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Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul [Hardcover]

Howard Schultz , Joanne Gordon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Kindle Edition CDN $9.84  
Hardcover, Bargain Price CDN $12.00  
Hardcover, March 10 2011 CDN $23.99  
Paperback CDN $13.71  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged CDN $28.80  

Book Description

March 10 2011
In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision
to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became 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 his return and 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.
 
Offering readers a snapshot of a moment in history that left no company unscathed, the book zooms in
to show, in riveting detail, how one company struggled and recreated itself in the midst of it all. The fastpaced narrative is driven by day-to-day tension as conflicts arise and lets readers into Schultz’s psyche as he comes to terms with his limitations and evolving leadership style. Onward is 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. Ultimately, he gives readers what he strives to deliver every day—a sense of hope that, no
matter how tough times get, the future can be just as or more successful than the past, whatever one
defines success to be.

Frequently Bought Together

Customers buy this book with Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time CDN$ 7.40

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul + Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
Price For Both: CDN$ 31.39

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Review

In 2000, Starbuck's founder and CEO Schultz (Pour Your Heart into It) stepped down from daily oversight of the company and assumed the role of chairman. Eight years later, in the midst of the recession and a period of decline unprecedented in the company's recent history, Schultz--feeling that the soul of his brand was at risk--returned to the CEO post. In this personal, suspenseful, and surprisingly open account, Schultz traces his own journey to help Starbucks reclaim its original customer-centric values and mission while aggressively innovating and embracing the changing landscape of technology. From the famous leaked memo that exposed his criticisms of Starbucks to new product strategies and rollouts, Schultz bares all about the painful yet often exhilarating steps he had to take to turn the company around. Peppered with stories from his childhood in tough Canarsie, N.Y., neighborhoods, his sequel to the founding of Starbucks is grittier, more gripping, and dramatic, and his voice is winning and authentic. This is a must-read for anyone interested in leadership, management, or the quest to connect a brand with the consumer. --Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review
 
"Howard Schultz's refreshingly candid, compelling narrative demonstrates what it takes to lead in these extraordinary times. Onward is a rare first-hand account at how one of the world's most iconic brands overcame the challenges that confront us all."  --Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
 
“Through the lens of his personal leadership journey, with all of its dizzying ups and agonizing downs,  Howard Schultz has written, with aching honesty and passion, the single most important book on leadership and change for our time and for every generation of leaders. This book is not just required reading, it's mandatory.”  --Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California and author of Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership

 
 

About the Author

Howard Schultz is the chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks and the author of the New York Times bestseller Pour Your Heart Into It.
Joanne Gordon is a former Forbes writer and contributing editor who has spent more than a decade profiling companies and business leaders for numerous publications including five previous books.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format: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 who longer measure up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good Feb. 24 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Great insights into the ins and ours of Starbucks and its evolution. It would benefit the readers greatly, however, to see what contributions were made by more people on the ground. We can see Starbucks has a very deep bench, and the authors have shown the spirit and tenacity of the many people who have help Howard effect the transformation, but more general experiences too would help. Otherwise, anyone willing will learn many lessons from the ride Howard and his team of partners have taken. Thank you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent leadership book Dec 14 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I haven't recently read a book that has a better leadership story than this book. Howard Schultz to identifies issues and address them in unconventional ways. Excellent read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By gord
Format:Hardcover
This book is a great reminder that without core beliefs a business can get off track. It also clearly makes the point that courage and hard work are required to steer the ship in the chosen direction. Howard Shultz has given those of us leading businesses a well documented and inspirational case study which can apply to any business and which can be used by any leader to support his own case.
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