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

Cydcor Reviews: Onward

Author: Howard Schultz

Description of this book:  Onward is the story of how Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz turned Starbucks around after a downturn in financial performance.  Schultz explains that while the recession definitely had an impact in the loss in profits for the massive international coffee and specialty company, the biggest factor was a shift in company culture.  Onward explains Shultz’ decision to return to the CEO position after a departure to implement a hands on strategy to bring his company to its most profitable year ever.  Between 2008 and 2011, Starbucks was able to find its way again and Schultz continues to lead it to record profits every year.

Why people should read this book:  Gaining insight into how a multinational corporation is managed is a powerful experience.  Howard Schultz not only reveals his focus for how to drive Starbucks back to glory, but is able to admit mistakes in his character and company strategy.  The book reads more like a memoir than a business book, making it interesting for anyone with a larger than life character and an obsession with producing superior product.  This is a great read for any manager looking for insight into how to deal emotions, negative push back, and implementing changes in corporate culture.

Our favorite part: Howard Schultz frequently admits how personally he takes criticism against him, even over something as simple as seeing a competing cup of coffee in the hands of a stranger.  He isn’t afraid to be self deprecating, exposing a very passionate and very realistic person behind the success.  There are many examples of the book when Schultz acted on impulse—from writing an emotional internal memo that was leaked to the press, to throwing temper tantrums over breakfast sandwiches.

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