March 8th, 2019
It’s undeniable the Starbucks mastermind, Howard Schultz, not only made one of the most iconic and loved brands in the world. More than that though, he literally defined the idea of the 3rd space, by inventing the concept of the American coffee shop. Much of his success, however, is because of his “heart” decisions that investors find terrifying. In this Howard Schultz interview, I asked him about maintaining heart, amidst shareholder pressure.
Howard Schultz Interview
Everyone knows Starbucks is legendary in its efforts to make the world a better place. Starbucks’ benefits and perks include health insurance for part-time employees, college tuition reimbursement, stock options, and retirement benefits.
Schultz has told stories in multiple books about his fight to maintain Starbucks benefits, despite financial pressures. There is no denying Starbucks employees are treated extremely well. (Before my interview with Howard Schultz, I was contacted by a former Starbucks employee to make sure I passed on gratitude for the benefits he received when he worked there.)
Under Howard Schultz’s leadership, Starbucks is also a great global citizen, donating millions upon millions of dollars to charities, leading the food and beverage industry in their treatment of global coffee farmers. Starbuck’s treatment of coffee farmers by paying them well, and providing clean water to kids across the globe with their Ethos water project are well known. It’s a great story, but how did he convince his shareholders to maintain their world-class employee benefits and other big “heart” ideas of his?
In my interview with Schultz, he explained it wasn’t easy. He broke down his process and explained why business plans are necessary even for big heart ideas, when “gut feelings” won’t cut it. He also answers the most critical question we all have. Is Chemex better than a French Press?
More: How Howard Schultz Kept His Heart
Read my full article on how Howard Schultz fought for great employee benefits. I break down key parts of my interview with him. It was a densely packed interview and I unpack the core ideas and how he convinces shareholders to maintain heart ideas. Make sure you listen to the full interview as well.
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