Rosalind Brewer, COO, Starbucks | Summary and Q&A

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October 9, 2020
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Rosalind Brewer, COO, Starbucks

TL;DR

Roz Brewer, COO of Starbucks, shares her journey from a scientist to becoming a powerful leader and discusses the importance of integrity, trust, and empathy in leadership.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Roz Brewer's early experiences shape her leadership style?

Roz's upbringing in a strict household and her experience in school taught her to fight for her voice and stand up for what she believed in, which ultimately influences her determination and authenticity as a leader.

Q: What was the most pivotal point in Roz Brewer's career that led her to the c-suite?

Leaving a comfortable job at Kimberly-Clark to take a role at Walmart as a regional leader in stores was a pivotal moment for Roz. It allowed her to have a broader impact and led to rapid promotions within the company.

Q: How does Roz Brewer manage to operate successfully under the COVID-19 situation?

Roz emphasizes the importance of running a sharp business and meeting employees where they are during remote work. She implements initiatives like "Quick Connect Fridays" and no meetings before 9am to create clarity and connection in a remote work environment.

Q: What principles does Roz Brewer rely on when facing tough moments as a leader?

Roz values high integrity, building trust, and doing what she says she will do in order to navigate tough moments as a leader.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Roz Brewer, COO of Starbucks, began her career as a scientist and climbed the ranks to become the first woman and African-American to lead a division at Walmart before joining Starbucks in 2017.

  • She emphasizes the importance of bringing your whole self to work and being authentic in leadership, as well as the need for strong talent selection and building trusting relationships with employees.

  • COVID-19 has brought challenges in managing remote work and maintaining a sense of connection and innovation. Roz focuses on empathy, intentionality, and meeting employees where they are to keep the business sharp.

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