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The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary Hardcover – October 5, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In this paean to "one of the truly exceptional American success stories," Michelli convinces the reader that Starbucks is a great company, but he stumbles when trying to extract "precepts that can enhance your business and your personal life." He explores the various levels on which Starbucks succeeds, from its generous HR policies and lively work environment to its attention to detail and genuine concern for social causes—all of which highlight how singular a company it is. (Michelli throws in the word "unique" as often as twice a sentence.) But when it comes to advice for businesspeople, his "simple, yet not simplistic" tenets are too vague to be very helpful. Michelli notes that he has no personal stake in Starbucks: "I am not here to sell you on the company." But his enthused exclamations—"It is difficult to imagine all the great things that are yet to come for Starbucks"—give The Starbucks Experience the ring of an authorized book. Still, the company's practices are undeniably innovative and inspiring, and even if most of them aren't directly relevant, there's surely something in this book that's applicable to most businesses. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Back Cover
“Keen insight on the transformational power of Starbucks.”-Dr. Jackie Freiberg, bestselling coauthor, Guts! and Nuts!
“Practical, proven ideas and strategies that you can apply immediately.”-Brian Tracy, bestselling author of Million Dollar Habits
How did Starbucks turn a cup of coffee into a worldwide business phenomenon? With unique access to Starbucks personnel and resources, Joseph Michelli isolated the 5 key leadership principles that transformed an ordinary idea into an extraordinary experience.
- Principle 1: Make It Your Own
- Principle 2: Everything Matters
- Principle 3: Surprise and Delight
- Principle 4: Embrace Resistance
- Principle 5: Leave Your Mark
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Top customer reviews
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Since I'm thinking about starting my own business, this book was helpful to me because it identified some important ideals to strive for. It made me think about my message, how I want to brand myself, and what inconsistencies I need to solve.
On page 58, the author writes, "Great leaders look for ways to maximize the felt sense that their business generates." This made me think about the feelings I want to inspire in people when they meet me and when I have the opportunity to serve them.
I stopped to reflect on my business goals and intended practices pretty often while reading this book. It devotes a chapter to each of Starbucks' five principles with thinking points at the end of each chapter that anyone can apply to their own business. I also liked the call-out boxes that help readers relate Starbucks' practices to their own situations.
Starbucks has indeed made a commitment to providing for its employees, the community, and the environment. If more businesses (large and small) operated with the integrity described in this book, the world would be a much better place.
The author appeared semi-unbiased when he talked of Starbucks' success stories, and he did not hesitate to address some of the bad press the company has received over the years. He discussed China's resistance to the opening of Starbucks stores in their country, saying the overall first impression was a prime example of "US imperialism" (pages 121-123). Then he goes on to discuss how Starbucks solved the bad image by getting involved in the communities they served and tailoring the Starbucks experience to the Chinese culture.
At times, however, it goes to far with its "Starbucks saved the day!" anecdotes. It is a testament to how much effort the company puts into employee training though. I don't think I've ever had a rude barista at Starbucks. Actually, I haven't had any problems with baristas in the other coffeeshops I visit either.
The book talks about how Starbucks raises the bar for the other businesses in the area when it sets up shop in a new place. I am sure there are examples to the contrary, but I have to take the book's word on it since I haven't been anywhere that Starbucks is considered "new" in a really long time!
I think this book has some value for people going into business for themselves or those at the management level at a company where they have some decision-making power. Otherwise, it's just a feel-good read about people making positive changes in the world.
I hope my review has been helpful to you. It encourages me to continue writing and updating my reviews. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer if I can be of help.
The beginning outline of the Five Factors was great but then the stories exemplifying those factors seemed to go on a bit for me.
I appreciate this experience and the core model available for other companies to emulate, but it makes me wonder (just because of Uber) what may be hidden under the rug. The author was very fair to point out that the company is not perfect, but I think that's what ethics and corporate responsibility is all about - being true to your core. Perfection is not realistic.
Most recent customer reviews
1) Starbucks coffee is terrible.Read more