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

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

Audio CD(Unabridged; 12.75 hours)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611744910
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Publication date: 03/29/2011
Edition description: Unabridged; 12.75 hours
Sales rank: 806,402
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Stephen Bowlby, a lifelong performer and filmmaker, loves bringing ideas to life in ways that entertain, inviting both action and reflection. With a career in writing, directing, and film editing, he infuses his narration with a strong sense of story.

Read an Excerpt

Part 1: Love

Excerpted from "Onward"
by .
Copyright © 2012 Howard Schultz.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction xii

Part 1 Love

Chapter 1 A Beverage of Truth 3

Chapter 2 A Love Story 8

Chapter 3 Surfacing 14

Chapter 4 Nothing Is Confidential 26

Chapter 5 Magic 33

Chapter 6 Loyalty 39

Chapter 7 Believe 47

Part 2 Confidence

Chapter 8 A Reservoir of Trust 55

Chapter 9 A New Way to See 69

Chapter 10 Playing to Win 81

Chapter 11 Elevating the Core 88

Chapter 12 Get In the Mud 96

Chapter 13 A Reason to Exist 102

Chapter 14 Benevolence 116

Chapter 15 Beyond the Status Quo 123

Chapter 16 Bold Moves 128

Part 3 Pain

Chapter 17 Whirlwind 139

Chapter 18 A Lethal Combination 147

Chapter 19 Reverence 155

Chapter 20 No Silver Bullets 164

Chapter 21 I Know This to Be True 170

Part 4 Hope

Chapter 22 Truth in Crisis 183

Chapter 23 A Galvanizing Moment 192

Chapter 24 Nimble 208

Chapter 25 Plan B 217

Chapter 26 Stay the Course 224

Part 5 Courage

Chapter 27 Innovate 239

Chapter 28 Conviction 250

Chapter 29 Connecting Dots 262

Chapter 30 Balance 271

Chapter 31 Conscience 287

Chapter 32 Winning 296

Chapter 33 Ni Hao 302

Tribute 313

Acknowledgments 329

Photo Credits 333

Index 335

Customer Reviews

Onward 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 128 reviews.
TheAurickle More than 1 year ago
I worked for the company 10 years ago and to this day I still tell people that it was one of the best companies I have EVER worked for. I left before the economy went sour but I continue to be a Starbucks customer to this day. There is a chapter where Howard mentions that the atmosphere of Starbucks had changed and what they did to turn things around. This should be a lesson to heads of business everywhere. Part of the reason why Starbucks is such a powerful brand is that it constantly monitors how customers and staff react to changes. This book may have limited appeal to people who aren't familiar with Howard Schultz, but it should be very interesting to entrepreneurs and CEOs who find themselves in a rut and could use some inspiration to navigate their business.
JodyHR7 More than 1 year ago
I have always said that no one will take care of your creation better than you and Howard Shultz shows it. This is a great read. Very much inspired me to take a completely revitalized look at my own small business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Swartyforce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I adore Starbucks coffee, and so I picked this up almost as soon as it hit shelves. I liked that I was able to learn more about the company's history and the tracks it has set itself on for the future. It was a good introduction to how much further behind the scenes Starbucks goes than the barista preparing your drink. I would recommend this for people who want to learn more about the coffee industry, or just Starbucks itself, because it does a great job introducing the variables that Schultz has to balance in the company and different coffee making technologies that aren't obvious to those of us on the other side of the counter.I disliked the writing style because it was hard to wrap my brain around the book as a whole. It seemed to be organized by Schultz' stream of consciousness, which would pull me out of the story that seemed most relevant to that chapter and towards past events and corporate buzzwords. I prefer to have one topic explained before moving on to the next, so this made it difficult for me to read the book and understand the order that things happened.
porch_reader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Howard Schultz returned as CEO of Starbucks in 2008, after serving as Chairman for eight years. His return was precipitated by financial declines and a belief that the company had moved too far from its core values. This book describes Schultz's decision to return as CEO and Starbucks' subsequent transformation efforts. In telling Starbucks' story, Schultz addresses many common management problems. He discusses the challenges that growing organizations face in maintaining a focus on core values and purpose. He reiterates Starbucks' commitment to their partners (as Starbucks calls its employees), but admits difficulties in keeping them engaged throughout the transformational efforts. We see Schultz balancing his ongoing passion for Starbucks' core business while recognizing the need for change. One of Schultz's lessons is that organizations must tell their own story, not let others tell the story for them. It's clear that this book is part of Schultz's effort to tell Starbucks' story. While Schultz is relatively open about the parts of the transformation agenda that did not work as planned, he puts a relatively positive spin on the events. Despite this one-sided perspective, Schultz tells a story that interested both the coffee aficionado and the management professor in me.
