It’s Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks

Howard Behar, Author, Janet Goldstein, With with Janet Goldstein. Portfolio $19.95 (183p) ISBN 978-1-59184-192-0

After a working life spent building Starbucks from a chain of 28 stores to an international coffee business through positions such as executive vice president of sales, founding president of Starbucks International and president of Starbucks North America, Howard Behar tells of the strategies he used to establish the business into the success it is today. Behar shares the soft skills that helped to construct the company from a regional outlet to a corporation with international reach. While the book occasionally brings in examples from other companies, sharing anecdotes from Starbucks itself is Behar’s strong suit. The most interesting sections involve stories behind products readers may know from their own visits to the coffee retailer. Thoughts behind the bottled Frappuccino product’s launch or the “have it the way you like it” approach to beverage making are revealed. While revolutionary ideas are outnumbered by more standard good business practices, the voice of experience and in-house examples from a popular company make for a decent read for those wanting to develop or refresh basic business leadership skills. (Dec. 27)


A Q&A with Bob Delaney (Oct. 29) identified the coauthor of Covert as Bill Walton. The book’s coauthor is Dave Scheiber; Walton wrote the foreword.

Reviewed on: 11/12/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
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