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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really excellent book
I started reading the Kindle Version of this book with rather low explanations, after all the world can probably manage unite well without another how I did it book from an American Chain!

But from page 1 there is such a high degree of honesty in this book.

How Howard Schultz had a clear vision and then fought to see that vision shine through...
Published on 2 Sep 2011 by Doug

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schultz on Starbucks.
This is Howard Schultz's second book about Starbucks, where he is chairman, president, and CEO.
The book covers the period from 2008, when Starbucks was in crisis, its sales slumping and stock tumbling. Schultz tells us how through re-focusing on core values and continuing innovation the company was brought back to sustainable growth and profit.
Schultz joined...
Published on 10 May 2011 by Gordon Ross


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really excellent book, 2 Sep 2011
By 
Doug "Doug" (York, England) - See all my reviews
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I started reading the Kindle Version of this book with rather low explanations, after all the world can probably manage unite well without another how I did it book from an American Chain!

But from page 1 there is such a high degree of honesty in this book.

How Howard Schultz had a clear vision and then fought to see that vision shine through.

A lot of practical management ideas and theories are considered, there are some wonderful sections which I have had to highlight and keep coming back to.

In summary, an awesome book, well written, excellent management theories and inspiration.

However, having just visited my local Starbuck, they still have a long way to go.

But what we learn form the book is they know that.

Recommended - no make that, Highly Recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schultz on Starbucks., 10 May 2011
This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Hardcover)
This is Howard Schultz's second book about Starbucks, where he is chairman, president, and CEO.
The book covers the period from 2008, when Starbucks was in crisis, its sales slumping and stock tumbling. Schultz tells us how through re-focusing on core values and continuing innovation the company was brought back to sustainable growth and profit.
Schultz joined the company in 1982, when Starbucks only had four stores, in the 29 years since, Starbucks has grown to be global brand with 17,000 stores in 50 countries.
Clearly Schultz is a driven individual, committed to his business, and open to new ideas. The company's shift to Fair Trade coffee is admirable, as are it's charitable donations. I would have like to have read what Schultz has to say about criticisms aimed at Starbucks, but that's not something tackled by this book.
The book is useful for anyone interested in leadership, management, and building a consumer brand.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Starbucks' touchstones, the source of our pride" Howard Schultz, 7 May 2011
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Hardcover)
In January 2008, chairman Howard Schultz resumed his roles as President and CEO of Starbucks eight years after he relinquished them, replacing Jim Donald, who took the posts in 2005 but was asked to step down. Schultz's immediate objective was to restore what he called the "distinctive Starbucks experience" after years of rapid expansion that had compromised it. The bulk of this book's material covers the period since then, although Schultz (in collaboration with Joanne Gordon) does include valuable perspectives on the events that preceded his joining Starbucks as director of retail operations in 1982 and his subsequent purchase of the company from its three co-founders in 1987.

Others have their own reasons for praising this book, Here two of mine. First, Schultz is a skillful raconteur and the dramatic narrative that he provides is compelling as he introduces various characters, develops a lively plot filled with crises as well as triumphs, and meanwhile examines several themes that invest the narrative with structure and direction. For example, how to accelerate but manage growth so that the company (however large it may become) retains its entrepreneurial spirit? As Starbucks expanded into new locations, states, and even countries, how to preserve the ambiance of an Italian café (i.e. coffeehouse) while take full advantage of modern technologies? This book is a great read because Schultz has a multitude of fascinating stories to share.
My other reason is that the book anchors in real-world situations, involving real people, a number of business principles that are relevant to all organizations, whatever their size and nature may be.

For example:

1. Don't "fall in love" with loyal, devoted workers. By all means employ them and find useful work for them to do but keep in mind that business development (especially when growth is rapid) frequently creates new demands that some people cannot handle. Schultz acknowledges that he waited too long to respond to earnest and willing but clearly under-performing employees of whom he is obviously fond and for whom he feels genuine appreciation.

2. Do not confuse investments with costs. Schultz was (and remains) a passionate advocate of frugality but eagerly made (and makes) substantial investments in people (e.g. generous benefits for part-time workers) and equipment (e.g. purchasing only the very best beans, state-of-art onsite brewers). Compromising quality to save money is never a "bargain." On the contrary, its cost is prohibitive.

3. No matter what, always preserve and nourish your core business. For Starbucks, the core is the multi-sensory experience it offers as a "third place" renowned for its hospitality, ambiance, indeed its panache. Offer, serve, and sell only what enhances each patron's experience. Also, hire only those who will be evangelists of that experience. There is no reason why where they work can't be as enjoyable for them as it is for those whom they are privileged to serve.

With regard to the title of the book, it refers a process, not a destination. Schultz stepped down when he thought the company could continue to improve, returned when he realized that it hadn't and couldn't without him, and since then he makes certain that the process continues into an otherwise uncertain future.