marycrear on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was really excited to read this book when LibraryThing sent it to me on a ten disc CD which was listened to between business trips and an apartment location in Chicago. Howard Schultz's passion and vision is evident and his direction is Onward considering the very difficult period in our economic history that he faced. Finishing this book, my thought was that I could have listened to the final disc and reached the same conclusion. Onward is self indulgent with the readers time. I really wanted to come away moved but became impatient with name dropping and other indulgences. I still admire his vision, ethics, and environmental choices. It takes a tremendous ego to build an empire but it requires heart to take it Onward..
JimSerger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book too me is way more than Starbucks, it is about and individual taking a stand for something he/she believes in. It is about going against the tide, instead of just ridding with it. Howard did this in a time where people/managers just look for the quick buck. Howard is a leader that all people/workers should look for when it comes to thier best intrest. So many bad things are heard in the news today of CEO's-- Howard himself has set the bar for all future leaders both at the top of companies and at the bottom of them. This audio book was really listened too throughly on my daily travels too and from work. I even have took a few of his ideas and shared them with my employees, and they as well enjoyed the passion he had for his bussiness. Doing what he did takes a real leader, a real platton sargent--this audio book was just given too my dad to enjoy for he loves coffee, but this book is way more about how to get out of a rut, how to lead people back to success, how too share passion and zest.
pennyshima on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It took a while for me to get into this; I received it as an audio book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers program and it is no longer easy for me to play audiobook CDs in a convenient manner. In my work with small businesses (many of them solo operations) I try to find ways to relate what they are hearing in the media about larger enterprises to their own situations. While much of what Schultz discusses is to the concerns of a large global organization, there were some sparks of interest to all organizations and leaders, no matter what size. It is not an easy road to travel but with passion, an open mind, and a group you can rely on to delegate responsibly and some to help bounce ideas off of, leading an organization can be quite the experience. I thank Schultz for sharing the journey. Overall, Onward was interesting to listen to and I'd like to reread it as paper one day because it does not quite flow in a coherent manner when listened to as an audio book, or at least it was impossible for me to easily flip back and reread something mentioned earlier. Additionally if I was educated in Starbucks history some of the bouncing would have made more sense to me and the name dropping became repetitive and annoying at times, but I understand Schultz's need to do so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not sure I can put into words how good this book is. Every leader should read this book to learn how a true company should run. It couldn't hurt government officials to read this book. Any book about business that makes me cry is worth its weight in gold! I was one of those skeptics that thought that Starbucks was a company just out for greed. I rolled my eyes every time I heard of a new store opening. With that said I was also one of those people standing in line for my Frappuccino. Starbucks was great but I thought they were just out to grab your last dime. This book needed to be written to show the love that Howard Schultz has for his company, his people and the people of the world. I can't do the book justice by any review I give. You just have to read it for yourself!
AdventureswithBrianne More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was interesting to read about one of the founder's of Starbucks and how he came about making the decisions he made as CEO and founder to keep the core values Starbucks has as well as making it keep up with the times. It is a book I would not mind reading again to gain even further knowledge on what it takes to run a successful business. Great read and would recommend to anyone who is itching for a good biography.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Where've you been?!?!"
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very cool story that shows the passion of the author. Gives the interesting history of how Starbucks became the icon that it is today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and informative
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ISIDROP More than 1 year ago
Entertaining and a handful of business and customer service insides, highly useful for retail people
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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