Last week, I found myself critiquing and tisk, tisking the coffee selections at an organic grocery store. I don ‘t even drink coffee!
But I was in the progress of reading, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time. I picked up the book to learn about fast-growing startups and found myself picking up a few tips on the best roast and coolest coffee house colors from the Starbucks point of view. So what did I learn (besides the perfect foam spread) from “one of the most amazing business stories in decades”?
There is no more precious a commodity than the relationship of trust and confidence a company has with its employees. If people believe management is not fairly sharing the rewards, they will feel alienated. Once they start distrusting management, the company ‘s future is compromised.
In daily life, you get so much pressure from friends and family and colleagues, urging you to take the easy way, to follow the prevailing wisdom, that it can be difficult not to simply accept the status quo and do what ‘s expected of you. But when you really believe in yourself, in your dream you just have to do everything you possibly can to take control and make your vision a reality. No greater achievement happens by luck.
To any entrepreneur, I would offer this advice: once you’ve figured out what you want to do, find someone who has done it before. Find not just talented executives but even more experienced entrepreneurs and business people who can guide you. They know where to look for the mines in the minefield. If they have thought and acted boldly in their own careers, and proven successful, they can help you do the same.
One of the most fundamental aspects of leadership, I realized more and more, is the ability to instill confidence in others when you yourself are feeling insecure.
Success is not an entitlement. We have to earn it every day. Just because Starbucks has achieved all its goals in the past didn’t mean that we were immune to mistakes. We had to be in a mode of constant renewal and recognize that the future of our company was not based on what we achieved yesterday. We had to preserver, even when our near-term targets seem out of reach.
So would I recommend this book? I ‘m not sure. The first hundred pages were great; I couldn’t stop reading. Of course, I also don’t know if I’ve ever been in an actual Starbucks, so I was seeing the business as more than a conglomerate giant that is consuming America and the world. I saw the company from the personal and passionate vantage point of the CEO. I enjoyed wearing the rosy glasses. And I enjoyed the constant reflections the stuff you and I can gain from in our own lives.
But then the book started to drag on. I didn’t see so much reflection, just a lot of bragging. The rest of the book took me weeks to finish, and I didn’t get much out of it. The last two chapters wrapped up in the typical “we ‘ll keep working to be the best and live happily ever after”. I wasn’t reading Disney, though!