【S】It’s Not About the Coffee- Howard Behar (I)

I’ve met Howard Behar (former president of Starbucks Coffee Company International) for quite a while now, and since I’ve learned so much from him, I figured it only makes sense for me to read his book, “It’s Not About the Coffee”. In a nutshell, it’s a book about his ten principles that guided his leadership and success

I kind of wish I read this book earlier. It makes so much sense to me and is very inspirational.  I highly highly recommend it, but if you simply don’t have the time, I’d like to share some of my takeaways here. 

I’ve decided to write two posts, because I don’t want to overload you with too much information. 🙂

To start off, I really like his idea of framing and hanging many of his favorite quotes on his wall:

“Over time, I framed and hung many of these quotes, and other people began to add what is now an extensive collection of black frame by giving me quotes that are important to them or, they think, relevant to me.”

It’s kind of similar to what some of us do with Pinterest boards (except it’s in an electronic form…). I, for one, love my Inspire board. 🙂 Let me know what your favorite quote is- I’d love to keep adding them to motivate myself! 

Now, Howard’s principles #1-5 ! (fyi this post is pretty long because I treat it like my personal notes.)

1. Know Who You Are

  • We need to think beyond our potential to achieve great things. If you shortchange your dreams, if you shortchange your sense of who you are, you’ll shortchange your life.
  • Learning– from experts, workshops, trainings, practical experiments, therapy, coaches, observing, and silence- is all good. It’s how we test and hone our values, our potential, and our goals in the real world of life.
  • We don’t find opportunity, it finds us: everybody has it in themselves to find opportunities or make opportunities happen. To do so you have to be an optimist, about you. You have to believe in yourself. So it all starts with the journey to know who you are and to find your one hat.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you love to do? What motivates you?
  • What dreams do you have? Big dreams. Write them down.
  • What’s getting in the way of achieving your dreams?
  • What’s on your list that you don’t want to do, or be, anymore?
  • What do you want to be known for? How do you want to be remembered?
  • Who around you has valuable lessons to offer? Who is inspiring you to go beyond your potential?
  • Where are you putting your passion to work right now?
  • What would move you toward your goals right now? Are you doing it? Why not? Could you? 

2. Know Why You’re Here: Do it Because it’s right, not because it’s right for your resume.

  • If you ask questions, you get answers. Ask what they like and what they don’t in the organization. I asked straight out, “if you had a magic wand, what would you change?”
  • If there were no praise or criticisms in the world, then who would you be? When you can answer that question, you are “there”.

3. Think Independently

4. Build Trust: Care, like you really mean it.

  • It’s impossible to lead in business—or in life—unless you genuinely care about people. That’s what matters. Period.
  • Any person who observed someone doing something right could celebrate them with a balloon (in the office). (Just a cute idea that I really like!)
  • I sent birthday and company anniversary cards to most everybody in the organization. (handwritten cards!)

5. Listen For the Truth

  • Take a different path. See who’s there, and keep your antennae up. You’ll hear the walls talk. Experience your store/office a different way every day.
  • Compassionate emptiness: listening with compassion but without preconceived notions. Caring but empty of opinions and advice.
  • Most of the time, people aren’t asking for help, they are asking to be heard.

What’s your favorite takeaway from this post? Hope you find it as helpful as I did 🙂

Part II coming up soon!


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2 thoughts on “【S】It’s Not About the Coffee- Howard Behar (I)

  1. Pingback: 【S】It’s Not About the Coffee- Howard Behar (II) | ♥Pair’adise / sharon&nora's交換日記♥

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