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Oprah interviews Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

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We have all heard of Starbucks, right? Perhaps some of us have even enjoyed a cup of coffee from this company.

I discovered that the history of Starbucks is quite intriguing after watching an interview between Oprah and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Their conversation sent inspirational light bulbs flashing in the air. Here are some lessons Schultz unveils to the viewers.

  • Believe in your dream
  • Dream then dream bigger
  • Do not let anyone tell you dreams cannot come true
  • Never give in
  • Help the employees by giving them benefits
  • Build on the experiences of the people
  • You have to stand up for the people
  • Take the time to find your way if you have lost your way
  • A company must have a conscience
  • Growth tends to conceal mistakes (which is not always the best thing)
  • Learn how to get big as a company but remain small
  • Success is not about large numbers
  • Success is about one cup, one customer, one partner, and one experience at a time
  • In life, it is not about what you do but why you do it
  • Short term success won’t build long term value
  • Leadership is creating a vision and followers. Then you won’t have to force others to follow
  • You are bringing people along on the journey because they think there is something in it for them. Therefore, leaders have to be committed
  • Leaders have to be vulnerable, truthful, and transparent
  • Leaders have to be responsible and provide service before getting the reward
  • People have to make a difference in the lives of those who are left behind
  • People are waiting to be called (Who will call them?)
  • Success is best when it is shared
  • The world needs authentic, truthful leadership
  • Love is family
  • Innovation is not embracing the status quo
  • A leader’s job is to serve others

These lessons are useful, but there was one that left a lasting impression on me. Howard Schultz explained that he had to close the doors of Starbucks temporarily, so the employees could actually learn how to make coffee.

On that day, the company retrained the workers to make sure its main product, coffee, was made with excellence. Schultz said the company lost money in closing its doors, but that act was worth it. In other words, if anyone wants to be successful, he or she has to make sacrifices.

These lessons can be easily applied to doctors, lawyers, parents, students, teachers, etc. For instance, teachers should strive to reach all their students, but that can only happen if they focus on one student at a time. Also, teachers should be willing to reteach certain materials if the students are not grasping the necessary concepts. If Starbucks can do it, so can us teachers.

Readers, which one of these lessons resonated the most in your minds?

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