In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision to return as CEO, eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company to become 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 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.
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.
©2011 Howard Schultz. (P)2011 HighBridge Company
"This is a must-read for anyone interested in leadership, management, or the quest to connect a brand with the consumer." (Publishers Weekly)
Ignore the reviews about how Shultz "seems to believe what he says too much." What the heck did you expect - A CEO that doesn't believe in his own company?
For me, this book gave amazing insight into how a top CEO selects his top executives, the challenges in turning a failing company around, how he instills the right company culture and handles Wall Street all at the same time.
First class business book, IMO.
This book was very disappointing. In a single word it was ponderous. The same thing could have been said in half the words. It also left out specifics. For example, Schultz wrote he spent time revising the leadership of Starbucks but didn't tell us what he did. Instead he tells us ad nauseam how he's going to recapture what made Starbucks great.
I lost all respect for Schultz when he described his secret, aka cowardly, comeback as CEO. He didn't have the integrity to face Jim McDonald, the current CEO and other top executives, utilizing their company knowledge and experience. Instead he went outside the company and found someone who would listen to him.
But, Starbucks survived and prospered despite him. I admire the employees for having pride in their work and making Starbucks a great company.
What can I say...I love Starbucks! Howard's passion, the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in the organization's DNA, and how those things are manifested in the experience of stepping into a Starbucks store propels me proudly atop my soap box to sing Starbucks praises.
Only if they had already read all of the other popular leadership / large company books (e.g., Steve Jobs, various Google ones) and were running low on options. That's how I came to it.
No. Howard Schultz seems to have no sense of humor. He tries to be humble in certain places but without any sense of self deprecating humor, it comes off as if he's just covering his butt and placating. The language was also strikingly similar to the jibberish blend of buzz words that Weird Al put together in his recent "Mission Statement" song. Maybe Howard Schultz is a really good leader, but this writing came across as though he was trying to fit the mold.
Clear but too movie-announcer-y
Janitor, Ultimate, Knives... Life is good
A phenomenal book for an entrepreneur. Easy to listen to as well. Just finished my 6th listen in 14 months.
As a project manager traveling 1500km a week, audible is my only alternative of reading, studying and driving at the same time.
This is probably the most passionate book I have read. I also have began to like coffee more. The process from bean to cup shows how fair trade is practiced and how it is possible company who goes out the way to be lean and sustainable. The thought process of a CEO is also clearly outlined.
I'm not a coffee drinker and I never understood what Starbucks was all about. Wonderful read and the story, the passion shines through. I now "get it" about Starbucks and why it's so special.
If you're looking for business insight Howard includes a lot of the factors behind his decisions during the Starbucks turnaround period. For that info alone I feel like the book was worth the listen.
PS: He's the founder and CEO of Starbucks so of course he promos his company whenever he can. 😁
I respect Howard Schultz for what he has created at Starbucks. I believe Starbucks proves that a business can be both successful and a good corporate citizen or at least makes an attempt to be so. I found the presentation of the growth and development of Starbucks very interesting but the book was repetitive. I felt like I was listening to a very long Starbucks commercial and found myself just waiting for the book to finish. The business community can learn a lot from Howards work at Starbucks: looking at profits alone can actually prevent success and creating a business that is based on quality and an ethic of good corporate citizenship can flourish and be profitable.
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