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Starbucks: more than a caffeine high

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in Leaders & Managers

Starbucks founder and chairman Howard Schultz is his company’s most passionate advocate. But his success goes beyond that, to how Schultz uses his passion to do more than sell coffee.

Take these three lessons to heart, and your employees and customers will, too.
  1. Work within your passion. It might not be the product so much as the philosophy. Example: Schultz serves up coffee along with the aura of a comfy community, just as the J. Peterman company used to sell clothes by evoking the romance of travel.

    Ever notice how the best Starbucks cafes happen to be located in places with the strongest sense of community?

  2. Tell a “creation story.” Your own story should inspire people to see how your product or cause will make the world a better place.

    Example: Schultz’s story begins in 1961, when his father broke his ankle at work and was left without income, insurance or any way to support his family. The family’s fear inspired change. Schultz grew up driven to create a company in which employees have a safety net woven of respect and dignity.

  3. Tap into people’s emotions. Employees appreciate true stories … or not. If they don’t “get it” within a strong culture at work, that means they don’t share its values and should leave.

    But if you can cultivate a cadre of true believers through your own heartfelt communication, you’ll all share a powerful vision of the work at hand, and their passion and dedication will take you far.
—Adapted from “Starbucks’ Secret Ingredient,” Carmine Gallo,

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