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Onward Audiobook

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"This is a must-read for anyone interested in leadership, management, or the quest to connect a brand with the consumer." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (733 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pankaew San Francisco, CA, United States 08-07-11
    Pankaew San Francisco, CA, United States 08-07-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stellar Book Into the Mindset of a Top CEO"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Ruvalcaba 03-30-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Similar to his first book "

    Since I had read his first book Pour Your Heart Into It previous. I found Onward very similar. I enjoyed the first one more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-02-16 Member Since 2015
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    "great but slow at times."

    The book was very interesting as far as learning about Starbucks company history but the personal story of Howard was sometimes a struggle to get through due to his high views of every single decision he has ever made. he basically comes off very over confident. other than that great book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank 08-05-15
    Frank 08-05-15
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    "Not a good read"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alfonso Lerma 07-20-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Howard Does it Again"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Mason Boulder, CO 06-20-15
    James Mason Boulder, CO 06-20-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Real life version of Weird Al's Mission Statement"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Howard Schultz and Joanne Gordon ? Why or why not?

    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.


    What three words best describe Stephen Bowlby’s performance?

    Clear but too movie-announcer-y


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Ellsworth Tucson, Arizona 04-30-15
    D. Ellsworth Tucson, Arizona 04-30-15 Member Since 2015

    Janitor, Ultimate, Knives... Life is good

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    "Listened to it 6 times so far."

    A phenomenal book for an entrepreneur. Easy to listen to as well. Just finished my 6th listen in 14 months.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Fleekop 04-28-15
    Ron Fleekop 04-28-15
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    "new starbucks partner"

    Great read, motivating and makes me proud to begin my Starbucks career. Turnaround story based on adapting, strengths of belief, and care of human beings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ABBEY 04-27-15
    ABBEY 04-27-15 Member Since 2015

    As a project manager traveling 1500km a week, audible is my only alternative of reading, studying and driving at the same time.

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    "Passion over coffee"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    YNaples 04-22-15
    YNaples 04-22-15 Member Since 2013
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    "loved the story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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