This is among the most entertaining as well as informative accounts by a CEO that I have read thus far, worthy of inclusion with those written by Alfred Sloan, Andrew Grove, Sam Walton, John Whitehead, Jack Welch, and more recently, Danny Meyer and Chip Conley.

Thank you, Howard Schultz, for the pleasure of your company!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Propoganda, 6 Oct 2013
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To be honest not sure what I expected from a book written by a man closely associated with a public company about which he is writing but still - in my humble opinion book lacks sincerity and on every turn author tries to glorify the company instead of telling it like it is.

As a contrast to this story I liked much more Sam Walton's take on Walmart which felt more sincere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting read, 17 Sep 2011
This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Hardcover)
I was doing a report on Starbucks for my master's degree so I purchased this book. Compared to the other books on Starbucks I enjoyed this one the most. Schultz has unique opinions and it was very interesting to see how his policies and ideas for Starbucks changed over the years. It also opened my eyes up to the way their channel management works, and how they work to maintain high-quality coffee. It's a good read for anyone interested in Starbucks or business in general.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 July 2014
By 
L. Ireland "L. Ireland" (Northern Ireland.....UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Hardcover)
fabulous book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 12 Jun 2014
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A few weeks ago I was introduced to a fantastic book by a good friend. In his book ‘Onward’, Howard Schultz gave his account of how he steered Starbucks through a challenging era of the company which also coincided with the global recession brought about by the credit crunch.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Marketing diatribe, 9 Jun 2014
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On the whole this is a disappointing book.

Written like a marketing diatribe, it is insipid, doesn't inspire, lacks heart, and is boring. I also didn't learn very much about coffee or business - other than "passion" is somehow important to Starbucks. Even the parts of the book that were meant to be inspiring, such as when part of the mission statement is read out by various adoring managers and "partners" at a convention had me putting my fingers down the back of my throat. I found myself far more interested in those family vacations to Hawaii, which always seemed to coincide with those taken by other CEOs such as Michael Dell - they say birds of a feather flock together, but I can't imagine anything worse than taking a holiday where all you seem to do is talk shop with other Alpha Males, go for 30 mile bike rides, and fiddle with your Blackberry.

All in all this book on Howard Schultz's attempt to reclaim Starbucks, and guide it towards a glorious future, left me as cold as a cup of brewed coffee. And here's why. The Starbucks described in this book is the polar opposite of the one I know from my own experience. For example, I had to stop visiting my local Starbucks because they kept getting it wrong. On nearly every visit I either got the wrong size, the wrong drink, or someone else took my drink order by mistake. The place was a shambles. I gave up and went to Costa or Cafe Nero instead. It's a shame because I generally like the shop design and you can get a half-decent Americano there.

Against my better judgement I recently revisited Starbucks when a new Drive Thru was opened on the route of my commute. I guess my mindset was "how bad can it be?". The answer: pretty bad. I parked up and entered on foot, eschewing the drive through experience. First the staff could not understand me (I have an ordinary English accent), so it took about three attempts to order my drink. I tried to strike up a conversation about how they liked the auto Espresso machines compared to the old manual, and then again about the Pike Place Roast, but it was hopeless. They either didn't understand me or didn't know what I was talking about. The other problem was that because it was a drive thru each barista was wearing a headset (to process drive through orders I assume). This is very disconcerting as while they are serving you they will suddenly start speaking and sometimes it's hard to know whether they are speaking to you or talking to themselves! Weird. Despite the fact I was the first customer in the store (at around 6.30am) they asked my name to write on the drink. Fair enough. Imagine my amusement when I collected my drink and noticed that they had still got my name completely wrong! (Slap forehead moment).

Also, I find all this talk of "partners" patronizing. Let's be honest about this, Starbucks baristas are low-paid workers in the fast food industry. The Starbucks I've visited have done nothing to persuade me otherwise. I've only ever experienced poor service and poor real knowledge of the products beyond the superficial. This is all part of a deliberate effort to keep down costs and drive up profit - so much for the "passion" for serving customers.

I think the Starbucks that Schultz describes in his book did exist once, even in the UK, about twenty years ago. Back in those days Starbucks did offer a very special experience, but I can't help feel those days will never return, and this book does nothing to make me feel otherwise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Star Books, 1 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Hardcover)
Great book great read recommend this to anyone looking for an insight into starbucks and Howard Schultzs strategy around Starbucks
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 28 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul (Hardcover)
This is a really good insight into the thinking of a CEO and his company's vision . An excellent read it highlights how so many companies so easily go off track and lose their values in the search for more profit and reinforces how few really have a soul at their heart. Excellent book.
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Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul
Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul by Joanne Gordon (Hardcover - 13 April 2011)
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