Howard Schultz: Super U Podcast
Our new episode of the Super U Podcast is live! The Super U Podcast delivers curated tips from top performers and thought leaders to help unlock and unleash your inner superpower. This week’s episode features tips from Howard Schultz, former Chairman and former CEO of Starbucks.
Click here to subscribe to the Super U Podcast. Need a sneak peek? Below are the main takeaways from the Super U Podcast: Howard Schultz.
[1:28] Episode Intro — Welcoming Howard Schultz
“Success is not an entitlement. It has to be earned and earned every day,” says Howard Schultz. Schultz has certainly earned his success as the founder and former chairman of Starbucks. He grew up in the Brooklyn projects but managed to work hard to grow Starbucks into the top 5 of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune, with over 28K stores in 77 countries. Most recently, he’s hinted at running in the next presidential election.
[1:50] The American Dream
Schultz’s mother instilled the belief of the American Dream in his head as a young kid. At seven years old, Schultz came home one day to find his father sitting on the couch with a cast all the way from his hip to his ankle. During his job as a truck driver, he had fallen on a sheet of ice. At that time, if you were a blue-collar, uneducated worker like Schultz’ dad, you were dismissed without any compensation. The American Dream seemed to shatter at that point for his parents. “That shame is with me even today,” Schultz remarks. He never dreamed he would open a company, especially one as large as Starbucks, but his childhood spurred him to find bigger and better dreams for himself and for others.
[4:58] Success Is A Choice
Desperate people take desperate measures. When Schultz opened Starbucks, he knew he had to provide for his family. Rather than taking victory laps after the success of Starbucks, Schultz ingrained a culture of desperation into the company. They cannot afford to take a breath, because there are competitors out there looking to take the bread off of their table. Schultz stressed that companies must eradicate the human behavior of relaxing to build sustainable success. It’s up to the leaders of a company to instill that mentality in their company.
[7:13] We All Want the Same Thing
We all want to be respected as employees, appreciated as customers, feel dignified in the workplace and who we are as people, and go into a store and gain value from a purchase. If you can exceed the expectations of your people and make them feel as if they are valued human beings versus paychecks, they can take that respected feeling and share it with potential customers. Schultz even calls his employees partners. This kind of relationship is sustainable. If you reach out and respect another human being, it comes back to you in a positive way.
[10:16] Create Flexible Frameworks
The best thing we can do as leaders is to create a core framework of what the brand stands for. However, the framework should be flexible, allowing for creativity and autonomy. You want to hire creative leaders and entrepreneurs and give them the freedom to adjust to the needs of the clients and customers. For example, there are now 90K different drink combinations that exist at Starbucks as opposed to the original five. Giving customers the option to personalize a drink according to their preferences goes a long way.
[12:35] Continue Moving Forward
Many people have great ideas but don’t run with them. The difference between success and failure is a very fine line between those who continue moving forward and those who stop. When we get stuck, it’s important to take that first step to pull us back into a groove. Motion creates emotion, and it becomes easier to take the second step and the third step.
[13:55] Be Passionate
Success in business is difficult to achieve. Today, it’s even more difficult than any other time, despite the vast number of opportunities. In fact, only 2% of companies that start today will be around in 10 years. To find your entrepreneurial calling, you have to focus on something you are passionate about. You should be willing to sacrifice for your passion. This is the only way you’ll be able to succeed. Along the way, your passion will feed into others and push them to believe in what you believe in.
[16:00] Dream Big and then Dream Bigger
Take a moment to thank those who have come before you, those who have helped you along the way, and those at your side today. The current generation has the power to bring all of us together, innovate, and transform the economy. We can develop cleaner energy, make it so racism exists only in history books, and teach the world that we are at our best when we recognize respect and celebrate our diversity. Dream big and then dream bigger. Set laughable goals, and the people who don’t laugh will help you achieve your goals.
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