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Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul Hardcover – Bargain Price


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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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119977231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119977230
  • ASIN: B005X48XN4
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2011: Onward is not a puff piece. In just under 400 brisk pages, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz details the multitude of factors--the recession, new consumer behavior, overexpansion--that led to the company's downturn during 2007-2008. Obviously, Schultz was successful, and his book has plenty of valuable lessons about management and leadership--standard features for most business books. But the most interesting thing about Onward is Schultz's honesty about the whole process, from his determination to make difficult personnel changes to his admission that he considers it a personal failure when he sees someone with a competitor's cup of coffee. Schultz even makes the chapters about his agonies over the company's breakfast sandwiches a fascinating study in the minute decisions that go into running a multibillion-dollar company. Conflicts, raw emotions, high stakes: Onward is a business book that goes beyond feel-good maxims and actually has a story to tell. --Darryl Campbell

From Publishers Weekly

Starred 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. (Mar.)
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Customer Reviews

The book quickly loses momentum and never regains it.
E. Minkovitch
Starbucks was and is a great company and Howard Schultz does a great job of sharing his personal journey and sharing what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Madeline Z. Ruiz
If you want to know what happened with Starbucks, and how we've picked ourselves up again, read this book.
Tani Curtis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By WILLIAM on April 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am just about to finish the book...only a few pages left but I had to write a review. I don't write them very often but this book really resonated with me. Unlike a lot of business books written on leadership that are based on theory, ONWARD is a true story of one man's passion to restore his vision for his company. What I really enjoyed was how he didn't glorify himself. Howard was truly authentic in his communication. He had doubts, fears and made mistakes just like we all do. Basically, what I am saying is that you can learn a lot about business from this book but you will learn even more about the mindset and strategies of a true leader and what makes him tick. I am inspired by ONWARD and can't wait to get back to it. My copy is already full of notes, ideas and plans that I have already begun to implement in my company (with noticeable results) I highly recommend ONWARD!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Simon Ruddell on May 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as Pour Your Heart Into It. Make no mistake, I love Starbucks, both as a customer and as an investor, but this volume lacks the warmth and sheer adventure of the account of the startup of Starbucks.
The most interesting aspect of this account, for me, is that it serves as a perfect illustration of how annoying American upper managament can be. Nothing is ever good enough or fast enough for this man. Everyone has to passionately commit. Everything has to be better than last year, last week, yesterday. Everything has to be done by yesterday!
The newly revamped Starbucks may be wonderful, but it is unsustainable, as is most of the American corporate model. A classic example of this is the author's breathless account of someone coming up with a good idea on a flight back to Seattle and his pride in the fact that he was able to approve the concept and get committment to a date from others on the ground so that by the time they arrived everything was in place. Would it have been such a catastrophe if everyone had taken a day to think it all through? There is a great deal of this kind of thing in this book, and in my experience dealing with American business, such freneticism is all too common.
There is a great deal of pride expressed here in doing more with less - but that cannot go on forever.
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54 of 70 people found the following review helpful By #saveyourkid on March 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My fascination with Starbucks began as I savoured the first book 'Pour Your Heart into It' as a business school student and now continues with 'Onward', another highly inspirational read by Howard Schultz; a now humbled CEO with a natural talent for knitting powerful words together to tell an engaging motivational story that takes you through the nail biting journey of a company that went from peak to rock bottom to a slow, painful yet rewarding ride back up the mountain. I wont be surprised if this book finds itself in the business schools curriculum as a learning guide for reinventing oneself during challenging times. Get yourself a copy now!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RickR on May 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book has some pretty good insights but the flow of the book was horrible. Onward is more of a feel good book telling you how great Starbucks is rather than a book outlining ways to rebuild a company. The writer seems to be in love with himself
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Madeline Z. Ruiz on March 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Author, Jim Collins got it right when he said "Good-to-Great transformations don't happen without level 5 leaders at the helm, they just don't". Howard Schultz demonstrates his level 5 skills, which are a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional will. Throughout the transformation outlined in this book, Starbucks seemed to methodically and systematically align all the elements required to not only reinvigorate the Starbucks experience, but to also plan on how to make long term changes that would significantly reduce costs and improve customer service making the company a fierce competitor once again. All of this while focusing on finding Starbucks Soul.

It has been fun to watch the company change direction and remember what made the company so great and learn how they have been able to embrace the qualities needed to rebuild their enduring greatness. The recipe seems so simple, but Howard Schultz shows us how difficult it can be to change with the times and embrace challenges such as environmental issues, political divides, and economic uncertainties all adding to the looming recession we were all about to experience. Their savvy strategies to recruit past partners who had the passion and skills to innovate and improve the in-store experience were brilliant! This was the shortest path to the customer and Howard Schultz was smart enough to surround himself with experienced passionate partners who knew how to execute with precision.

I was a former partner at Starbucks and have incredibly fond memories of the people and experiences that I feel so fortunate to have been a part of. Starbucks was and is a great company and Howard Schultz does a great job of sharing his personal journey and sharing what it means to be an entrepreneur.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Rosenberg on May 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
NYC was too small for both Howard Shultz and Donald Trump's egos. If he eliminated the sentences starting with the word "I" it would be many, many less pages. My mistake was that I did not read the negative posts before I bought it. He explains his reasons for providing health care for all his employees, because of his father's loss of both his health and his job at the same time, and late in his life. But I never saw an employee working in Starbucks older than 50. To his credit, he has built and operated a very large and successful company, but the egotism spoiled it for me.
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