The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

April 4, 2008

Book review: Books look at successful business philosophies

Periodically I get asked, “What is your favorite business-related book?”

A book on this topic really has to grab me if I’m to finish it.

In my last column, I reviewed “How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else,” by Michael Gates Gill. This book inspired to go looking for business-related books.

“The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary”

By Joseph A. Michelli

This book looks very closely at the philosophy behind the world’s largest and best-known coffee companies.

The five principles are named and then explained in detail how everyone, from the CEO to the baristas, is responsible for knowing and executing them. The philosophies are similar to those in “Fish: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results” (see below).

The Starbucks Principles are:

1. Make it Your Own: This is where all partners make their stores and their jobs their own by adapting to the communities they are in, following the “Five Ways of Being,” incorporating the Green Apron Book, and being involved.

2. Everything Matter: This truly means everything — attitude, appearance, quality, environment, cleanliness, etc.

3. Surprise and Delight: This principle is going above and beyond customer expectations; going out of your way to make working for Starbucks special and unique and creating that unique experience for customers.

4. Embrace Resistance: How do you handle criticism? Do you avoid conflict? Do you see it as an opportunity to improve your product and services? In this chapter you see how Starbucks does anything but run from the naysayers.

5. Leave Your Mark: How will Starbucks be known and remembered? How will individual stores and employees make a difference? This principle talks about how partners volunteer in the community and how Starbucks as a whole is community focused.

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