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Unformatted text preview: Exceptional JulyDecember 2011 Profile: Starbucks 5 Heart & soul With Starbucks, Howard Schultz convinced millions of consumers that they needed coffee and a place to hang out. In 2008, he returned to the helm of the struggling company to remind us why we fell in love with the brand words Roshan McArthur_ photography John Keatley/Redux heres a No U-Turn sign on the windowsill of Howard Schultzs ofFce. A little battered, it stands out among the coffee memorabilia and family pictures. It arrived at Starbucks Seattle headquarters, Schultz explains, when he returned as CEO in January 2008 a gift from his friend Richard Tait, creator of the board game Cranium. When asked what it means, Schultz smiles and says: Theres no going back. Schultzs return after an eight-year hiatus was a bold move prompted, he asserts, by an emotional attachment to the company he had built from a small chain of Seattle coffee retailers into a global empire of 16,000 stores. In 2008, national economies stood on the brink of collapse and there were huge internal problems within the company. As he explains in his recent book, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul , I could not be a bystander as Starbucks slipped toward mediocrity. The company had been expanding at great speed and attention to detail was slipping. We were, he admits, T 6 Exceptional JulyDecember 2011 Profile: Starbucks 7 employees. In an emotional speech to almost 10,000 store managers and company leaders in New Orleans at the height of the economic crisis in October 2008, he talked about love. Its not a word you would expect, either from a man or in the context of a business environment, he explains. I said, Ive been asked why I came back as CEO. I came back because of love, how much I love the company, how deeply I feel about the responsibility we have to the 200,000 people and their families who are relying on us as leaders. There isnt anything I would not do to enhance and preserve this company. Other than my family, there is nothing I love more than Starbucks. I think it is incumbent upon leaders, he continues, to understand that the responsibility and burden of proof is on themselves to create trust, sensibility, a sense of purpose and a shared commitment. I dont think that 20 years ago I would have had the self-awareness, or the sense of myself, to be able to unveil that because I was too insecure. This was a situation that called for discipline and process as well as perspective. Growth and success have a tendency to cover up mistakes, he explains, and most entrepreneurs are always looking forward and never in the rearview mirror....
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2012 for the course BUS 104 taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '11 term at FIU.
- Spring '11