“Leading the Starbucks Way” – How they are doing it right & why YOU should follow

Starbucks has become one of the most successful businesses in the world.  If you need proof – simply look to their record breaking earnings numbers released this week!  The brand’s success isn’t only because of their triple vanilla latte (although that certainly hasn’t hurt the cause.) In fact, there is much more to the success of this trendy, neighborhood friendly establishment than meets the public eye.

As one of the most recognized brands in the world, Starbucks leadership has transformed the everyday coffee house experience through a business strategy that merges a high performance organization with a humanity-based culture.

In my soon-to-be released book, Leading the Starbucks Way, I cover the triumphs, turmoil and success stories that this powerful brand had to endure in order to become the celebrated company it is today. To that end, I was granted one-on-one access to Starbucks inner workings, from senior leaders including Howard Schultz, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, to the coffee serving baristas you see behind the counter.

Through interviews, meetings and countless cups of coffee, I inferred five key principles that drive and power the global sustainability at Starbucks. These principles are non-specific to a certain industry or company and can be used to help fuel other great corporate structures.  The principles are: Savor and Elevate • Love to Be Loved • Reach for Common Ground • Mobilize the Connection • Cherish and Challenge Your Legacy.

While I hope you will take the time to dive deeply into the book, a few core lessons easily gleaned from Starbucks involve the importance of “Story telling”  and corporate ritual when it comes to driving employee engagement and a culture of service excellence.  You will also appreciate the role customer “love” plays in securing brand loyalty and advocacy.  Leaders throughout Starbucks also drive growth using intelligent innovation to insert new products and offerings more deeply into the lifestyle of their customers. Leading the Starbucks Way ultimately emphasizes the importance of loving your product, your customers, and your team.

From the setbacks experienced in the global recession to a magnificent business turn-around story, Starbucks leaders have stay trued to a clear vision: To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Leading the Starbucks Way will be available early in September, but you can pre-order now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and CEO Read.

I will be providing a series of blogs and podcasts until the book is released.  Each blog will discuss varied lessons which are explored in depth in the book.

Can’t wait that long? Want a sneak peak? Click here and type “Exclusive” in the message title to gain early access.

While the preview is heading your way, you might want to ask yourself these preliminary questions this week:

Is my leadership driven by passion or performance? How does this translate into the experience of my customers?

Do my employees build lasting relationships with my customers?

Ok, enough questions! See you next week with another installment from Leading the Starbucks Way!

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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