• May 2011

You Gotta Have Soul

“Coffee,” said author Isak Dinesen, “is to the body what the Word of the Lord is to the soul.”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s new book, “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul, is a testimony to that possibility.

As our featured May Entrepreneur of the Month, we learn about Schultz’s passion for doing the right thing by his employees and customers, and why in January 2008 he reclaimed the job of CEO of Starbucks to rebuild the company he had grown from a seedling. While he has accomplished that mission (revenue last year topped $10.71 billion), Schultz insists that staying true to your principles is more important than making money.

Case in point: Our May Book of the Month, How Starbucks Saved My Life, by 70-year-old Starbucks employee Michael Gates Gill, show us how redemption can be found after all is lost.

Also in this issue: You’ll find soulful business lessons imparted in Deepak Chopra’s new book, courtesy of our Leadership columnist Robin McDougal. In our Management column, Dr. Alice Waagen of Workforce Learning explains how the management approach of Tom’s of Maine founder, Tom Chappell, helped him turn a $5,000 investment into a $100 million company.

For a little soulful networking this month, check out the May events happening in DC. If you are game to take a trip to Miami on May 19-20, sign up for the Empowered Woman Success Summit.

Since coffee is on our minds, we leave you a parting thought from comic columnist Dave Barry, who with his brother and fellow funny man Sam, will be our Entrepreneurs of the Month in June. “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”

Amen to that. Have a great Spring. — Hope Katz Gibbs, founder
Inkandescent Public Relations / Be Inkandescent Magazine
Illustration (above) by Michael Glenwood, www.mglenwood.com

Howard Schultz Moves Us 'Onward'

MAY 2011 ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH

How did Starbucks fight for its life without losing its soul? Howard Schultz shows us the way.

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Inkandescent PR

Undoubtedly, Starbucks is one of the great 21st century American success stories.

The specialty coffee retailer has grown from a single store in Seattle in 1971 to 17,009 stores in 54 countries, as of January 2011.

Last month, it officially became the third-largest U.S. restaurant chain, according to industry tracker Technomic Inc., with more sales than Burger King Holdings Inc., but less than Subway, thanks to a 20 percent increase in second-quarter profits.

More than 60 million customers, called “guests” by Starbucks, sipped its coffee last year. They were served by 200,000 employees, aka: “partners,” who are referred to by their first names. Schultz, in fact, is known internally as Howard, and like all execs in the firm, his title is not capitalized. He is, modestly, the ceo.

That simple, but powerful, wordplay is part of Howard Schultz’s approach to building a coffee empire that exploded by serving up a great cup of joe, and sticking to its core philosophy.

Given that, it’s not surprising that Schultz’s 2011 book, “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul,” is such a forthright account. It not only details the experiences of his youth that laid the foundation for the company he has built, it provides case studies and details of meetings and conversations, making it a primer for how to do business with heart and conscience.

While some critics may say that Schultz’s 331-page tome is just another brilliant marketing strategy from the firm known for its advertising and PR finesse, it is also a revealing look at the philosophy behind the man, and his brand.

Spilling the Beans

As part of a nationwide book tour, Schultz stopped in DC on March 31 to address a packed ballroom at the Capital Hilton that was filled with members and guests of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. [Click here to view Schultz’s interview with Jim Dinegar, president of that group, on C-SPAN.]

In their 90-minute conversation, Schultz discussed management changes, customer feedback, Wall Street’s influence on how the company reports its financials – and the impact of that system – and why the new logo change is a precursor to Starbucks’ expanding market presence. Schultz also talked about the not-so-distant past, when Starbucks’ once-golden brand was showing signs of distress.

Consider these headlines:

January 31, 2008, USA TodayStarbucks takes action as sales cool. “After decades of eye-popping growth, Starbucks suddenly finds itself contemplating something once viewed as unthinkable: cutbacks,” wrote reporter Bruce Horovitz. “As rattled off by recently returned CEO Howard Schultz in a conference call with analysts late Wednesday, the cuts will be many.”

July 4, 2008, New York TimesPoor real estate decisions, not bad coffee, hurt Starbucks. “Starbucks wants to get back to its roots to help turn around its ailing fortunes,” said reporter Brad Stone. “It brought back the pioneering chief executive Howard Schultz to run the coffee chain day to day, and it has introduced a new blend, Pike Place Roast, that harks back to the location of its first Seattle store. Yet for all the new marketing efforts, Starbucks’s biggest mistakes and greatest challenges boil down to three words: location, location, and location.”

January 28, 2009, The GuardianStarbucks shuts 300 more stores. “Thousands of baristas are to lose their jobs as Starbucks shuts stores to cope with dwindling sales of lattes, cappuccinos, and frappuccinos as cash-strapped consumers lose their thirst for coffee,” explained New York correspondent Andrew Clark. “The Seattle-based chain tonight revealed a 70% slump in quarterly profits to $64.3m and announced that it intends to shed 6,700 employees this year. It is closing 300 stores, two thirds of which will be in the US, on top of 660 shutdowns last year.”

