being an hour long, the presentation couldn’t cover all 10 leadership lessons, but the audience was introduced to the five lessons Dr. Ross thought were most important.
Right before the group started going through the five lessons, a blue sheet was circulated with the five lessons on it. At the end of each lesson was the statement “ask yourself.” The top five lessons that were covered were:
(1) Know who you are: wear one hat.
(2) Do it because it’s right and not because it’s right for your resume.
(3) Think independently.
(4) Build trust.
(5) Listen for the truth.
Throughout the presentation, Dr. Ross said, “We don’t find opportunities, opportunities find us, but only by knowing who we are.” He continued to say “empowerment is bringing your own personal experiences and skills to the position.” Lastly he asked “What is your legacy and the legacy you would like to leave with your organization?” The audience left awash with motivation and the sincere, positive thoughts communicated by Dr. Ross. NEIU can expect to see some great new leadership displayed and practiced among NEIU’s organizations in the future.


Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2012 00:02