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Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul
 
 


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

by Howard Schultz, Joanne Gordon
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)

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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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From Booklist

Schultz is the founder and CEO of Starbucks, a company that began as a small Seattle distributor of coffee beans and ground coffee that he transformed into what it is today, inspired by the espresso shops he visited in Italy. Schultz described the founding of Starbucks in his first book, Pour Your Heart into It (1997). Written with Joanne Gordon, a former Forbes writer and contributing editor, this account is a spotlight on the period of 2007�08, when the company lost some of its vision due to overexpansion and the pressure to maintain unabated growth. Seeing that Starbucks was becoming a victim of its own success, Schultz returned to the CEO position after eight years away from overseeing daily operations of the company. He details the struggle to maintain the identity of Starbucks while attempting to branch out into areas such as music sales and hot food, facing competition and the oversaturation that caused the company the painful closing of about 600 stores in 2008. This is one of those turnaround stories that illustrates that a company can overcome its growth pains by returning to its core principles. --David Siegfried

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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