January 29, 2009, NPRMore Bad News Brewing At Starbucks. “Coffee giant Starbucks says it is closing 200 more U.S. stores and 100 abroad,” wrote reporter Wendy Kaufman. “Nearly 7,000 employees may lose their jobs in a new round of store closures and cost cutting. With quarterly profits down sharply and the economy getting weaker, Starbucks hopes to slash its costs by $500 million.”

Working With Soul

By 2010, with Schultz back at the helm, Starbucks began to turn around. As he explains in “Onward,” it is because the company returned to its core values: respect, dignity, passion, laughter, compassion, community, and authenticity. “These are Starbucks touchstones, the source of our pride,” he insists.

The key to the first Starbucks store in Pike Place Market is also a touchstone for Schultz. Literally. He began working there on Sept. 7, 1982, and still keeps the store’s key on his keychain.

“As a business leader, my quest has never been just about winning or making money; it has also been about building a great, enduring company, which has always meant trying to strike a balance between profit and social conscience,” he insists. “No business can do well for its shareholders without first doing well by all the people its business touches. For us, that means doing our best to treat everyone with respect and dignity, from coffee farmers and baristas to customers and neighbors.

“I understand that striving to achieve profitability without sacrificing humanity sounds lofty. But I have always refused to abandon that purpose—even when Starbucks and I lost our way.”

The Man Behind the Brand

Schultz grew up in the projects of Brooklyn. His father didn’t have health insurance, and after slipping on the ice and breaking his hip, lost his job as a bus driver. Schultz was 7 at the time and explains that this was one of the many experiences that inspired him to build a company with compassion for its employees. After paying his way through college, he and his wife Sheri moved to Seattle, where Schultz had taken a job as the marketing chief of the then-small coffee company, Starbucks.

“I spent my first weeks working at the Pike Place store, learning all about coffee, scooping fresh beans for customers, and sealing them in small bags,” he writes, noting that it was on a business trip to Italy that he discovered his true passion. “As I visited small espresso bars throughout Milan and Verona, I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community among them, and from that moment on I was determined to bring world-class coffee and the romance of Italian espresso bars to the U.S. It was an experience I fervently believed could enrich people’s lives.”

So he left Starbucks to create his own company, Il Giornale, which started with a shop in Seattle and another over the border in Vancouver, B.C. In 1987, with the help of investors, he had the opportunity to buy Starbucks’ six stores and roasting plant. By 1988, The Starbucks Company had 11 stores, 100 employees, and Schultz was on his way to creating a national brand.

With the Sweet Comes the Bitter

By 2000, he not only had established the brand, he had defined the company’s values by offering part-time workers comprehensive healthcare coverage and equity in the form of stock options. Having accomplished his goals, he stepped down as CEO and became chairman to focus on global strategy and expansion.

“In the years that followed, we accelerated our store growth, and our stock prices soared as our sales and profits increased quarter after quarter,” he says. “Until the quarter it didn’t.”

Schultz never points a finger at the successors or any single bad decision. Rather, he says the problems were incremental, “like a single loose thread that unravels a sweater inch by inch.” And on top of the internal issues, there were other factors: the worldwide financial crisis, a shift in consumer behavior, and an onslaught of competitors.

“As chairman, I held myself responsible for the problems we ourselves had created,” he shares. “And although I did not know exactly how to address the variety of external pressures bearing down on us, I knew that, without daily control of the business, I was essentially powerless to stop Starbucks from sinking.”

A Shot of Inspiration

In “Onward,” Shultz shares the details of what happened upon his return. In chapter 1, he shares insights from the Tuesday afternoon in February 2008 when he closed all 7,100 U.S. Starbucks stores for three hours. The goal was to retrain 135,000 baristas to pour the perfect shot of espresso.

“Pouring espresso is an art, one that requires the barista to care about the quality of the beverage,” he explains in chapter 1 of his book. “If the barista only goes through the motions, if he or she does not care and produces an inferior espresso that is too weak or too bitter, then Starbucks has lost the essence of what we set out to do 40 years ago: inspire the human spirit.

“I realize this is a lofty mission for a cup of coffee, but this is what merchants do. We take the ordinary—a shoe, a knife—and give it new life, believing that what we create has the potential to touch others’ lives because it touched ours.” Click here to read more.

Starbucks Rules

“Life is a sum of all your choices,” said Albert Camus.

That quote by the French philosopher is not just mentioned in his 2011 book “Onward,” it seems to sum up the ideals of Starbucks entrepreneur Howard Schultz.

