Evening with Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. Onward.

Citrus designed a short video with a few quotes from Howard Schultz’s (CEO of Starbucks) new book Onward.  Enjoy!

Members of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization attended a private event last night where the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, sat down with Willow Bay, Senior Editor of the Huffington Post to talk about his second book, Onward (released just a few days ago.)

Citrus Studios website design, Los Angeles
CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz in conversation with the gorgeous Willow Bay, Senior Editor of the Huffington Post

In the Blossom Ballroom at the Roosevelt Hotel, EO members and guests were able to hear Howard share the story of the company’s turnaround, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic periods in American history, Starbucks achieved profitability without sacrificing humanity.

He spoke about:

1.  The importance of depositing into a reservoir of trust by engaging with customers in the social and digital media space

2.  VIA/Starbucks’ Instant Coffee (which he predicts will be a multi-billion dollar empire)

3.  Why he came back as CEO (out of pure love for his company, aww!)

4.  The infamous Transformation Agenda that he borrowed/stole from Michael Dell, (who he goes on long bike rides with when in Hawaii/Maui.)

5.  Firing 9 out of 11 board members upon his return as CEO.

6.  How he closed all 7,100 U.S. stores to retrain baristas on how to make the perfect espresso.

7.  How success has a way of covering up small failures.

8.  The core values that inform his leadership:

Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Innovate around the core. Don’t embrace the status quo. Find new ways to see. Never expect a silver bullet. Get your hands dirty. Listen with empathy and overcommunicate with transparency. Tell your story, refusing to let others define you.  Use authentic experiences to inspire. Stick to your values, they are your foundation.  Hold people accountable but give them the tools to succeed. Make the tough choices; it’s how you execute that counts. Be decisive in times of crisis. Be nimble. Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes. Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do. Believe.

The word “onward” has appeared at the end of memos that he wrote to partners since 1985. During the company’s difficulties these past few years, “onward” became a spontaneous rallying cry, a source of inspiration and a sort of call to arms that connoted how Starbucks needed to be: forward leaning, nimble, scrappy. “Onward” has come to represent the type of leadership that strives to balance heritage and innovation; creativity and rigor; and benevolence and accountability.

At the end of the evening, Mr. Schultz was given the EO-LA Entrepreneur of the Year Award and each guest received an autographed copy of his book.  Thank you EO-LA for a fun and truly memorable evening!

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