Great leadership can be a difficult thing to pin down and understand. You know a great leader when you're working for one, but even they can have a hard time articulating what it is that makes their leadership so effective.
It was once rumored that Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz would run for president, but Schultz shut the idea down almost immediately. He wrote in an article:
"Despite the encouragement of others, I have no intention of entering the presidential fray. I'm not done serving at Starbucks."
Schultz commitment to his company over the temptation of the limelight is interesting. What's admirable is his desire to be a leader who serves.
Service isn't just something Schulz gives lip service to in the press; his mission is to create a company where people are treated with respect and dignity, and he backs this rhetoric up with his money and time. Starbucks will spend $250 million over the next 10 years to put benefit-eligible employees through college, and Schultz wakes up every day at 4:00 a.m. to send motivational e-mails to his employees (the email he wrote yesterday asking employees to show empathy for customers who have been affected by the plummeting stock market is an interesting, recent example of this).