Throughout the 33-chapter tome, the coffeehouse mogul weaves his wisdom and lessons learned about business and life into the tale of how, since 2008, he has brought the company back from the brink.

Revenue in 2010 topped $10.71 billion, and financial results for the most recent quarter, which ended April 3, 2011, showed a 20 percent increase in profit as more customers visited the company’s U.S. coffee shops. In fact, the chain reported that sales at U.S. stores open at least 13 months rose 7 percent during the quarter.

But Schultz’s book makes it clear that his goal is more than making money. From working with baristas in the Bronx to coffee bean growers in Rwanda, following is a taste of some of Schultz’s ideas. We think they are worth savoring.

Howard Schultz’s Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Love

When we love something, emotion often drives our actions. This is the gift and the challenge entrepreneurs face every day. The companies we dream of and build from scratch are part of us and are intensely personal. They are our families. Our lives.

But the entrepreneurial journey is not for everyone. Yes, the highs are high and the rewards can be thrilling. But the lows can break your heart. Entrepreneurs must love what they do to such a degree that doing it is worth the sacrifice and, at times, pain. But doing anything else, we think, would be unimaginable. (from Chapter 2)

2. Make it Personal

Work should be personal. For all of us. Not just for the artist and the entrepreneur. Work should have meaning for the accountant, the construction worker, the technologist, the manager, and the clerk.

Infusing work with purpose and meaning, however, is a two-way street. Yes, love what you do, but your company should love you back. As a merchant, my desire has always been to inspire customers, exceed their high expectations, and establish and maintain their trust in us. As an employer, my duty has always been to also do the same for people on this side of the counter. For our partners. This latter responsibility has driven me for many, many years. (from Chapter 3)

3. Communicate

I have long believed in the power of a word or a single phrase to effectively communicate a business imperative — and to inspire people. The best words are never big or complicated, but are packed with emotion and meaning, leaving no question of what I expect of myself or others. (from Chapter 12)

4. Have Reverence

Building a great, enduring company requires thoughtfulness and, at times, the courage to make very difficult decisions. For Starbucks, July 2008 was a moment when I had to make choices that I never, in my 26 years at the company, had imagined I would be face with. (from Chapter 19)

5. Learn

For more than a decade, a glass bottle containing a thin brown liquid sat on my desk. What appeared at first glance to be a stout version of an old-fashioned soda bottle was actually a carbonated coffee drink that, back in the late 1990s, Starbucks had co-invented, marketed, and then watched fail miserably.

Mazagran. The name was printed across the bottle in white capital letters, but the product’s symbolism was also imprinted on my psyche: Do not hide from mistakes; celebrate, and learn from them. (from Chapter 27)

6. Embrace the Challenges

I’ve come to think that I am my best as a leader when Starbucks is being challenged or fighting for survival. I’m comfortable with, and in a way enjoy, the rugged steep ascent. That is my nature.

And while I would not want to constantly battle the odds, the raw feeling of accomplishing something that others did not think possible, or leading people beyond where they thought they could go, is extremely gratifying. (from Chapter 33)

Buy “Onward” at any Starbucks store, and online at Starbucks.com and Amazon.com.

About Howard Schultz

Chairman, president, and CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company, Howard Schultz has won the Horatio Alger Award for those who have overcome adversity to achieve success; the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Business Ethics, given by Notre Dame University’s Mendoza College of Business; the Botwinick Prize for Business Ethics from Columbia Business School; and the first John Wooden Global Leadership Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

He has been included in Time magazine’s “TIME 100,” a list of the most influential people in the world. He and his wife Sheri live in Seattle with their two children. Learn more here: www.starbucks.com.

About Co-Author Joanne Gordon

“Onward,” is co-written by Joanne Gordon, a former Forbes writer who has spent more than a decade profiling companies and business leaders from numerous publications.

She has written five previous books, including: “Closing The Engagement Gap: How Great Companies Unlock Employee Potential for Superior Results,” and “Be Happy at Work: 100 Women Who Love Their Jobs.”

For more information, visit www.joannegordononline.com.

Photo of Schultz (at top) courtesy of C-SPAN, March 31, 2011. Other photos by Starbucks.com.

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

– Marty Skler, executive vp, Walt Disney Imagineering

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Magical

If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained individuals quitting their day jobs.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”

– J. Kristnhamurti, The First and Last Freedom

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

A man without a smiling face
 should not open a shop.”

– Chinese Proverb

I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

– Michelle Sedas

Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.”

– Edgar W. Howe

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place.”

– J.J. Van Der Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

– Robert Frost

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what nurtures creative thinking.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

– Marcel Proust

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

My task is really not to change myself but to become familiar with who I am.”

– Maureen Cook

A truly forgiving person is someone who experiences all the anger merited by injustice and still acts with fairness and compassion.”

– Martha Beck

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

Anything not worth doing well is not worth doing.”

– Warren Buffett

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

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