50 Book Challenge: #15 Onward

What Kobo.com says: In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company and became chairman. Concerned that Starbucks had lost its way, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore not only its financial health, but also its soul. In Onward, he shares the remarkable story of his return and the companys ongoing transformation under his leadership, revealing how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity.

Offering readers a snapshot of a moment in history that left no company unscathed, the book zooms in to show, in riveting detail, how one company struggled and recreated itself in the midst of it all. The fastpaced narrative is driven by day-to-day tension as conflicts arise and lets readers into Schultzs psyche as he comes to terms with his limitations and evolving leadership style. Onward is a compelling, candid narrative documenting the maturing of a brand as well as a businessman.

Onward represents Schultzs central leadership philosophy: Its not just about winning, but the right way to win. Ultimately, he gives readers what he strives to deliver every daya sense of hope that, no matter how tough times get, the future can be just as or more successful than the past, whatever one defines success to be.


What I Say: I loved the book for it’s business principles of sticking to core values of a company and putting people and strong ethical values first. I found the book to be a bit long but I think most business books could be written as short stories. One page per chapter! I’m slightly efficient. My frustration in the book was most topics were discussed at such a high level it’s difficult to learn how to actually applying learnings to your own work. I found the book inspirational in terms of what it takes to forge ahead during difficult financial times but I also kind of felt like the author just wrote the book as a bit of a boast. It’s a fine line to walk between “look at me” and here’s how I can impart my wisdom to the masses!

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