How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul

Book - 2011
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In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision
to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chairman. Concerned that Starbucks had lost its way, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore not only its financial health, but also its soul. In Onward, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the company's ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity.

Offering readers a snapshot of a moment in history that left no company unscathed, the book zooms in
to show, in riveting detail, how one company struggled and recreated itself in the midst of it all. The fastpaced narrative is driven by day-to-day tension as conflicts arise and lets readers into Schultz's psyche as he comes to terms with his limitations and evolving leadership style. Onward is a compelling, candid narrative documenting the maturing of a brand as well as a businessman.

Onward represents Schultz's central leadership philosophy: It's not just about winning, but the right
way to win. Ultimately, he gives readers what he strives to deliver every day--a sense of hope that, no
matter how tough times get, the future can be just as or more successful than the past, whatever one
defines success to be.
Publisher: New York : Rodale, c2011.
ISBN: 9781605292885
Characteristics: xv, 350 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. (chiefly col.), col. ports. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Gordon, Joanne


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Jul 04, 2019

I'm a total sucker for Howard Schultz's SBUX sales pitch. :-)

Jan 11, 2017

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting to read about one of the founder's of Starbucks and how he came about making the decisions he made as CEO and founder to keep the core values Starbucks has as well as making it keep up with the times. It is a book I would not mind reading again to gain even further knowledge on what it takes to run a successful business. Great read and would recommend to anyone who is itching for a good biography.

Jul 01, 2012

The lessons in this book are good, but sometimes feel almost "too good to be true". Really? Everyone got along that well for a week in New Orleans and with the over-the-top leadership transformations? The parting of some of the executives because of some of Schultz's beliefs and actions seem more realistic. Otherwise, mostly reads like someone who has something to prove when most everyone else doesn't really care.

adagarcon May 19, 2012

Starbucks ducks! Yes the company makes it through the tumultuous recession of 2008. However, Schultz doesn't provide any compelling details about what really makes him an extraordinary leader at this time of crisis. Rather, the book is filled with meaninglessful fodder, that in hindsight makes one skeptical all the more so, of the Starbucks ethos. A quick and easy read, but that about sums it up.

Mar 11, 2012

A good read about Starbuck's turnaround. I do agree that Schultz comes across as being a bit egomaniacal, but he does give a great deal of credit to his staff.

Nov 02, 2011

This man, Howard Schultz, is passionate about coffee and about his company. I felt breathless as I read all the action that he initiated in 2008 to bring new life to Starbucks. I admire his drive and determination and hope that his professed concern for his employees (partners as he calls them) is genuine. It appears to be. What other U.S. company provides health care for staff 20 hours or more per week. Focusing on the customer and their experience and remaining true to his original vision is inspiring. Makes me wish I liked coffee more.

Sep 14, 2011

Business stories, especially success stories, can be exciting, but unfortunately this book reads more like a textbook than a personal memoir. Schultz is more concerned about naming staff and random work incidents than maintaining pace or narrative. Much more interesting are the brief times he reveals something personal, like the fact that his father was fired when he broke his hip at work, which spurred Schultz to enshrine employee benefits at Starbucks.

Unfortunately "Onward" was written with an eye to posterity rather than an ear for narrative. For someone who thinks passion is the key to a successful business, Schultz misses a chance to reveal his own depths of personality and really engage the reader.

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