The latest Lessons podcast interview is guaranteed to go well with your grande Caramel Macchiato. My guest is Howard Behar, the former president of Starbucks Coffee Company. His book, It's Not About the Coffee is out in paperback with a new preface on leading in hard times and is available on Amazon.com.
Howard brings a unique perspective on leadership to our conversation. He joined Starbucks in 1989 as its VP of sales and operations when the company had 28 stores in the Pacific Northwest. When he retired as president in 2003, Starbucks was a ubiquitous global brand. He continued to play a role in the company’s strategy as a member of the board of directors until 2008.
In preparing for my conversation with Howard, I thought it would be interesting to get his thoughts on what needs to stay the same for senior leaders and what they need to change as their organization moves from the start-up phase to rapid growth and success and now, as is the case for Starbucks and many businesses these days, retrenchment. Howard is both passionate and clear about what’s needed, what to do and the mistakes that leaders must avoid as their companies change.
You can listen to or download the interview using the media player below.