Successful Leadership Is Always About The People

Starbucks has been a phenomenal success story, now with over 28,000 stores worldwide across more than 75 markets. They are the third largest fast food restaurant chain. They have obviously done a lot right to get to where they are, despite a recent difficulty in the US. Whether you like their coffee or not (not so much here in Melbourne), there’s a lot to learn from their approach to leadership.

Howard Behar, their previous president of domestic sales in the US for 21 years, is a renowned business leader, author, speaker, and mentor who has influenced the lives of numerous men and women at all stages of their careers and at all levels and roles. During his tenure, he participated in the growth of the company from only 28 stores to over 15,000 stores spanning five continents.

Howard was the man behind the phrase “we are in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people.” He was recently interviewed by John Eades from Learnloft on the podcast below, which is very worthwhile listening to. Howard shares his approach to servant leadership and how the success of Starbucks was their focus on their people. He is a massive proponent of treating your people with dignity and respect.

He is asked about his famous 6 P’s of Life and Leadership – Purpose, Passion, Persistence, Patience, Performance, and People. He also discusses one of his key focusses was to create leaders, not followers.

On his numerous visits to stores, his first questions were not about the P & L, it was always “how are your people doing?” He also shares his personal vision which is “every day I want to nurture and inspire the human spirit, beginning with myself and then for others.” Very inspirational.

There are so many great leadership tips in this 30-minute podcast that are well worth the time investment. Here’s the link:

As a bonus, there is also a link to a leadership survey from Learnloft that I would also suggest you take.

As leaders, we always need to be open to improving our skills, as the better leader we are will result in better growth for our people.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.