Howard Schultz of Starbucks Shares Business Advice With BSCs
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“Onward” by Howard Schultz has changed the way I approach my company’s future. This personal tale is an invigorating story of how a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company transformed Starbucks from a few small shops to where it is today. Schultz not only addresses challenges his company faced as it was just getting started, or as the company began to grow into an international corporation, but he reminds us that at any size, a company will face its challenges, internally and externally.Schultz discusses setbacks, failures, rapid growth, huge success and mistakes — both in the company with his team, as well as personal decisions made on his own. Even when it came to choosing a successor he admits to making mistakes, having to regain order himself by returning as CEO in 2008. While telling the Starbucks story, Schultz shows why he is such a successful leader. He captivates you with his careful choice of words. He recalls his memories by weaving them in a way that makes you feel like you are there reliving it with him. He compels employees to follow him because he can communicate. He inspires his “team members” by his passion and public speaking ability so that they trust his words and rally behind his actions, even when the company needs to take a large risk. Schultz’s message is very clear. Starbucks, a coffee company, was focused on two main things during their transformation: Their commitment to high quality coffee, and the customer experience in their stores. My Cleaning Service is not a publicly traded company, or in the coffee business, but our core values are much the same: The superior quality of our cleaning and the exceptional experience for our clients. Schultz points out that the customer experience suffers when the barista is not passionate about their job. The same is true in the cleaning industry. If an employee does not take ownership — whether it’s serving coffee or cleaning a building — the entire team cannot perform to the best of their ability. It should be obvious to the customer that the team leader cares about the end result. While reading, I found myself immediately applying lessons from the book to my company. There is a reason that I love the Starbucks brand, and I want my clients to love and trust the My Cleaning Service brand in the same way. As we prepare for growth, I feel that the book gave amazing insight as to how best to approach the next level of business. I highly recommend this book to anyone in the contract cleaning industry. Whether you lead an entire company, or a team of crew members, there is insight to be gained from “Onward.”
Kathleen Schindler Vice PresidentMy Cleaning Service Inc.Baltimore
In 2008, Howard Schultz made the decision to return as the CEO of Starbucks. With the company struggling financially, he felt it had strayed too far from its core values. “Onward,” published by Rodale Books, details Schultz’s return to leadership and how, despite a turbulent economy, he turned the company around without losing its soul.