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Customer Review

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Reinvention, March 31, 2011
This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul (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. His passion, drive, anger, and love for all that Starbucks has to offer was an exciting read and I am grateful that he had the courage to grab the bull by the horns and take back what makes Starbucks so special. The soul of Starbucks comes to light in this book and it is great to see it shine so brightly once again.
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