Ten years ago this week, Starbucks closed all of its stores for three hours in order to conduct barista training. The signs on the doors read: “Taking time to perfect our espresso. Great espresso requires practice. That’s why we’re dedicating ourselves to honoring our craft.”*

The logistics involved in conducting the training were significant. Starbucks delivered DVDs and DVD players to each of its 7100 stores. It is estimated that they lost $6 million in revenue. But CEO Howard Schultz attributes the training to “saving the company.”

The logistics today could be much easier for companies who wish to conduct synchronous training: bring in a laptop and have everyone connect to the Internet and webinar software. Yet so few (any?) are willing to invest the time and forgo the revenue that such a commitment requires.

Leadership guru Simon Sinek says: “Leaders are not responsible for the results. Leaders are responsible for the people who are responsible for the results.” Howard Schultz understood that principle when he made the decision to close, and the company thrives today in part because of that choice.

What craft does your team need to practice – and how are you going to create the time for them to perfect that skill? Whether it is espresso or something more significant, your future depends upon making that commitment to your people.

*As quoted in an excerpt from Onward by Howard Schultz

Simon Sinek quote from Twitter 3/22/6 @SimonSinek

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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