This morning I did my routine Sunday shuffle when I’m at home; get in an early morning run (cut real short today because of windy weather. A storm last night has snow creeping down to the half-way mark of Mauna Kea) water or weed my garden some, grab the Sunday paper on my way back in the door, and flip through it while I cool down from my exercise just enough to start drooling for my coffee.
The coffee has a ritual all its own, whether through my French press or my 4-cup espresso maker. It seems the more I got steamed up on my run, the more enjoyment I get out of the steam frothing up the milk I add to my espresso. Not sure why it works that way, but I always smile to myself on how I can count on that it does.
If they are home, my family is still asleep through all this, for I’m the only early riser, and by this time it’s not even 8am yet. Coffee made and warming my spirit, I go online to check in on the Ho‘ohana Community. Community, coffee, and Sunday mornings were simply meant to be.
So this morning, one of the first webstops I clicked in to was Phil’s place, Make it Great! for I know I can always count on him to do that for me, and he has a link to a Business Week article about Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz, and how his communication skills have given his company a “secret ingredient” for success. Good article, especially for those of us who love to learn about great leadership which works, and I encourage you to click in too; I’ll have the link for you at the end.
First, some other thoughts.
As I drank my coffee and read about Schultz, I couldn’t help but think about how many times I’ve been in Starbucks and have been impressed, and what effect Howard Schultz’s leadership has had on me personally, never having met the guy, never have listening to him speak, and never having read anything he has written. I thought about how Starbucks has gotten so big, yet remained so intimate for us, and we still can love them, as opposed to say, WalMart.
“His powerful communication skills define a leader who knows not only what he stands for, but also the values he promotes, and who knows how to make an emotional connection with his listeners.”
—Carmine Gallo, about Howard Schulz
Well, those listeners haven’t included me, yet his words have still had their effect on me: How has this happened?
It’s got to be, that somehow, Schultz has been able to lead in a manner where his passion and effective communication of that passion, has locked arms with terrific management. The man can’t be in all of his stores all the time, and he can’t be managing them himself: He is somehow getting it done with some unsung heroes of management excellence.
The comments of the article include these from two Starbucks employees:
Review: Starbucks, for me, represents my extended family. They back me up when I need them the most.
Review: Terry, [to another commenter stating, “the company itself has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, and what it really cares for now is "earnings per share."]
I work at Starbucks, and it’s the real deal. Starbucks this week demonstrated that, although committed to making a profit, they’re committed to their employees (we’re called ‘partners’) and customers first. The company is disbursing a few million dollars directly to all partners because we made so much money last year. I’m getting an extra $125 on my next paycheck. That’s a pretty good deal for working at what is basically a pricey fast food joint. (Although we hope Starbucks is more than that for our customers!)
As one of those customers, I can tell you that led by Howard Schultz, and run by some great managers everywhere, Starbucks has significantly contributed to the coffee addict I’ve become. Yes, I live in one of the places known for growing the greatest coffee beans in the world, but that’s just part of my own story; I have to give credit where credit is due. The Starbucks experience, the whole package, gets me and my business too, and they get me often.
I can’t help but admire and get inspired by great leadership. Howard Schultz, I don’t know much about you, but I see what your leadership has done, and you rock.
Think I’ll have another cup of coffee. You can check out the other inspirations in Gallo’s article here:
Starbucks’ Secret Ingredient,
How you can incorporate coffee chain chairman Howard Schultz’ persuasive communication skills in your workplace.
Lessons from Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz
Lesson 1: Dig deep to identify what you are truly passionate about (hint: it’s not always the product itself) and convey that message to employees, customers, and colleagues. When you are passionate, you come across as excited, energetic, and enthusiastic — all of the qualities people like to see in others. And if people like you, they’re more likely to do business with you or to back your vision.
Lesson 2: Inspire your colleagues, investors, or employees by painting a picture of a world made better by your service, product, company, or cause.
Lesson 3: To get the most out of people, a leader has to tap into their emotions as well as their minds. People can relate to stories. They can see themselves in other people’s stories. The ability to use stories to get people to buy into one’s vision with their hearts is a powerful leadership capability.
Related posts; Can’t help but write about them when they’re this good:
Coffee, Ho‘ohana, and Syncopated Rhythm
Gingerbread latte, no whip, full holiday press
Investment Banking at the Prescott Starbucks
And more from the Ho‘ohana Community;
From Kevin Eikenberry (and who decidedly does)- Who Drinks Tea at Starbucks Anyway?
My archive winner by a long shot, thousands of hits and still counting… Investment Banking at the Prescott Starbucks.
From EM Sky, her own take on these 3 Lessons from Shultz- Starbucks & the Primate Mind.
From Stacy Brice, a commentary on a chink in the effectiveness armor- Starbucks–not sharing Akeelah?
From Dwayne Melancon, who with his family visited the original Starbucks in Seattle- From a store to a lifestyle.
From Phil Gerbyshak, who is the caffeine shot in any meetup, I guarantee you! – The Power of Coffee.
From Starbucker, a Starbucks enthusiast if there ever was one! – Starbucks: Change Agent.