The offices at Starbucks headquarters will feel differently today as Howard Schultz is no longer in the CEO role. Yesterday, Schultz stepped down -- again -- a role he held for the second time since 2008.
I am not a coffee drinker so I don't have personal experience with the Starbucks product, but there is hardly anyone around who hasn't had interaction with the Starbucks brand. His contributions to defining the importance of a "third place" -- beyond home or office for gathering, socializing or work -- have reimagined the role of many "fast casual" restaurants and internet access points throughout the world.
His book Onward is one of the most candid assessments I have read from a business leader. Schultz outlines his triumphs as well as failures and reflects on them in a way that all of us can learn from. I think it should be required reading in MBA classes! (For a page of highlights, click here.)
Schultz used his mantra "Onward" not only to title his book, but to sign all of his correspondence. It is a fitting word for today as he moves on to the next chapter in his, and his company's, existence. Learn from his experience and take to heart some of what he recommends: "Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Never expect a silver bullet. Use authentic experiences to inspire. Be decisive in times of crisis. Believe." (And, of course, read the book.)
Thanks to Tricia!