It’s Not About The Coffee talks about the leadership principles and attention to people that drives the Starbucks Culture. starting with the idea that if you authentically regard employees and customers as human beings, everything else in business and life falls into place.
It’s Not About The Coffee Summary
Howard Behar, the former president for Starbucks International, has proved a leading figure in preserving the unique people focussed culture of the global coffee behemoth.
Laying out 10 guiding principles from the Starbucks Green Apron pamphlet, this book is a succinct and lucid statement on the value of authentic and compassionate people management, no matter what size the corporation becomes.
Below are some of the key insights from the book.
- We are all human is a universal statement that covers all aspects of business/life.
- The only way to grow a business is to grow the people within it.
- “Starbucks is a people business serving coffee, not a coffee business serving people”
- Wear One Hat – it’s important to know who you are personally and for visionary businesses to be 100% clear on their purpose, values, integrity and standards. You have to love what you do, dream big, work with passion and have a commitment to one another and your our personal goals.
- Know Why You’re Here – Noone truly works on their work, they work on their drems in life. So if you can develop a culture of alignment backed out by committment from the top to bottom, you’ll find it easier to succeed in business.
- Think Independently – The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom. Organisations need to honour independent thinking and recipes over rules. A top down approach doesn’t treat employees as true partners in the business.
- Build Trust – The only way to succeed is to build trust in relationships. You have to have a culture of caring and show that you care in order to developed the alignment needed for changes and growth.
- Listen For The Truth – Most people express themselves non-verbally so you have to listen hard for the truth, like a therapist. Keep your antennae up, mouth shut and ears open for the feedback that will tell you what is really happening in business.
- Be Accountable – You can’t fake authenticity. Only the truth sounds like the truth so when things go wrong you have to step up and put your own reputation on the line to get things solved, letting faith replace fear.
- Take Action – Think like a person of action and act like a person of thought. Its vital to have passion, purpose and persistance in abundance to succeed in a visionary business. Celebrate failures, embrace feedback and persist until successful.
- Face Challenges – We are all human first and foremost. When challenges come, face them head on. Own the truth, stay humble in times of success and look for success in times of crisis. It is through challenges that we learn to grow as people and as companies.
- Practice Leadership – Aim to lead through serving others one-by-one on a daily basis. Accept your mistakes and try to learn from them. Leadership is a skill that is never truly mastered and requires constant feedback for refinement.
- Dare to Dream – Saying “yes” is more powerful then “no” in most cases so don’t be afraid to test new ideas and dream big for the future. In most cases, dreams are inspiring and help to boost the purpose of an organisation and those involved within it.