The offices at Starbucks headquarters will feel differently today as Howard Schultz is no longer in the CEO role. Yesterday, Schultz stepped down — again — a role he held for the second time since 2008.

I am not a coffee drinker so I don’t have personal experience with the Starbucks product, but there is hardly anyone around who hasn’t had interaction with the Starbucks brand. His contributions to defining the importance of a “third place” — beyond home or office for gathering, socializing or work — have reimagined the role of many “fast casual” restaurants and internet access points throughout the world.

His book Onward is one of the most candid assessments I have read from a business leader. Schultz outlines his triumphs as well as failures and reflects on them in a way that all of us can learn from. I think it should be required reading in MBA classes! (For a page of highlights, click here.)

Schultz used his mantra “Onward” not only to title his book, but to sign all of his correspondence. It is a fitting word for today as he moves on to the next chapter in his, and his company’s, existence. Learn from his experience and take to heart some of what he recommends: “Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Never expect a silver bullet. Use authentic experiences to inspire. Be decisive in times of crisis. Believe.”  (And, of course, read the book.)

Thanks to Tricia!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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