Oprah recently interviewed Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to discuss his devotion and vision for his company, one with heart. He grew this coffee house significantly and offered his employees, those who worked 20 hours or more ownership in the business. As the company made its way treading new ground, Howard, feeling satisfied, decided to move on but in the aftermath the business struggled. It began to move away from Howard’s vision. At this point, he stepped back in and put more energy into training and management; he needed it to be back to a grassroots heartfelt mindset.
Oprah read from his latest book, Onward. “Success is not sustainable if it’s defined by how big you become. Large numbers that once captivated me, 40,000 stores are not what matter. The only number that matters is one; one cup, one customer, one partner, one experience at a time; we had to get back what mattered most…”
Howard did not create the company Starbucks but he did purchase this little store that once provided coffee beans to the community; at this time, Howard worked in sales. After the owners decided to sell, he was able to personalize his business and instill spirit.
He grew up in the housing projects of New York with caring parents who struggled through life challenges. His father was injured and, without medical insurance or worker’s comp, lost his job. This experience was imprinted on Howard. Because of his parents struggle, his vision for his company was one that embraced and supported employee culture and values.
Some of his values he held onto as he built his storefront into an empire:
“Don’t be threatened by people who are smarter than you.
Compromise anything but your core values.
[And], Everything matters.”
He attributes his Starbuck’s success to the human factor of this business.
The next time you drink a cup of coffee or tea, think of Howard Schultz and, perhaps, his story to inspire you.
Closing words from Howard as food for thought, “It’s not what you do it’s why you do it.”