Onward by Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO

I am an unabashed fan of Starbucks coffee. I know there are many Starbucks haters out there, but not me. I’m a homer for Starbucks coffee. What great joy I took recently sipping a  cup of Starbucks coffee while sitting in the Prague airport.  And having finished Howard Schultz’s recent book, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing its Soul, my affection for both the coffee and the company have only deepened.

Here is a list of lessons Schultz’s learned in the process of transforming Starbucks into a productive and vital company during the turbulent years between 2008-2010. This list in many respects sums up the book.

These leadership lessons apply in every area of our lives where we’re asked to lead, be that academic, ministry, or even family life.

  • Grow with discipline.
  • Balance intuition with rigor.
  • Innovate around the core.
  • Don’t embrace the status quo.
  • Find new ways to see.
  • Never expect a silver bullet.
  • Get your hands dirty.
  • Listen with empathy.
  • Over-communicate with transparency.
  • Tell your story and refuse to let others define you.
  • Use authentic experiences to inspire.
  • Stick to your values – they are your foundation.
  • Hold people accountable, but give them the tools to succeed.
  • Make the tough choices – its how you execute that counts.
  • Be decisive in times of crisis.
  • Be nimble.
  • Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes.
  • Be responsible for what you see, hear and do.
  • Believe.

  • Guest

    My favorite: “Be nibble.”

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for noticing my typo – its fixed!

  • Andrea Cladis

    Great book!