Author: Howard Schultz
Length: 384 pages
As somebody who worked for an independent coffee shop in Vancouver for many years, I was a little skeptical about the teachings from Starbucks' chairman and ceo (the titles are in lower case because apparently all executive positions at Starbucks are that way on purpose).
In my eyes, there are two sides to this book: the side that was fantastic and hugely valuable, and the side that was self-promoting and conceited.
On the business end, I found there to be many business and management teachings in this book. From growth to innovation to putting out fires with the public, Howard Schultz has pretty much seen it all. I am completely on board with his management style and agree with many of the decisions he made in order to keep the company afloat and, eventually, thrive.
On the other end, there are sections that seem like they were written with the sole purpose of being read by partners (Starbucks' employees). In fact, every partner at Starbucks was given a copy of his book, which is apparently over 200,000 people. Mr Schultz seems to pat himself on the back a great deal for the wonderful things he has done at Starbucks.
At times it felt like I was listening to a lousy salesman talk about how much I need his product. Then again, this book was surely a small part of the plan to bring Starbucks back into a positive light after a rough few recessionary years.
If you decide to read this book, I would recommend that you take some of his claims about Starbucks with a grain of salt. If his management teachings were espresso and the self promotion water, this book would be a bit like an Americano.